KEYNOTE: Gord Holden – Adopting the Baby Giant – Unity3D

March 1, 2014 @ 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

It seems that in every jurisdiction governing language learning, the oral component of the process has become preeminent. This is understandable, and has encouraged the development of various 3D immersive environments for providing authentic and contextual spaces for social interactions in various languages. Unfortunately, the platforms commonly used come with a variety of considerations that restrict what is possible. The development of such spaces with Unity3D however addresses many of these concerns and limitations. This presentation will include a field-trip into a Unity3D build being used by a Francophone group to give their isolated students a place to practice and improve their mother tongues in a truly dynamic environment.

Gord Holden aka Golden Greymoon
My sojourn as a classroom teacher for 20 years in Canada was interrupted by a move into a distance education position. While I had been utilizing and presenting on the use of technology in education for many years, the need to integrate 21st Century technologies became quickly and painfully evident. My response to this resulted in me being hired away from the public school system to create and oversee the Immersive Technology Department with Heritage Christian Online School. My department has 6 employees working in it, with a number of others working with us, and a team of others doing contract work. We’ve committed ourselves to developing the use of environments that would bridge the existing gap between the gaming and educational community in the effective use of immersive environments. The suite of programs we’ve been using has recently been bolstered by Unity3D. It’s a platform that I see as a baby giant, with the potential to dwarf all others in education as it begins to mature. Our immediate goal is to develop it for language learning. I look forward to sharing our progress in this with those interested in moving beyond the platforms in current use today.

Winner of the Claude E Lewis, Maxwell Cameron, and Apex Award for Education.
Currently a nominee for ISTE’s “E-learning Teacher of the Year.”

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