AJANS UNIVERSITY – Merve REİSOĞLU
3D Virtual Learning Environments provide individuals a second life at a virtual platform via computers. It gives opportunity to its users to interact with the other participant users through a virtual platform. With technology’s speedy integration into education, 3D Virtual Learning Environments have gained importance day by day. These environments not only used in educational fields but also they are used in arts, fashion, business, diplomacy, military and aviation.
İstanbul University HAYEF English Language Teaching Academician, Assistant Professor Ramazan Zengin said abouth the integration of 3D Virtual Learning Environments into education that the students, who are bored with the classic way of teaching, find new technologies so much interesting while learning. “These environments give opportunity to the disabled students to take part in the lessons actively. Students can take part in any lessons through 3D virtual learning environments” said Ass. Prof. Zengin. “Actually these kinds of platforms have so much benefits on English language teaching. These platforms have so many users from all around the world. By means of them, students can improve their language skills. With the avatars that are created by themselves, students can also develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing language skills. Additionaly, it is partially available to communicate through body language with the avatars” says Ass. Prof. Ramazan Zengin on the point of ELT.
“Even if the communication on these platforms are mechanical, with the developing technologies, it will be more natural within a few years. Thanks to the virtual reality glasses, these platforms will be more realistic. Now, there are technologies which scan the eye mimics of a person through machines then transfer these recorded mimics into the computers within seconds. In this way, our mimics are transfered into avatars” by these words, he highlighted that new technologies will overcome the mechanized interaction in virtual platforms by putting it in a more realistic scale.
TEACHING THROUGH SECOND LIFE IN İSTANBUL UNIVERSITY
SECOND LIFE is a platform established by Linden Lab Company located in California. It has about 50 million users now. Istanbul University has an island in this platform. In 2014 Innovation Fair, it took great attention from President of the Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, THY General Director Temel Kotil and Ali Koç. İstanbul University’s Main Door, Rectorship Building and Fire Tower are designed inthe same measures in the SECOND LIFE island. A student should register to SECOND LIFE and create himself an avatar in order to take part in the lessons.
For SECOND LIFE learning and teaching process Ass. Prof. Zengin shared his SECOND LIFE experience by saying “ Our university’s students took part in the lessons after the necessary basis were provided. What made our students feel excited about was their ability to attend the lessons at their homes with comfort. Even their parents were listening to the lessons that was carried out in the SECOND LIFE platform of Istanbul University. This project has been adopted by many students after the days it started.”
UN CAMELOT PROJECT’S ONLY TURKISH UNIVERSITY PARTICIPANT: İSTANBUL UNIVERSITY
Machinima Empowers Live Online Language Teaching and Learning (CAMELOT) Project’s only Turkish University participant was İstanbul University. This project was carried out by IU HAYEF and nine other instituitons from seven different countries in Europe. The project partners were University of Lancashire, University of West Bohemia, Poland ADL Partnership Lab- National Defence University, Let’s talk online sprl, ICC International Language Association, LinguaTv, TELL Consultant, Edu Active and İstanbul University.
The aim of CAMELOT project was to supply interesting and real time based animation videos in digital platforms with student and teacher educations. Ass. Prof. Ramazan Zengin indicated that the budget of the project was 450.000 Euro. Machinima means the record of 3D characters or avatars conversations. Thanks to this project, a new word MACHINEMA, in Turkish MAKİNEMA, is gained in our native language.