Public event | Update: March 18, 2011 | Home  Presseinformation und Einladung (German)  KEYNOTE (pdf)
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Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education
4th Annual Conference – March 17-19, 2011
E. Panel Presentations and Roundtables | Update 110310

Avatars in Class: Campus Hamburg in 3D

Revisiting four years of teaching, learning, collaboration and research – discussing the future of avatar based education in Second Life and beyond.


This panel presentation sums up four years of experience gained in projects associated with the “Campus Hamburg in 3D" initiative. Participants will discuss the stunning development of social web 3D technology, the adoption of immersive learning spaces in Germany and the future potential of the avatar as a catalyst for research, teaching, learning, and work. The event will connect VWBPE attendees to a real life audience in Hamburg, aiming to provide insight, inspiration and arguments for educators and other decision makers involved with new media in education. The mixed world event will be hosted in real life at HAW Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences.


Sue Gregory | Jass Easterman in SL (M.Ed. Computer Education)
University of New England, Armidale, Australia

Dipl.-Ing. Micha Becker | Sanders Beaumont in SL
HCU HafenCity University Hamburg | BÜRO X Media Lab

Frank Boerger | Boerger TUVNORD in SL
TÜV NORD in 3D, Hamburg/Hannover

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hebbel-Seeger | ahs Planer in SL
mhmk Macromedia University for Media and Communications, Campus Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Swoboda | Professor Svoboda in SL
HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

Hanno Tietgens | Xon Emoto in SL (Moderator)
Campus Hamburg in 3D | BÜRO X Media Lab

Campus Hamburg in 3D

The project was initiated in 2007 by BÜRO X Medial Lab and launched in cooperation with the University of Hamburg, supported by the City of Hamburg (Hamburg@work, GameCity Hamburg) and the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. The collaborative platform invites universities and other learning institutions to explore the possibilities of immersive education in digital 3D environments.

Since 2007, “Campus Hamburg in 3D“ has partnered with HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration, HAW Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, mhmk Macromedia University for Media and Communications, HCU HafenCity University of the Built Environment and Metropolitan Development, Hamburg Animation School, TÜV NORD Group and GOAP. The University of Hamburg runs several projects on its own sim and also established a cooperation with the „Australis4Learning“ project of the Curtin University of Technology (Perth) and the University of New England (Armidale) in Australia. “Campus Hamburg in 3D” is an active contributor to the German work-group “AK E-Learning in Virtual Worlds“.

Looking back: Networked projects, interdisciplinary diversity

Public and corporate participators associated with the project have started to form a cluster with focus on a variety of opportunities: Teaching media skills as well as the management of sports events; creating animated objects and machinima films; experimenting with 3D simulations in port logistics and in climate protection; saving time and money while expanding international access to expertise in lectures and conferences; exploring virtual classrooms, game based learning, the use of virtual worlds in psychology, architecture and urban planning; and more.

Looking forward: The future role and potential of the avatar

The avatar is key to the full immersion in a digital 3D environment, enabling new forms of creation, collaboration, social inter­action, and transaction – bringing the idea to life of „being there together“. Our experts will discuss the future of avatar based learning in education. Usability, varying media-skills, acceptance of technology and administrative restrictions will be reviewed. How far will the concept of the avatar go from here? Will avatars be ubiquitous in classrooms and at work? Will the social web come truly alive in 3D?

The event: A mixed world experience

To raise awareness for VWBPE and immersive education in Germany beyond those already engaged, the panel-discussion will be a mixed-world event, hosted in real life by HAW University of Applied Sciences on Mediencampus Finkenau. Professors, students, administrators and others with no active 3D experience will be invited to join us there. The talk will be held on the virtual conference simulator „North 1“ in Second Life on Friday, March 18th, 18 hrs CET/MEZ | 10 a.m. SLT | 1 p.m. EDT.

On location in Hamburg, we will start an hour earlier at 17 hrs CET/MEZ to prepare the real life audience for what they are about to see. In the discussion, attendees will be encouraged to engage with the international audience at VWBPE, and vice versa. German based workgroup „AK E-Learning in Virtual Worlds“ will join the talk for their monthly meeting and invite its members to join VWBPE 2011. ELBE Studios, another HAW Hamburg project, will produce and broadcast a live video-stream to be seen anywhere on the internet at www.elbe-studios.de.

Saving the results: Aims and outcomes

Results of the panel discussion will be summed up in a paper which will be used to build up a knowledge base for continuous work and research and hopefully initiate a lively discussion – and further projects.


Hanno Tietgens, Campus Hamburg in 3D | BÜRO X Media Lab
inSL: Xon Emoto | ht@buerox.de | http://www.buerox.de/campus3D/

Slurls and links to research regarding avatars and avatar based education will be provided in text chat during the discussion.