Crowdsourced Participation on Zooniverse

 

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I recently had a look at Zooniverse which is a website that allows users to participate in many different collaborative projects. I browsed the site where a lot of the projects caught my eye. In the end I only fully collaborated in two of the projects “Operation War Diary” & “Chicago Wildlife Watch”.

When using Zooniverse I had to make an account to have input on the projects available which only took a few seconds. The site had many projects that required users of Zooniverse read something or take statistics. I chose “Operation War Diary” & “Chicago Wildlife Watch” as they were the ones that most intrigued me and were ones where I felt as a user I can do the best input. Other projects I found on Zooniverse had one of the following issues. The topic of the project did not appeal to me, the interface was not really good and some projects required the users to know some knowledge about the topic of the project.

The project “Operation War Diary” allows users to access the diaries belonging to soldiers on the front lines. The diaries come from national archives and have not been available to academics till recently. The aim of the project is to get users to transcribe the large amounts of data to make is usable for academic use. I found the project interesting as I am a fan of world war history and I see the importance this project has in developing an understanding of a key part in history. The users will read scanned diaries and highlight important pieces of information using tools provided. The types of information a user can isolate includes basic details like dates names and places to more specific details such as soldier Id numbers and ranks.

When using “Operation War Diary” I choose one of the diaries to analyse after going through a very informative tutorial. The diary I choose was a diary of a soldier who was stationed at a hospital in France in 1915. The first thing I did was tag the various dates on the page followed by any names I could see. The tags I used for names had sub tags that included the person rank in the military and their number and other minor details. By putting in these details I am helping academics gather a story about the soldiers under those names and number so that their entire story can be tracked through many other diaries. The other things I was able to tag where the patient numbers and events such as resupplies and casualties.  My only difficulty in participation was that I had a very difficult time reading some of the handwriting.

The second project I got involved with was “Chicago Wildlife Watch” that ask collaborators to look at photos captured in certain areas of Chicago that have been affected by urbanization. The users must look at a photo and if they see an animal weather it is a small bird or a raccoon they must add a tag to the photo for that animal. The photos are captured on motion cameras that are deployed multiple times during the year for the purpose of capturing the local wildlife.

In my participation for the project I was shown a photo that was taken from one the cameras. Since they are automated motion cameras my job is to go through the photos and say if there is an animal in the photo and what animal is it. A majority of the photos given to the users to look over are empty as they were photos that where taken as a result of something else moving other than an animal such as a branch. Through my participation I have contributed in the sorting of these photos to make the data within them easier to access for researchers interested in the distribution of animal species in different areas in urban Chicago.

In the use of the Zooniverse I learned that collaborative projects could be very appealing depending on what they ask of their users. If I were to make my own collaborative project in the future using something like Zooniverse I would think of the following based on my own experiences. The task given to users should not require users to have an equal level of understanding as the people behind the project. The point of a collaborative project is that users are any member of the public and not someone of a certain profession. Some projects failed in this category as they assume all users to be of a certain profession and have made it difficult for a majority of users to participate in their collaborative. If my project was to create an archive for a certain group of documents, I would have it so users can point out that key data in similar fashion to how it was done in “Operation War Diary”.

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The Single Story A.K.A Not The Whole Story.

I recently watched a Ted talk where the talk was given by a Nigerian Novelist named Chimamanda Adichie who is a Nigerian Novelist. In the talk they discussed what was known as the danger of the single story.

The single story is a story that represents a person before you meet them based on various things about that person that can include country of origin and race which is what is mainly discussed in various forms of media. Adichie begins talking about the books they read from childhood that where British and American in origin.  These stories become then what the author identified to in their early years until they read African books. The African books were very different to the books they previously read because they only knew stuff of Nigeria from British and American text. In the text their people are poor and uneducated and need a white character to pick them up.

