Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Why Digital Avatars Make the Best Teachers

The Chronicle of Higher Ed (4/4/08 issue) had an article on virtual classrooms where the students and teachers have avatars. It sounds like there is digital equipment that senses both students' and teachers' movements so the avatar does the same thing. The author was arguing that the technology can help teaching. For example, the avatar can never show angry expressions. Also, the teacher avatar can be programmed to subtly mimic the students motions, which studies have shown cause a person to pay more attention. All students can have the "best seat in the room" (which he said was right in front of the teacher). And the author created a program that would encourage the professor to more evenly give eye contact to everyone.

It all sounded kind of far out to me! I'm not convinced that digital interaction can be better than real life.

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