Karu: Introducing the Metaversal Library for the Future of Immersive Learning

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Abstract

As education moves inexorably toward fully immersive, connected experiences, it is important to ensure openness, transparency, and collaboration. Karu (formerly XRpedia, the eXtended Reality encyclopedia) is an ongoing project that seeks to do precisely that. This session will introduce the project, its motivation, and the roadmap ahead.

Date
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 03:15 PM — 04:00 PM
Location
Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center - Grapevine, Texas - Room: Dallas 3-4

The director of the MA{VR}X Lab, Dr. Ryan Straight will be presenting a conference talk at the Online Learning Consortium’s Innovate 2022 conference this in Dallas, April 13. This is an elaboration on and update for the Virtual Worlds Forum talk he gave on the same project.

Slides

Feel free to enjoy the slide deck made with Quarto for a very cool, totally Powerpoint-free experience! (Please be aware that, during the talk, the slide deck linked here will advance automatically as I advance mine. This is a feature, not a bug!)

Full Abstract

What is extended reality? Who lives and works in the metaverse? You have a great idea for a VR project, but with whom do you connect? And how? Why should you even consider this extended reality space to begin with?

These are questions we ask as a working research group of faculty and students at a major R1 university. To answer these, we envision a project known as Karu (formerly XRpedia). This platform is a place where people, projects, locations, services, even funding and employment opportunities exist to connect researchers, developers, instructors, and especially students in ways that will drive innovation in the metaverse. One main goal of Karu is to be user- and learner-focused, in that everything within it–hardware, companies, you name it–always comes back to the people. The importance of finding a way to make these connections within the metaverse, itself, cannot be overstated. Doing it in such a way that is accessible, secure, dependable, and sustainable is a driving force behind Karu.

What is the “metaverse” and how does it apply to online learning? It encompasses virtually (pun intended) all experiences within the space of online learning: virtual and augmented reality, persistent digital spaces like discussion forums or Zoom rooms, even the entirety of the internet and every way in which it is utilized.

It is our hope that, as we develop and continue to shape Karu, attendees to the session–experts in online learning that they are–will provide great food for thought, both for us as the developers and for one another. This session will be primarily an introduction to the project, as well as a look at the roadmap for where it can and will go.

Relevant References

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Ryan Straight
Ryan Straight
Associate Professor of Practice in Applied Computing and Cyber Operations

Dr. Ryan Straight is an award-winning educator, writer, and researcher. He currently serves as an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Arizona in the College of Applied Science & Technology teaching in the Applied Computing and Cyber Operations undergraduate programs. He also teaches an annual freshman seminar, Life in the Metaverse, in the Honors College. As of summer 2021, he is the director of the MA{VR}X Lab.