This development in her childhood creates a single story for others in her society, when she encounters them they are yes poor but not uneducated or useless. The same happened in here later years in Mexico when she encountered Mexicans. The key factor is she had other opinions of them before she met them which were negative only. The single story as seen is negative opinion for all powered by continuous negative stories. This fits with what the French historian Voltair once stated “The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors” (Kreiger 2007, 112).

According to Adichie the single story is powered by when it was told, how many times it was told and how it was told. In this respect I feel Adichie is truly correct with this concept of the single story because I myself see examples of it every day.  As of the time I write this there are multiple single stories about immigration in Eastern Europe, law related problems in America and locally homelessness. I see people every day recently talk about people as they have heard from multiple news stations who only focus on the negatives. The stories I hear are every day being told multiple times by many news stations and told in various ways each day that are majorly negative.

I would try to avoid the worst of it but you can’t escape the single story if such scenarios exist around you in a time where the internet is vast enough to give the news to all. I believe I am prone to the single story and have fallen for it based on what I read, see and hear on the screen each day each week.  The single stories create what I believe is a negative stereotype that I see as unfair by the way it manipulates people’s minds to believe some are only capable of creating problems for themselves and for others.

I feel that the single story is virus like the cold that spreads from person to person. I believe that the cure would be to actually talk to the people being victimised and know how they truly feel. The true problem is I believe that once you are cured you are only going to get sick again.

Voltair Quote – Richard Alan Kreiger  (2007) “Civilization’s Quotations: life’s Ideal”,  Algora Publishing , pp. 112

Ted Website

The “Cyborg Manifesto” My Thoughts.

I recently read a paper known as the “Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Haraway which discusses the topic of us one day becoming cyborgs. The paper is about 30 years old and very hard to read due to the way Haraway wrote it out. The way it is written out leaves it open to many different interpretations for the reader. This leaves some terrified about the possibility of cyborgs while other fascinated. While I am scared of the world of the cyborgs I am bit more fascinated in some aspects of the world of the cyborgs Haraway has described.

Firstly after reading the cyborg manifesto I was intimidated by the cyborgs described by Haraway for the reason that if we became cyborgs we would lose aspects that would make us human. In the manifesto it is said that a cyborg society is the ultimate control. This factor is what terrifies me about the human race becoming cyborg because it is said ultimate control is possible due to certain human traits being removed to ensure control is kept which was also noted to in the manifesto as a possibility. Even though the article does make the cyborg society look sinister to me I can’t help but compare it with our times where we cause bigger problems due to the traits the cyborgs would remove. Haraway made some notes on how our society has its own bad’s and after reading I have come to reflect on these.

The Cyborgs might sound like restricted creatures but compared to us they are more logical and are possibly more attached to nature then we are now. The “Cyborg Manifesto” discusses a lot about feminism in terms of cyborgs because gender equality means not basing someone’s ability’s based on their gender. A cyborg as stated by Haraway will not judge the abilities of other cyborgs based on gender because it would not take note of gender. I agree with all these statements and I note that cyborgs are the better as we still have issues with gender equality in times we live in now and more so in the times Haraway wrote the paper.

It was also stated with gender cyborgs do not judge another unequally based on race, religion and history. I think this is what is personally best about the Cyborgs because that type of thinking does not cause problems or conflict in relationships. I see the communication of the cyborgs like our social networks today which are a collection of minds that discuss topics and correct each other. The social networks I see as an example of ourselves becoming more like cyborgs because when someone states something that is not logical or morally wrong the majority would state why it’s in the wrong. I see the cyborgs having a society without opposition or where opposition can’t survive like in the social networks as I stated. As stated by philosopher Eric Fromm “The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel.” (Fromm  1956, 360)

This whole Idea is what fascinates me most about them but it is also what causes concern. The fact that there is no opposition means things can’t really change either or humane actions might be avoided in certain situations for the more logical approach. I think this is in the case of a decision where luck, chance and risk is involved to get something good but with a loss if there is failure. I can see the cyborgs not making that type of decision rather avoid it and that is another issue of the cyborgs I could see happening.

