Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 396. Updated Tuesday, 11 February 2014

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World PS News
Cyber-world plan supports learning

  The CSIRO has joined a partnership with online education company 3P Learning to introduce an online 3D educational world which replicates real-life environments.
 The initiative is aimed at improving the science skills of Australian students.
 The 3D Online Education partnership will bring computer scientists from CSIRO together with science education experts from 3P Learning to develop ‘immersive learning’.
 This will allow students across Australia to explore locations from their home or classroom while improving their science skills.
 Research Leader at CSIRO, Jay Guo said students could find themselves walking beneath the dense canopy of the Daintree rainforest, understanding the forces holding up the Sydney Harbour Bridge or exploring the life found amongst the elaborate underground structures of the Jenolan Caves,
 “We’re expanding 3P Learning’s IntoScience platform to include highly engaging real-life environments which meet teacher curriculum and student engagement needs."

CSIRO in partnership
 He said that using their avatar, students could embark on a journey from their own research lab. As they progressed through quests, they would explore the surrounding environment and complete inquiry-based learning tasks which tested their core science skills.
 Professor Guo said a unique feature would be the ability for students to transition between exploration of the virtual world and viewing HD panoramic video from the exact same location in the real world.
 Managing Director of 3P Learning, Tim Power said the company sought to evolve the learning experience beyond the static textbook.
 “We’re expanding IntoScience to include highly engaging real-life environments which meet teacher curriculum and student engagement needs,” Mr Power said.
 “Many students may never get the chance to experience these locations, or their teachers may want to explore them before they venture out on a real excursion. By creating them digitally we can offer rich locations for all children to develop their science skills.”
 It is hoped to have school students in Years 5 to 8 trialling the new real-life landscapes by the middle of this year.
 For more information about the project visit 3D online learning for the future or to register your school’s interest in the trial visit this PS News link.

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