The CSIRO’s computer scientists are working with science education experts from 3P Learning to develop immersive learning environments for their latest platform, IntoScience, that will mirror real-life places.
Imagine walking beneath the dense canopy of the Daintree rainforest, understanding the forces holding up the Sydney Harbour Bridge or exploring the life found amongst the elaborate underground structures of the Jenolan Caves.
These 3D models of real places will be created using the CSIRO’s award winning laser mapping technology, Zebedee, and panoramic video to create the immersive environment.
Using their avatar, students will embark on a journey from their own research lab. As they progress through quests, they’ll explore the surrounding environment and complete inquiry based learning tasks which test their core science skills and gain rewards.
Education has come a long way since chalk and blackboards. As disruptive education technologies like computers, CD-ROMS and smart boards have emerged, they have revolutionised education in the classroom and provided exciting teaching platforms.
Tailoring the learning experience to each individual student and creating an engaging and realistic learning experience however, can still be a challenge for teachers.
One way to provide students with individualised learning is through educational games, but the 3D environments in modern games are artificially created and lack the ‘real environment’ association that provide students with a link between learning and the real world.
A unique feature of the new learning environments will be the ability for students to transition smoothly between exploration of the virtual world and viewing HD panoramic video from the exact same location in the real world.
It is hoped to have school students in grades five to eight will be trialling the new real-life landscapes by mid-2014.
The initiative is funded by the Australian Government.