All posts in VR Education

XR Storytelling Professional Development Workshop for Educators

Come be curious and play with us for two days of professional development in VR, AR and 360 storytelling in Boston this summer!

Sign up here, and email Erin [at] brooklineinteractive.org with any questions.

Learn new skills, experiment, and gain curriculum and units for your classroom!

We’ll have two tracks on the Basics of Unity and another on creating 360 digital storytelling projects using personal narratives with your students in the middle school, high school and college level classroom.

 

ACM-Community XR Webinar Wrap-up & Links

The staff of Brookline Interactive Group and its project, the Public VR Lab.

Thank you to everyone who joined our co-founder and director, Kathy Bisbee, on today’s Alliance for Community Media webinar. We’ve added links to some of the resources she mentioned below, and have linked to her presentation here.

The Public VR Lab is also available for training, consultation, equipment discounts, curriculum development and support for arts, media and cultural organizations moving towards an emerging media practice and bringing Community XR to your community. More about our campaign to build a field for Community XR here.

CONTACT: Feel free to be in touch by emailing Erin Kinney [at] brooklineinteractive.org or info [at] brooklineinteractive.org. You can reach Kathy on Twitter or LinkedIn @KathyBisbee and @PublicVRLab.

Resource Links & Workshops

Learn more about the Lab’s VR Toolkits: http://publicvrlab.com/purchase/

Sign up for the August 6 & 7th workshop in Brookline, MA: VR Storytelling & Filmmaking for Educators 

Research

Weather Channel Video using Mixed Reality-Used Unreal programming to code/create a “virtual studio” that then blew up the virtual studio on a live broadcast.

Google 360 Tour Creatorhttps://vr.google.com/tourcreator/

‘Oculus TV’ Brings Live & On-demand Video to Oculus Go, Now Available: https://t.co/bdeHVbGttx

Google Offers AR Content Creation Training: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ar

Does Medium Matter? -VR Research & Report from Frontline and Nonny de laPeña funded by The Knight Foundation.

Immerse Publication at MIT: Many stories about the use of VR in filmmaking and documentary,  including this one the Public VR Lab was mentioned in around DIGITAL INCLUSION

Kamal Sinclair, Director of the New Frontiers program at Sundance, has an exceptional resource bank here of digital inclusion, equity, -especially in the VR/XR space etc.

Collaborations, XR for Change & Job Training Programs for Youth

As June ends, we’re celebrating all things Community Media and Community XR! Join us today at 3 pm EDT I’ll be presenting on Community XR today on a national webinar for the Alliance for Community Media (ACM). Register here for:

Community XR: How VR/AR/360 Can Extend Your Community Media Mission

This week we’ll be at XR for Change in NYC, launched this years’ Crowdsourced Boston community arts project to have 40 teams remake a scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

We taught a media training to our job training youth program who then successfully pitched a reporter on their story before taking them on a career eye-opening trip to meet and learn about VR, marketing, and diversity initiatives from Colin Burch, VP of Marketing & Broadcasting at the Red Sox!

This month we were also featured on Hubweek’s blog, an amazing festival here in Boston focused on the synergy of art, technology, advocacy, community-building and health that we’re honored to be a partner with and a collaborator. This interview focuses on our new artist-in-residency pilot and our collaboration with talented artist, Nathan Miner.

https://medium.com/@HUBweek/featured-collaboration-brookline-interactive-groups-kathy-bisbee-and-artist-nathan-miner-bff42482b6a6

Upcoming Events at the Public VR Lab: March 2018

Mozilla WebVR

St. Patrick’s Day Hackathons on WebVR & AR at the Public VR Lab on Saturday, March 17th, 2018: Co-sponsored by Mozilla, Fasility, Boston VR 

Mozilla WebVR

BIG, the Public VR Lab, Fasility, and the Mozilla Foundation invite you to join the WebVR Experience Challenge and create a new game, experience, design, or interaction using assets from the Real Time Design Challenge with Sketchfab.

Mini-WebVR Hack: 1-6pm on Saturday, March 17th, 46 Tappan Street, Brookline MA at BIG

Register here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mozilla-webvr-experience-challenge-mini-hack-tickets-43608581441

Bring your WebVR skills to the next level at this one-day mini-hackathon at Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) hosted by the Public VR Lab and Fasility, in partnership with Mozilla Foundation.

Mozilla invites you to join the WebVR Experience Challenge and create a new game, experience, design, or interaction using assets from the Real Time Design Challenge with Sketchfab.This mini-hack will offer workshops and mentoring to help you meet the challenge! Participating is an awesome way to gain experience in WebVR and become a part of the open-source VR community.

Submissions are due to Mozilla by April 2, 2018. By the end of the day’s mini-hack, you’ll have improved your plan, prototype, or in-progress project to help you along the path to a successful submission.

Refreshments will be provided during the afternoon and the event will conclude with time to share the day’s results and vote for superlatives.

This hack is in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation, hosted at BIG & the Public VR Lab, in collaboration with our awesome WEBVR partner, Fasility.

You can join our Public VR Lab Meetup group to learn more about hacks and events at the Public VR Lab!

Mohammad Azam

Mohammad Azam

The second hack is with Boston VR on augmented reality (AR) and using AR Tookit.

ARKit and Open Projects With Mohammad Azam

Register here: https://www.meetup.com/Boston-Virtual-Rea…/events/248213026/

Mohammad Azam (http://www.azamsharp.com/) is a well-known ARKit guru and instructor. He will give a free class on ARKit at 10:15AM, open to the public. The class will start with learning the basics of ARKit development and then dive into intermediate topics. Azam will also provide free access to his best seller 8+ hour Udemy course on ARKit and his ARKit development book.

