Saturday, September 05, 2009

Kindlelab Project: Open source & 3D immersive educational tools for K-12 education

Here is the plug:

The Kindlelab Project

"... Kindlelab is a consortium of educational designers, developers, thought leaders, and teachers working together to ensure open source and 3D immersive educational tools find their way into the K-12 educational setting. Any organization, individual, or company whose goal it is to ``ensure open source 3D immersive educational tools find their way into the K-12 educational setting`` are eligible and welcome to submit their application to be considered as a partner or contributor to this consortium. To become a partner submit your application here. For more information about how our consortium can help you with design, development, and consulting projects on your open source 3D immersive education project send us a note at "

The Kindlelab Project is just starting up, and includes organizations such as the Immersive Education Initiative and the Reaction Grid. Open source software platforms related to the Kindlelabs Project include the Opensimulator Project, the OpenCobalt Project, the Wonderland Project, and Edusim.

Rich White, of the Greenbush Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, is the guy driving the KindleLab Project. He's known for his involvement in the Edusim project, ".. a slimmed down version of the core Open Cobalt Metaverse Project. Edusim is a 3D multi-user virtual world platform and authoring toolkit intended for your classroom interactive whiteboard (but equally powerful on the students laptop or desktop computers !).."

Even through there are funds from the stimulus package earmarked for technology in the schools, it is not enough to outfit every teacher's classroom with shiny IWB's. There are solutions out there! The following video by Rich White demonstrates how to make an interactive whiteboard for little cost, using a $20.00 BlueTooth adaptor, a $25.00 tripod, an existing projector, and an ordinary whiteboard. This concept is based on Johnny Chung Lee's Wiimote Project.

KindleLab on the WiiMote

Here's a screen shot of a KindleLab cell lesson/project by Rich White:


From Rich White and Greenbush TV:

How to use Google 3D Warehouse to Build & Share Colbalt & Edusim Virtual Worlds


reechard said...

I was going to say "sounds expensive" but I you addressed that issue right away. Kudos - this looks really promising. I've been known to suggest to parents they try to interest their kids in volunteering models for use in 3D warehouse / Google Earth. Especially when their model of "Luther Burbank Home & Gardens" or similar would be a useful and simple thing to contribute to the Santa Rosa, CA community, as well as a good modeling project to learn on. Also, it would be the only 3D building in the region in Google Earth (last I checked.) The parents in spite of being in tech didn't appreciate my advice, and I fear some kids are just gaming their lives away.

Lynn Marentette said...

From my experience, people get this concept or they don't. It appeals to those of us who are visual thinkers, who like interactive learning. I was thinking that schools could pair their spaghetti dinner night with hands on activities for parents and kids, and offer sessions related to this sort of thing in the school's computer lab.

Katrina Gibon said...

Best of luck with the project – the interactive whiteboard particularly is a wonderful tool. In terms of engagement with young people in learning environments, the need for immersion and interactivity is very strong. We’re working with leading educational planners and education institutions in the UK on a pedagogical project that uses Archi-Me ( This new tool takes any 3D CAD model (building, outdoor, boat etc) and transforms it into a fully interactive environment that is explored using an avatar and easy-to-use interface. Learners, teachers and planners can explore these environments and change them, with the ability to use avatars that show different needs – wheelchairs, very small children and so on.

Lynn Marentette said...

archi-me sounds interesting. I'll take a look at the website soon!