Project Syria, a virtual reality experience built by a team of students at USC.
“I sometimes call virtual reality an empathy generator,” she says. “It’s astonishing to me. People all of a sudden connect to the characters in a way that they don’t when they’ve read about it in the newspaper or watched it on TV.”
What Peña’s doing — using virtual reality in combination with reporting — is part of a wider landscape of video games being created to explore the news. And they’re called, appropriately enough, “newsgames.”
“There’s an argument to be made that games are perfect at getting at the systemic problems and challenges in the world,” says Ian Bogost, a professor at Georgia Tech.
Take a game that he helped make called Oil God. In the game, the player controls an oil-rich region, waging wars and inciting coupes. The player learns that oil prices are contingent on all sorts of factors rarely mentioned in a story about the price of a gallon of gas.
creating games to bring awareness to social issues for over a decade. The game to create the biggest waves was arguably MTV’s “Darfur is Dying” released online in 2006, in which players took up the role of a family displaced by conflict in Darfur.
presence (VR different from other media), virtual pit, haptic devices and environment
4 min: what’s the point?…
VR is a paradox, no rules,
what should you do and what to avoid
Ketaki Shriram dissertation
Gerd Bruder observed the other German person confused between VR and real world.
Common Sense Media – when children can VR and for how long
Jackie Baily worked with children VR Sesame street Grover impossible, counterproductive, rare/expensive, dangerous are the 4 reasons to use it. Not ubiquitous!
12 min. empathy
Tobin Asher “Becoming Homeless” blame the situation or the character (min 17)
June Lubchenko, 2013. NOAA. min 19. natural disasters, not trusting self-report, but actions.
Fio Micheli. counter productive to fly children to the coral in Italy, but VR makes it possible. learning efficacy. Motivation to learn. min 21.
min 26. MOOC – materials are for free. not replacing field trips, just making them more often.
min 27. spherical video to practice football with VR
min 29. Walmart – “academies” Mark Gill the nursing home simulation.
learning to drive.
freedom speech over all media but VR is specific, different. If you won’t do it in the real world, don’t do it in VR
min 33. what is the iPhone for VR.
min 37. disentization. how many times to do something to have effect. Kathy Mayhew and Mark Gill research
min 38. AR and psychology – not much resources. virtual person breaks physics – walks through chairs. Greg Weltch Central Florida – AR breaks physics study.
min 42. if his lab gives grants for art content creation. Immersive Journalism, storytelling syllabus. Mark Gill for our class, Bill Gorcica . Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Mayday Foundation
In an address to the VRX conference in San Francisco, noted game developer and tech wizard, Jesse Schell predicted that over 8 million VR gamer headsets will be sold in 2016. Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, presumably laying the groundwork for a future where friends and family will interact in rich virtual spaces. All the major players, including Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google and an HTC and Valve partnership are jostling for the consumer headset market.
Experimenting with VR in his classes as part of a project piloted by Seattle-based foundry10, a privately funded research organization that creates partnerships with educators to implement, research and explore the various intersections of emerging technologies and learning, including VR..
As an educational tool, VR might prove transformative. Google Expeditions allows students to take over 100 virtual journeys from ancient Rome to the surface of Mars. It might also have a big impact on social emotional learning (SEL), as VR’s unique ability to produce empathy recently led Wired magazine to explore its potential as “the ultimate empathy machine”. Addressing a persistent anxiety, Suter used Samsung Gear’s Public Speaking Simulator to successfully prepare a few nervous students for class presentations, reporting they felt “much more calm” during the live delivery.
In a recently published article, researchers Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany review a series of ethical considerations when implementing VR. The illusion of embodiment may provide VR’s greatest value to education, but also lies at the heart of its ethical implementation. Madary and Metzinger believe that VR is not just an evolution from television and video game screens, but a revolution that will have an enormous social impact. In their paper, they claim that:
VR technology will eventually change not only our general image of humanity but also our understanding of deeply entrenched notions, such as “conscious experience,” “selfhood,” “authenticity,” or “realness.”
It’s important to remember that many current VR uses in schools, like Google Expeditions, are not interactive VR, but simply 360-degree video experiences. In these cases, students experience immersive 3D pictures or panoramas, but do not deeply interact with the content. The illusion of embodiment is a product of interactive content and motion tracking, where users can alter and affect their environment and engage with others who share their virtual space. Headsets like the Vive and Occulus Rift fall under this latter category, but it won’t be long before most, if not all, consumer oriented VR technology will be completely immersive and interactive.
1. Long-Term Effects and Prolonged Exposure
2. The Impact of Environment on Agency and Behavior
3. Aggravating Preexisting Psychological or Emotional Issues
4. (Un)Reality and Diminished Real World Interactions
the type of data: wikipedia. the dangers of learning from wikipedia. how individuals can organize mitigate some of these dangers. wikidata, algorithms.