The Cyborg Manifesto – Donna Haraway

Quote – Eric Fromm (1956) ‘The Sane Society’ , Henry Holt and Company, pp. 360

Using Reclaim Hosting and Drupal: Deploying a Tool

www Recently I have claimed a Domain on Reclaim Hosting and was told deploy one of the many apps available to a domain owner. The App I choose was Drupal which I spent some hours on after deploying. Firstly what is Reclaim Hosting and what is Drupal, Reclaim Hosting is basically buying a name for a website and having a server to function as that website in another part of the world. The need for this is if you have problems getting a server to run your website. The reclaim hosting provides its users with Apps, which use the server you are renting to manage files that are possible webpages and content you want public and this is where Drupal comes in.

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Drupal is a content management app according to Reclaim Hosting, the purpose of Drupal is to allow its users to create great web pages and publish content. It can also function as a blog like WordPress. Why I choose Drupal is due to it being recommended to me and it had blogging features that I was interested in. In my research into Drupal I found it is not the most popular app due to the difficulty of making web pages with it, I like a challenge when it comes to software for making projects such as webpages and offers a lot of options. Now I want to discuss my experience with Drupal which was a lot of hard work to achieve what I would call a small time blog. To Deploy Drupal I had to install it by going to the c-panel of reclaim hosting, find my app which was Drupal and install it on my server in reclaim hosting. The first thing I did with Drupal was choosing a Theme for my Drupal site. The Theme I wanted to use for my Drupal page was called the BlueMasters Theme which is a very clean styled theme. What made me want to use the theme was that it is made to be very responsive and adaptable for phones and tablets. I had lots of friends who prefer using a phone to using a computer to browse the web so I don’t want them to leave my site right after visiting it because it has performance issues on their phones. There was a bit of frustration with putting the theme into my server for reclaim hosting so I had to download the files for the theme and upload them to my Drupal themes folder. I opened up the public HTML in reclaim hosting and put the BlueMaster theme into a themes folder for Drupal. When I got the theme working on my site it held some stuff from the developer’s version of the same theme you can find on Drupal. I wanted to change the some items in the Javascript of the theme to make it more personalised. This included changing some words and text the developer of the theme left behind. internet collective Since I was using a reclaim hosting server as a Public HTML I was restricted to changing the code of the theme. This is my major problem with using reclaim hosting which is that it’s very frustrating to change the code of files. This was problem when I wanted to personalise features of the theme such as a slide show that would be displayed. In the end I had to remove these features of the theme and kept the ones I can personalise. Next stage of my Drupal page was to make a post and develop the main page. The article was easy to make but having it show up on my main page was really challenging. I had to create a thing for the main page known as a block and used HTML code to write what would be in my block. In the case of my site I have three blocks on the main page, one for my most recent article which includes and image and a link written in HTML and two other blocks which is a list of links to articles and a block that displays comments. When making the blocks I got involved with various technical problems I had with Drupal that made me very frustrated.

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With all that and some minor tweaks I managed to make a nice site which is http://ryanmurphyhosting.com/ . How this will help me in the future is that I can work on my skills with Drupal more to make a better site. Companies hire people who know how to use Drupal to make web pages, if I improved my skills further at some point I can be hired to make a page using Drupal. These companies would be the like of small businesses such as shops and businesses that don’t specialise in working with computers. I will say one thing about Drupal is that it is not for everybody since it is a lot of tedious work to get things going. I talked a lot about how it took me ages to get a working theme for my Drupal site that suited me but that was not the only area I struggled in. I was able to cope with those struggles because I had some knowledge of how to use Drupal I wouldn’t recommend Drupal to people who don’t know much about technology as Drupal is tough to use especially with reclaim hosting. The people who would get the best out of Drupal would be the people who know how to use it to make a site and the businesses that are looking for a way to advertise their company online.

Using Tools To Visualise Stories.

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I was asked to look up some text visualisation tools and give my opinions on how effective they are on analysing and visualising a text. I went over three different tools and I will give my opinion on each starting with Voyant.

Voyant more for analysis than visualising text as a tool as it does not give us an idea of what the story is by looking at the results of using Voyant. How Voyant works is that you input the text you want analysed into a text box. The text then gets analysed based on the words on the text and number of times the words pops up in the text. An image is created that is supposed to be the visualisation aspect of Voyant and here was my first result in a text I analysed after changing some settings.

walkingdeadvisualising metamorphosis

The text you see analysed is a story arc in graphic novel I read called “the walking dead” and the second is for a book known as “metamorphosis”. The Handy thing about Voyant is that it tells us the things we expect to find in the story if we do read it such as the main characters names and such. Its big disadvantage in terms of visualisation is that you don’t know how the story begins and ends as you get more of what is in the middle. It also can miss vital things such as the main character being turned into a bug in “Metamorphosis”.

The second tool I used was Many Eyes which I didn’t like it as I faced too many frustrations when putting in a text. My problem with many eyes is that it is not for visualising big text such as books or novels that can be over a thousand to twenty thousand words long. It is more of a tool for analysing and visualising text such as speeches which are not as long as a book.

I tried using two massive texts in Many Eyes at separate times which resulted Many Eyes having script errors on me or causing extremely long load times on the site. When I did get something to work I found many of the templates were preferably for stat type data as many templates where the like of bar charts, pie charts and such. I also tried using a speech by Winston Churchill in Many Eyes but I still had technical problems. I would have given Many Eyes more of a try but I spent 3 hours on it without getting results only errors and issues with the site.

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I also used StoryMap JS which is a timeline type tool that helps visualise a story so I decided to visualise The Walking Dead All Out War arc I put into Voyant. I actually enjoyed StoryMap JS because I got to be very creative in using it and I knew the story I was visualising well. I also liked how easy it was to use the interface for StoryMap JS as I could make changes quickly and easily. One problem with StoryMap JS is that unless you know the text your visualising well you will not be able to use it well as everything in StoryMap JS requires user input.

I think with StoryMap JS you can visualise a story well based on your knowledge of the text and use of a map to tell the location of a certain part of your story makes looking at the visualisation more interesting. I also like how you can set up images that make presentation on your storymap nice and professional. I actually really liked using StoryMap JS for visualizing text and I would like to use it again in the future to make other nice visualizations.

The following link leads to my Storymap:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/uploads.knightlab.com/storymapjs/1d95300fb1bcba7f75781fbc44cb78e5/test/index.html

Tool Review: Open Street Map

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I was asked recently to use a service named open street map and explore its Pros and Cons. Firstly before I discuss the Pros and Cons of open street map I will have to explain what it is and I want to describe my own use of the tool.

Open Street Map is a website that provides a world map that all users can edit to create the most accurate map possible. The users will need to gather information about the area they are mapping from roads, forest and even certain buildings. Users can enter any details they want to enter into the map and change anything already entered they believe is wrong.

Users are the only ones who can change the map but non-users can view the open street map as they wish. This is the purpose of open street map which is to provide everybody the most accurate world map possible. As of now the nearly the whole entire map has been filled in and this has effect on my own experience with street map.

Capture3 Capture4

When I downloaded street map I first tried to find a place in my own country to map only to realise that all the roads and most of the buildings have been mapped. Then I decided to look for places that were likely very far from society. I actually tried to map Chernobyl where the place itself and surrounding areas where abandoned and not well known to many people. I found out that the whole place was mapped too and someone even managed to map the radiation pockets.

I checked out many places that where likely not to be mapped but it was proving difficult. I wonder could I change a mistake in the map but everything seemed perfect. I checked my hometown to see if there was anything I could change there. In the area I live there is this old building that used to be a piggery that has been shut down ever since I remember. The building was not highlighted and the route from the town to it was not marked on the map.

