Virtual Japan Summer Project

Virtual Japan Summer Project

Project Timeframe: Summer 2013.

I’d like to announce an exciting (to me) project that I will be doing this summer (and somewhat into the fall). The purpose of the project is to explore the limits and possibilities of E-Learning options, as are available today. I will be studying a topic, in a completely E-Learning environment. Now most people assume that the term ‘E-Learning’ is limited to Online Learning -meaning a classroom in a web browser, but that is not true in today’s world. And that is the heart of this experiment.

As of now, we have multiple options that an individual can incorporate into their E-Learning experience, and the point of my project is to incorporate as many of these forms as I can, to learn a specific topic.

The topic I have chosen is Japanese. I’d like to learn the language, culture, and history of Japan. But with our current technology, I will also be exploring virtual reality options, to enhance my study and to ‘visit’ Japan, in a completely virtual environment. I’m approaching the project as a ‘virtual summer abroad’. This is to maximize the effect and immerse into the environment.

Some of the ways I will be doing this is by using traditional E-Learning classes at MIT Open Courseware , OCJS, and Coursera, in conjunction with video chat based lessons. I will also be using video games, such as Second Life and OpenSim to explore virtual environments and work with tutors. I will also explore options for using the highly anticipated Oculus RiftRazer Hydra,  and Kinect. As well as using virtual tours and Google Street View.

I plan to spend 22 weeks on this project (starting at the beginning of May) and will be finishing up the lesson plan and curriculum very shortly. I will be documenting my experience and the results on the following blog – Virtual Summer in Japan Project.

I will post the curriculum for anyone who cares to try this and follow on their own. I hope to make it clean enough to transfer to any study topic, not just the one I’ve picked. The point of this project is to test the current limits of E-Learning as it is today. To use as much open source resources as possible but to explore all available options. And to test the safety and security of these platforms. I want to see if this can be used as an educational aid or substitute and be safe for people to use. And if it’s not, find out where it’s lacking.

The classes I will be taking, as apart of this independent study are the following:

Here is a list of all the papers and reports I completed during my project: