Electronic Visualization Laboratory
+Interactive Computing Environments Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
851 South Morgan Street
Chicago IL 60607-7053, USA
+1 312 996-3002
In this paper we present an approach for applying virtual reality (VR) to the creation of a family of educational environments for young users. The immersive and interactive attributes of VR technology can be a powerful tool for education, allowing the learner to actively participate in the surrounding environment. Our approach is based on constructionism, where real and synthetic users, motivated by an underlying narrative, build persisting virtual worlds through collaboration. This approach is grounded on well established paradigms in contemporary learning and integrates ideas from such diverse fields as virtual reality, human-computer interaction, CSCW, storytelling, and artificial intelligence. The goal is to build an experiential learning environment that will engage children in authentic activity. Our prototype system explores the above ideas within the CAVE(tm) virtual reality theater.