I marked the road leading to the piggery on the map then followed with highlighting the piggery as an industrial building with the title “derelict piggery”.  As soon as I made these changes I had the road removed by another user but the not the building.

My Pros with using Open Street map is it is easy to view the map weather you are a user or non-user. The tools to edit the map which is referred to as IDEditor is very simple to use and allows changes to map to be quick and accurate. The map also in terms of accuracy is very accurate to the users who would need a very accurate map that highlights not only roads but areas.

The cons of Open Street map are that since it is user made it is possible that it might not be all that accurate as I have previously suggested. The users have the power to change the map if they wish and it is really possible that some users will purposely cause disruption of the map. A road I made for example was deleted a couple hours after I made it and I had to put it up again.

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There is one other thing that I thought of as a Con at first but could be a Pro in reality. Once you make a change on the map the information you change will not appear until it goes through many application using open street map. This process is frustrating for the map editors who want to see their work on the map but at the same time it makes it frustrating for people to disrupt the map all the same.

The implications of my use of open street map resulted in users being provided knowledge of a building and the road that leads to the building. If they wanted to know what the building was later on if they are in the area of the town they can now look it up on open street map and find the route to it.

The whole map is literally done on open street map but if you want to make very small contributions to the map you can join Open Street map on https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=11/53.3714/-6.2704 .

DH Tool Review: SketchUp

sketch up house

The tool known as SketchUp 2015 is a CAD (Computer Aided Design) software used in the design of 3D models that can be later exported to other programmes for use. If you have used CAD software before this then learning how to use SketchUp will be very easy, If you are a beginner at 3D modelling and you feel you don’t have the skill or the money to pursue a career or hobby in 3d modelling then sketch up is the perfect answer for you.

Gathering information

I first heard of sketch up from a friend and then I found it in the Dirt Directory. I went to the official website and found that it is 3D modelling software with a simple layout. The website gives information about SketchUp and has a page providing information on fourteen different areas SketchUp can be used for. The website also includes the 3D warehouse for SketchUp that is a catalogue of different 3D models by different users using SketchUp.

In other Articles and websites outside of the official website I found two different types of opinion on SketchUp. The first opinion is in many articles and reviews is that SketchUp is very good tool and easy to use. The second opinion I found in other articles and reviews is that SketchUp is a step back in CAD software because it is too simple. Any other pages I have found on SketchUp are usually blogs or forums about how it does not run well but this would be due to computer requirements to use SketchUp. In what I gathered I think SketchUp would appear to be a popular tool among its users.

Now since there were opinions that were against the simplicity of sketch up I went ahead and downloaded the free version from the official website. The information I wanted to gather from using it is to know if it is truly too simple and that should I Consider it a real CAD software or should I not if it is too simple.

Maturity / stability of the tool

The first version of sketch up was known as SketchUp 2000 which was designed to for use by everyone that does not have experience. The first version of SketchUp was designed to include very simple tools.  A new version of SketchUp would be released every year with some new features and changes while still keeping SketchUp easy to use.  The main differences between SketchUp 2000 and SketchUp 2015 are that that SketchUp 2015 includes more tools, it is more advanced and the interface is nicer.

I want to discuss the pros to SketchUp that includes how it is a decent tool for beginners who have never used CAD software before. The thing that makes SketchUp good for beginners is that it has feature that is an instructor window. The instructor window is a window that describes what each tool you move the mouse over does with a little video that shows to tool at work. Not only is the instructor window convenient but it prevents the user being unaware about how each tool works.

In my use of SketchUp at home I have only been using the main tools to design simple shapes and objects. To make an ordinary cube in SketchUp will only take about five minutes while making something much more difficult like a car or a plane could take hours. In my own experience of using SketchUp I find the user interface very convenient.

The user interface is simple as the main tool bar isn’t cluttered like in other programmes. The interface does not have every tool a person can want. Some key actions can only be performed using various buttons or methods. In other CAD software a person can find many tools to complete actions but in SketchUp it is lacking in those tools but actions can be still completed only with more difficulty. SketchUp performs well on my home computer I haven’t found any technical problems such as crashing or bugs. I have found some reviews online however that says that they have experienced crashing of the software. This problem would have to do with the power of the computer.

