3DVLE // three-dimensional virtual learning environment

Schools do not move quickly in response to changing philosophies, burgeoning innovations, or marketplace attitudes outside of itself. Innovations in the fields of art, medicine, and science evolve and adapt rapidly. The re-imagined classroom of the future has yet to take hold. Very few schools have broken the mold. What is our responsibility? What is my role? It’s true that most schools do not yet discuss the potential of a 3DVLE. The institution may be stagnant, but the students are not.

What is a Three-Dimensional Virtual Learning Environment (3DVLE)?

It is a digital space that capitalizes on the nature of human perception. Additionally, 3DVLEs extend visual information so that the user can interact with the data in real time, almost to the point of ‘feeling’ the stimuli. This ‘pretend’ is achieved by the software’s ability to deliver an immediate and immersive experience which allows for the learner to be in charge. Users in the 3DVLE can also take this subjective experience even further by creating new online identities for themselves. With these new identities, users are able to freely move about and manipulate objects in the three-dimensional environment. (Dalgarno and Lee, 2010)

Things are different now

Students daily bring to campus an abundance of microprocessors and have grown reliant on the widespread availability of ‘decent WIFI’. We are witnessing a new normal with student familiarity of computing devices, computing literacy, and multi-user engagement in online virtual environments. (Kellner, 2010) This near-silent shift has occurred over the last ten years. During this time, we are also witnessing a widening gap between the kinds of jobs available and the relevance of subject matters studied in schools. Additionally, schools and classrooms face a greater number of restraints placed on curricula and student outcomes. Accountability and funding policies largely dictate how administrators allow their teachers to use class time for what is ‘in the interest of students.’

We cannot predetermine human success

Earlier and earlier, students display great flexibility with complicated tools. (Kafai, 2015) However, schools who have already set their ‘June outcomes’ during the previous June, may end up with predetermined outcomes that limit critical thinking and problem-solving skills. While this may seem like a new problem, in some ways, it’s the same old one just moving at warp speed.

I propose to offer an analysis and a synthesis of Constructivist and Critical Theory concepts. And then I will construct a pedagogical approach to share. We can develop a transformational way to use Three-Dimensional Virtual Learning Environments (3DVLEs) in schools, and I intend to help.