Consequently, Reed said he envisions students becoming more like telecommuters. They might meet with faculty and peers one day a week on campus, and then use simulations, virtual worlds and downloaded information the rest of the week to complete coursework. “It’s not an either-or thing. We need the ‘high touch,’ but we need the high tech at the same time,” Reed said Tuesday at Sun Microsystem’s Worldwide Education and Research Conference here.
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The University of Kansas is offering film students a new course this semester on the theory and production of films in the online environment. The course, called “New Media and Cyber Culture,” will offer students “the philosophy they need if they are going to be writing, teaching, researching, or critiquing films,” one of its professors, Catherine Preston, told the University Daily Kansan. The course practices what it preaches. Office hours are being held in “Second Life,” the virtual environment peopled by avatars interacting in a small town. Students will also explore using Machinima, software for shooting films in the virtual reality of a game engine. Rather than using expensive camera equipment or expensive 3D packages, Machinima creators can act out their movies within a computer game.