Posts Tagged ‘3d’

Useless? Maybe, but great fun. Xtranormal animated 3D story builder

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Create 3D movie stories with Xtranormal. Here goes another productive afternoon ;-)

Build your own 3D games

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Unity is a 3D game engine, letting you build 3D environments for different platforms, both computer- and browser-based. The full version costs $1500 but there is also a free version available. This will be my summer project! Drop me a line if you have experience with this environment as I’d like to hear from you.

Update: Frederik Cornillie just pointed me to David Neville’s blog, who describes the use of Unity for learning German. Looks very interesting indeed. You can find out more here.


Quest Atlantis

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I’m sure many of you will be familiar with Quest Atlantis, the 3D educational game for kids aged 9-16. I just found this video that describes the project and the game:

Here is a description:

Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks. QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. It allows users to travel to virtual places to perform educational activities (known as Quests), talk with other users and mentors, and build virtual personae. The project is intended to engage children ages 9–16 in a form of transformational play comprising both online and off-line learning activities, with a storyline inspiring a disposition towards social action. Quest Atlantis provides students entire worlds in which they are central, important participants; a place where their actions have significant impact on the world, and a place in which what one knows is directly related to what they are able to do and, ultimately, who they can become. Explore our site and learn more about this exciting project.
Over the last four years, more than 50,000 children on six continents have participated in the project, submitting over 50,000 Quests and completing over 100,000 Missions, some of which were assigned by teachers and many of which were chosen by students to complete in their free time. We are in 22 states, 18 countries, more than 1000 classrooms, and the number of schools asking to participate grows daily. We have demonstrated learning gains in science, language arts, and social studies. Equally important have been reported personal experiences, with teachers and students reporting increased levels of engagement and interest in pursuing the curricular issues outside of school. Students and teachers conduct rich inquiry-based explorations through which they learn particular standards-based content, and at the same time develop pro-social attitudes regarding significant environmental and social issues. Rather than just placing work and play side-by-side, QA strives to make learning fun and to show kids how they can make a difference. See the Herald Sun article.
At the core of student activity with QA is the completion of Quests. A Quest is an engaging curricular task designed to be educational and entertaining. In completing Quests, students are required to participate in simulated and real world activities that are socially and academically meaningful, such as environmental studies, researching other cultures, interviewing community members, and developing action plans. Through these activities, we hope that children will not only learn to use technology but will develop standards-based academic and communication skills as well.
All of the academic activities are embedded in a secure online gaming context where children explore our 3D virtual environment, “chat” online with other students and teachers using QA, and take part in the story of Atlantis – a complex civilization on a faraway planet that is similar to our own and in need of help. Building on strategies from online role-playing games, QA combines features used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. More than just a game, Quest Atlantis offers weblogs (or “blogs”) written by Atlantians, novels, comic books, cards, and a host of social opportunities. QA is about community.
We should note that a professional development course is mandatory for all new Quest Atlantis teachers. While there has been very high demand by interested teachers and schools, the technology is complex and requires committed teachers. One of the early challenges with scaling our project has been supporting teachers around the globe in effectively using such a technologically-advanced and pedagogically challenging curriculum. We believe our online professional development module allows teachers to effectively integrate this innovative curriculum into their classrooms. Through our QA-PD we familiarize teachers with the technology and a wide range of opportunities in QA, as well as with the inquiry-based pedagogical approaches which are most likely to lead to successful, exciting implementation. Rather than being prescriptive, we see our PD as a learning opportunity that gives teachers the tools to get the most out of a very flexible, fun curriculum.
We are hopeful that the Quest Atlantis Project has captured your interest. We think that QA offers an innovative, academically sound, and highly motivating curriculum.
The Quest Atlantis Team

Is Second Life on its last legs?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Interesting article in the Chronicle about the demise of Second Life and the emergence of alternatives:

Expect 3D browsers soon

Friday, September 5th, 2008

A lot of developments are underway to make 3D environments like Second Life available in regular browsers. Many teachers have been experimenting with programmes like Second Life and Active Worlds, with varying degrees of success. In theory they offer a lot of potential for role-play, character investigation, communication strategies and simply to encourage contact with native speakers. But in practice the need to install additional software, the extensive hardware requirements, inappropriate content, and many other problems, have limited their usefulness. Google’s new 3D environment that runs within a regular browser (IE and Firefox only at this point) may change that. There are other companies developing similar environments. Although their everyday use is a while away yet, these are interesting developments for those of us keen to encourage students to interact with native speakers in an engaging environment where a greater degree of contextual information is available than through, for example, online forums or chatrooms.

On a related note, have a look at alternative browsers such as and These allow you to browse the internet by walking through a gallery of pictures of images of websites. At some point in the (probably not too distant) future (elements of) these will become mainstream and significantly change the way we interact with information (both online and offline, insofar as the two will not have merged). Especially for visual learners this will be a huge advantage. I sometimes use Spacetime with language learners who appreciate the visual feedback to find the information they need.

About 3D browsers:
Google’s 3D browser: