Bright Spark…

Posted August 22nd, 2010 by wonko

…now the cybernauts are investigating energy at the moment, or more importantly what it is and why that is important. It bridges to types of energy and sustainability and so on. My lagged brain came up with the notion of a “bright spark” as energy-related, so fired up trusty old Wings3D to make one.

Lightning bolt, massaged out of a cube

Lightning bolt, massaged out of a cube

I then edited the RWX file exported and changed the RGB lighting, and added a little less OPACITY, meaning by changing a number from 100 to 70, the object rezzes in-world partially transparent, which is sort of cool.

Information stations were then established containing links to websites, learning objects etc:

Information stations

Information stations

…and a little mood lighting above and it seems to work. I used classrooms 1.1 and 1.2, ground floor.

Building directory

Building directory

I have another 4 classrooms on this level to do the investigation into renewable and non-renewable energy. I think the location is ideal – adjacent to the eco-theatre, downstairs from discussion rooms and so on – all in all this building seems to be working out rather nicely.

Punter crash-testing

Punter crash-testing

So with a little decoration (can you see how the zappy things are a little bit see-through? This is the opacity of the model and I am guessing this is much less resource intensive as a way of gaining transparency than masking, which requires an initial surface and another surface modifying it) and the “Bright Spark” gallery is largely ready to go. Tried to add some “contribute your ideas” activities to the “click on stuff to find out about it” else I suspect this activity would have been better done as a web page.

…which brings up an interesting question – does being in the “world” add to the activity, or would a website be just as effective at engaging and immersing? Does this level of immersion matter at the ages our cybernauts are in, or does it provide a new level of distraction for kids who cannot multi-task at the best of times, or even single task at the worst of times?

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