You can export 3D models in SketchUp in a number of formats as 3D models or 2D images. Unless you have the pro version of SketchUp you cannot export in all formats. If you have the free version like I have you can’t export in most of the 3D formats. The main one you can use in the free version is COLLADA which is a format that is used in many 3D programs meaning even if you don’t have the pro version you can still export to many other programs.

Sustainability of the tool

SketchUp has its own form of community of people who share their designs and information involving SketchUp. In the main toolbar I have already mentioned there is a tool that allows you to get objects from the community and include it in your SketchUp design. This tool is 3D warehouse that I have already mentioned. The SketchUp community includes many published objects by its members that other users can use if they were designing something like a house or vehicle or just for fun. If you go online you can find various videos by people making objects in SketchUp including tutorials.

A scenario where you would need something like the 3D warehouse would be if you were making a model of a house and you needed to include some furniture. You can access the 3D warehouse to get models of chairs, tables etc. When doing such actions in SketchUp you will have to consider the size of objects you are getting from the 3D warehouse so that the objects are not too big or too small. From what I have gathered I have confirmed that SketchUp has a very active community supporting it as new versions come out each year.

Sustainability of my research

After gathering information and using SketchUp at home I am able to understand how the tool works and the opportunity’s it provides to the user. I have said that SketchUp is an easy tool for beginners but once you do get beyond using the basic tools some things become rather difficult to do without practice. In doing some action you will need to go through some menus or use a combination of buttons on your keyboard. One of these things will be making assemblies of multiple objects. Without practice and the use of guides on the internet using multiple objects will be difficult to do.

In my evaluation of this tool I want to express my overall opinion on this tool. When I gathered information from the web about the SketchUp I stated I found two different types of opinion. I share the opinion of those who believe that sketch up is not a step back as CAD software. I think it simplicity can be considered overrated as I feel its simplicity does not make the program incapable of making advanced 3D models. Overall I believe that SketchUp can provide a learning experience when it comes to CAD and that anyone interested in CAD can get a learning experience through the use of SketchUp.

The use of MMO’s in education (part 5 FINAL)

The point of using MMO’s in the classroom is to not make it a all out part of class work but a thing to improve efficiency in the class. There are however gaps to overcome when making a MMO the right technology to use in a classroom. The first of the bridges to cross is the problems of MMO addiction.

MMO addiction is common in around fifty percent of MMO players who spend their free time playing these games. What causes the addiction is based on the person as different reasons people will have different reasons for how they got addicted. In what I have read from some examples addiction could take over some people while they are using an MMO for education. I would consider this a common problem if we put MMO’s into practice but it cant be stopped so it is best that there could be some way to apply it into making education more efficient and I can see that as a possibility.

There is issue that there is a believe that games can lead to certain behaviors that can negatively effect what they will do in real life such as making a player more aggressive or be stereotyping the opposite gender. It is more prominent however that these games do allow a release of aggression. The stereotyping problem is actually real, its is not the game that causes it however it is anonymity on the internet that causes it. How this stereotyping wont happen in a learning environment using a MMO is because it is a learning environment where the teacher will be watching and fellow students. Anonymity is lost when you are in a classroom so this a good reason why stereotyping attitudes wont develop.

The last problem which I would say is the biggest is the school curriculum. A curriculum is a set amount of content established by the schools to teach each day each week on schedule. Problems with using a curriculum have become more prominent in the use of MMO’s in education and other things such as school events, introduction of new subjects, etc. It is really difficult to apply MMO based learning to a classroom because you will have to take time teaching students how to use, explain the students goals and make it manageable with other task they have to handle.