IBM Watson is using wikipedia by algorythms making sense, AI system
youtube videos debunked of conspiracy theories by using wikipedia.
semantic relatedness, Word2Vec
how does algorithms work: large body of unstructured text. picks specific words
lots of AI learns about the world from wikipedia. the neutral point of view policy. WIkipedia asks editors present as proportionally as possible. Wikipedia biases: 1. gender bias (only 20-30 % are women).
conceptnet. debias along different demographic dimensions.
citations analysis gives also an idea about biases. localness of sources cited in spatial articles. structural biases.
geolocation on Twitter by County. predicting the people living in urban areas. FB wants to push more local news.
danger (biases) #3. wikipedia search results vs wkipedia knowledge panel.
collective action against tech: Reddit, boycott for FB and Instagram.
data labor: what the primary resources this companies have. posts, images, reviews etc.
boycott, data strike (data not being available for algorithms in the future). GDPR in EU – all historical data is like the CA Consumer Privacy Act. One can do data strike without data boycott. general vs homogeneous (group with shared identity) boycott.
the wikipedia SPAM policy is obstructing new editors and that hit communities such as women.
how to access at different levels. methods and methodological concerns. ethical concerns, legal concerns,
tweetdeck for advanced Twitter searches. quoting, likes is relevant, but not enough, sometimes screenshot
social listening platforms: crimson hexagon, parsely, sysomos – not yet academic platforms, tools to setup queries and visualization, but difficult to algorythm, the data samples etc. open sources tools (Urbana, Social Media microscope: SMILE (social media intelligence and learning environment) to collect data from twitter, reddit and within the platform they can query Twitter. create trend analysis, sentiment analysis, Voxgov (subscription service: analyzing political social media)
graduate level and faculty research: accessing SM large scale data web scraping & APIs Twitter APIs. Jason script, Python etc. Gnip Firehose API ($) ; Web SCraper Chrome plugin (easy tool, Pyhon and R created); Twint (Twitter scraper)
Facepager (open source) if not Python or R coder. structure and download the data sets.
TAGS archiving google sheets, uses twitter API. anything older 7 days not avaialble, so harvest every week.
social feed manager (GWUniversity) – Justin Litman with Stanford. Install on server but allows much more.
legal concerns: copyright (public info, but not beyond copyrighted). fair use argument is strong, but cannot publish the data. can analyize under fair use. contracts supercede copyright (terms of service/use) licensed data through library.
methods: sampling concerns tufekci, 2014 questions for sm. SM data is a good set for SM, but other fields? not according to her. hashtag studies: self selection bias. twitter as a model organism: over-represnted data in academic studies.
methodological concerns: scope of access – lack of historical data. mechanics of platform and contenxt: retweets are not necessarily endorsements.
ethical concerns. public info – IRB no informed consent. the right to be forgotten. anonymized data is often still traceable.
table discussion: digital humanities, journalism interested, but too narrow. tools are still difficult to find an operate. context of the visuals. how to spread around variety of majors and classes. controversial events more likely to be deleted.
takedowns, lies and corrosion: what is a librarian to do: trolls, takedown,
development kit circulation. familiarity with the Oculus Rift resulted in lesser reservation. Downturn also.
An experience station. clean up free apps.
question: spherical video, video 360.
safety issues: policies? instructional perspective: curating,WI people: user testing. touch controllers more intuitive then xbox controller. Retail Oculus Rift
app Scatchfab. 3modelviewer. obj or sdl file. Medium, Tiltbrush.
College of Liberal Arts at the U has their VR, 3D print set up.
Penn State (Paul, librarian, kiniseology, anatomy programs), Information Science and Technology. immersive experiences lab for video 360.
CALIPHA part of it is xrlibraries. libraries equal education. content provider LifeLiqe STEM library of AR and VR objects. https://www.lifeliqe.com/
#FakeNews is a very timely and controversial issue. in 2-3 min choose your best source on this issue. 1. Mind the prevalence of resources in the 21st century 2. Mind the necessity to evaluate a) the veracity of your courses b) the quality of your sources (the fact that they are “true” does not mean that they are the best). Be prepared to name your source and defend its quality.
How do you determine your sources? How do you decide the reliability of your sources? Are you sure you can distinguish “good” from “bad?”
Compare this entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fake_news_websites
to this entry: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/preview to understand the scope
what is social media (examples). why is called SM? why is so popular? what makes it so popular?
use SM tools for your research and education:
– Determining your topic. How to?