MMO’s have a lot of potential of making the classroom more efficient by creating opportunities for teamwork based learning and improving types of skills that can be used in college and the working world. It still has a while to develop before it can be used in the classroom in such a way, there are problems that have to be dealt with before the method can be used at its full potential. We are in a digital age where technologies are constantly changing, improving and adapting and I believe MMO’s can be the next learning technology.

The use of MMO’s in education (part 4)

MMO’s in terms of how the user plays it on a computer can be applied in the learning of computers in all. There is so much people don’t know about computers until they find themselves in a computer course in college. I know personally a lot of people who know only to use Microsoft word or those who use it but cant use it well so need help. In second level education we only have been able to use computers for word processing programs and not much else. If you wanted to learn more about computers you had to do it in your free time.

To play an MMO or any game or powerful software on computer you have to learn about the computer and how it works. MMOs experience patches, updates  and such that might change the computer requirements for the game meaning the user must learn to adjust things on their own computer in order to use the MMO they wish to play. They have to learn about the hardware of the machine and know why or not this does not work. Example would be you got a better video card but it does not work but why is because you know that your power supply is not good enough to support it.

The need to play the game encourages to user to learn more about the computer they are using thus learning more about computers. Learning about the parts of the computer such as the processor, RAM and Power supply are part of the basics of a computer course in college and it is good that a student would have a way to use their knowledge outside the classroom. Their are certain things that people can learn with MMO’s but these are not taken by every player such as web design.

A lot of player formed groups in these games known as guild have their own websites for the guilds. These are made by usussally the guild leader. The purpose of making such a site would be to get players to work better together and to spread certain news about the guilds activity’s in the game. To form the site players would need to know HTML and how to manage a website. These skills can benefit a student once he or she is in college or at a workplace involved in computers. Not all players do this but a lot of players are doing this for the sake of making the game more enjoyable.

The use of MMO’s in education part 3

MMO’s I have stated can be a possible learning device for students in the skills they wish to learn. I manage to find a few good examples of the use of MMO’s in education such in the learning of a foreign language, learning of literature and getting an understanding of economics.

It is possible to provide a experience with an MMO similar to a student going abroad in the learning of a language such as French or German. MMOs as I have said contain dynamic environments where users of the game interact to complete actions in the game. Most people in an MMO use a text chat to communicate and in some servers running an MMO a certain language is main language for the server. If you went on to a french server you will witness a lot of other players communicating in french rather then in English which would be the same as standing in the middle of France.  If a student where to continuously play the MMO on the server of the language they want to learn then they can learn the language by communicating with the other players.

MMO’s offer a lot of menu’s that can be Tutorials or a lot more commonly a piece of text relating to a story in the game that relates to a quest. These text are surprisingly very long and like part of a text in a book which is why a person who is reading the text must have some knowledge of story telling to follow. Games are a new medium of story telling and like books and film should be reconsidered as a new art-form by those involved in English or literature.A college named VanderBuilt University do provide a literature course using a MMO to help teach students.

In this course I mentioned the MMO they are using is based off of lord of the rings which is a very popular book series and looked upon highly in the liturture community. The course uses the MMO, the books and the films to teach storytelling in different areas. This is one way that MMOs are being used in the classroom to teach students skills.

Certain MMO’s have their own form of economy which includes a MMO known as Eve Online which is a game about gathering resources and using them in making of ships and such. A cheif economist who designed the in game economy Eyjolfur Gudmundsson who said that the game offers a lot of research data for people studying economics. It is also believed that games like Eve Online can help study human behavior based on the decision making of the community in the game.

MMO’s can be used in the classroom to teach certain skills to students but from what I found on the use of games in the classroom is that there is the chance that students can get addicted to the game rather then use it to learn to a point. It also depends how adaptive the MMO can be to the lessons being thought such as the example of the lord of the rings MMO was only applied due to the fact that it had related books and films. I know myself from playing an MMO in the pass that it can be a timely task and if there is not enough time to teach the student how to use the MMO to learn then It could end up being a game of catch up to stay on track in material covered.