Digg http://digg.com/, Reddit https://www.reddit.com/ , Quora https://www.quora.com
Facebook, Twitter – hashtags (class assignment 2-3 min to search)
YouTube and Slideshare (class assignment 2-3 min to search)
Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest for visual aids (like YouTube they are media repositories)
In his book, “Experience on Demand,” Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, writes, “No medium, of course can fully capture the subjective experience of another person, but by richly evoking a real-seeming, first-person experience, virtual reality does seem to promise to offer new, empathy-enhancing qualities.” Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries. Those latter activities, he writes, require “a lot of imaginative work,” whereas virtual reality can “convey the feeling” of, say, a refugee camp’s environment, and the “smallness of the living quarters, the size of the camp.”
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty. But within a minute or two, the students became quiet, absorbed in what they were seeing; they realized the “reality of the horror of what was in front of them.” Questions ensued.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives. However, he thinks no one tool or experience will bring results unless it is “nested in a broader framework of a vision and goals and relationships.”
Berger says virtual reality experiences have to be accompanied by work beforehand and follow-up afterwards. Kids, he says, need to be reflective and think critically.
immersion experiences like virtual reality should be “embedded in positive” adult and peer relationships. He adds that ideally, there’s also a resulting action where kids do something productive with the information they’ve learned, to help their own growth and to help others. He mentions an example where students interviewed local immigrants and refugees, then wrote the stories they heard. They published the stories in a book, and the profits went to legal fees for local refugees.
saving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter
What the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral research says about social-emotional learning
• Malleability: Genes are not destiny. Our developing brains are largely shaped by our environments and relationships—a process that continues into adulthood.
• Context: Family, relationships, and lived experiences shape the physiological structure of our brains over time. Healthy amounts of challenge and adversity promote growth, but toxic stress takes a toll on the connections between the hemispheres of our brain.
• Continuum: While we’ve become familiar with the exponential development of the brain for young children, it continues throughout life. The explosion of brain growth into adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, requires putting serious work into much more intentional approaches to supporting that development than is common today.
AR and VR are mediums for the transmission of information, and many people will judge these mediums by the content that is produced within them. For educators seeking to gain buy-in from administrators and other colleagues it is critical for them to justify the reasons their content requires new reality media.
Given the newness of these mediums, it is no surprise that few curricular resources exist to support courses around VR and AR. Professional development sessions on new reality tools are almost non-existent, which means educators seeking to use virtual or augmented reality simply need to dive into the subjects.
“The equipment matters. If there is a latency between the computer and the VR set that can cause a lot of problems,”
With VR equipment ranging from about $15 to $600 educators will have to check the budget or start writing grant proposals to gain access to the higher quality machines.
5. Understand Your Student’s Needs
described as a “quantum shift” in the way we interact, learn and experience.
The themes surrounding the SXSW Interactive Festival
Virtual Reality is quickly becoming a device that can be used to bridge gaps in understanding between cultures, transporting people into situations and locations dissimilar from their own.
Empathy Lab, a partnership between Refinery29 and the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab. Here attendees witnessed firsthand the power of empathy, via a series of exercises that sought to shift the way they saw the world – and each other.
A new survey from Extreme Networks aimed to answer this question by polling nearly 350 schools within higher ed and K-12. According to the results, 23 percent of respondents have tested VR, while 77 percent have not (40 percent of schools polled still aren’t sure if they’ll use the technology in the future). Meaning that although virtual reality has an important and growing role in education, it may take several years to get all institutions on board.
The survey notes that one challenge to implementation is that nearly two-thirds of schools are “somewhat or not sure” their IT infrastructure can currently support VR technology.
Respondents also had concerns about the lack of VR content available, as well as a lack of student resources, with 43 percent of respondents saying that VR is too expensive or difficult to implement. However, one respondent is taking this approach to providing VR to students at low or no cost: “We are putting out a call for old smartphone donations in our [community for those] who no longer need them. With the donations, we’re making sets of Google Cardboard and phones to create traveling VR stations for classes in all of our buildings.”
1. For new research: According to the Wall Street Journal, Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Virtual Reality Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, is using a state-of-the-art “haptic” floor of aeronautic metal that vibrates and moves to stimulate the physical world for research on how VR has the potential to change the way users feel and behave. For example, spending time flying around the world like Superman in virtual reality has been shown to increase participants’ altruistic actions outside of the lab. There may also be implications for confronting racism, sexism, and aiding in empathy and humanitarian efforts, says Bailenson. (see more in about empathy and VR in this IMS blog: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/11/18/immersive-journalism/)
2. For coding and 3D design:
a class on virtual reality that gives students the opportunity to design their own interactive world, work with 3D audio and experiment with immersive technology through a combination of hands-on learning and case studies. Also, the University of Georgia is offering similar classes where students design and explore applications for VR.
3. For anatomy and dissection:
4. For engagement: A whopping 68 percent of survey respondents said the major benefit of using VR in education is to excite students about the subject matter. 39 percent said it’s great for encouraging creativity.