The rest of the day, until 6:00pm, will be a chance for everyone to work on their own VR and AR projects. We’ll have one or two htc vives, an Oculus rift, a hololens or two, and so on. However, the resources and emphasis will be on ARKit. We will gather as many ARKit experts and other resources as we can and add them here, as they are found.

An iPhone 6S or above is required to run ARKit applications.

We will begin at 10:15 am sharp.

There will be a small $5.00 fee to pay for pizza and snacks. If you cannot afford it for any reason, please contact jeff@enterprisevr.com and we’ll give you complimentary ticket.

 

The Public VR Lab at the United Nations Environment Assembly

Hello from Nairobi, Kenya! Yesterday I met and interviewed Sasha Bennett, a seven-year-old Kenyan environmentalist who has planted 320 trees! @SashaBennettKEso .  She was a delight, an inspiration and so fun to spend time with, and hopefully tomorrow, she’ll get her dream of meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya! We’re hoping he’ll also stop by to try to virtual reality at our booth!

[photo top left: Co-founder/Director, Kathy Bisbee, with Sasha]

We’ve been here in Kenya just 72 hours and we’ve learned so much! Like how fun it is to meet people from all over our planet who are committed to protecting our earth.

We’ve been reminded that VR is still so mystical and magical to people from all over the world, when trying it for the first time, and about how hungry people are to find ways to use technology for good, to tell stories, to educate and inspire for global change. We’ve watched as people try VR and find it so real they peel the headsets off, scream and laugh with delight, and in two cases, thought that it might even provide one with X-ray vision!

We’re very pleased to be introducing VR to new users, to world environmental leaders, to youth, to students, to seniors, diplomats, and NGOs, and help them consider ways they could bring Community VR to their countries. More soon about our partnerships on this project, the collaborations we are forming, and ways to become part of the Public VR Lab!

In the meantime, If you’d like to become an affiliate of the Public VR Lab or learn more about how to work to bring VR to in your country or community, please email our co-founder and director, Kathy Bisbee at the Public VR Lab and Brookline Interactive Group (BIG): kathy@brooklineinteractive.org.

[photo top right: Co-founder, Al Williams, demos VR experiences at UNEA to delegates.]

[photo left: Nir Darom, Lead Creative Designer at the Public VR Lab with the Ibrahim Thiaw, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), partner, Amy Kamarainen from EcoMOVE, and Lab Director, Kathy Bisbee.]

[right bottom photo: Kathy, Andrew, Nir and Amy after we finished showing VR to the wonderful Susie Kitchens – UK permanent representative to UN in Nairobi and Cheryl Case head of UK delegation to UNEA.] @susiekitchens

 

 

 

 

Building a Community VR Movement: The Lab Featured in MIT’s Immerse Publication

The Co-founder and Director of the Public VR Lab, Kathy Bisbee, was one of several immersive storytelling thought leaders featured in a recent MIT publication, Immerse, in an article about Who is VR for? Kathy shares her expertise and thoughts about building a national movement for Community VR, a phrase she’s used to describing how community media and place0-based arts organizations can develop to create hyperlocal immersive stories, games, journalism, and experiences in VR by collaborating, co-funding, and partnering with media outlets, municipalities, libraries, community media arts organizations, film festivals, and universities.

https://immerse.news/who-is-vr-for-20b3f077a912

 

 

Virtual Reality (VR) in the Public Interest….

Tomorrow we’re driving down to Games for Change in NYC. As usual, I’m thinking about VR-in-the-public interest and how we can differentiate gaming from the many other ways we can learn, share, create and teach VR. At the Public VR Lab, we’ve been teaching our community and beyond for over a year now to use new tools and equipment for community storytelling, immersive journalism, and documentary filmmaking in order to heal from trauma and to create awareness and action around the health of our planet. Here’s a few of this week’s highlights and resources we’ve seen so far in the space.

On the content creation side, our team is learning how we can deploy content, trainings and toolkits to our members, community of media makers and to share with other colleagues. While this may seem something drawn from the 1992 novel “Snow Crash” and its “metaverse,” it means the beginning of public creation tools and a door to many new social, creative and possibly economic platforms/spaces that are sure to follow for an almost ready VR-ready world. This might be the closest thing to Dreamweaver for VR that we’ve seen to date. P.S Snow Crash is a must-read.

Start Building Your VR Second Life in Sansar

Empathy-producing content can help us to understand what it is like to “be” a tree, or understand what it might be like to be in the body of another, and to feel “presence” that helps you to put yourself outside of your own experience. Feeling empathy inside of VR can even move us to action on issues like social and environmental justice in the “real” world.

VR-related technologies can help shape beautiful new ways we see ourselves, our current reality, and can shift our perception of what truth and reality are. VR can help us experience and understand many things from visceral perspectives that embody the experience of the “other.”

Tree, is a virtual-reality project that transforms you into a rainforest tree. With your arms as branches and your body as the trunk, you’ll experience the tree’s growth from a seedling into its fullest form and witness its fate firsthand. Tree elevates the concept of empathy in VR, helping the participant understand what it’s like to be a tree in the Amazon. I particularly love the redwood version of this created by Marshmallow Laser Feast (I so love this name!) with a haptic feedback vest that makes you feel like you are entering inside the tree. 

And this project, RIOT  whose filmmaker, Karen Palmer, will speak at our favorite festival for storytelling, the Future of Storytelling in NYC this October. According to FOST, she was inspired by the events in Ferguson, MO, following the shooting of Michael Brown, and created RIOT, an emotionally responsive, live-action film that uses AI and machine learning through facial recognition to allow participants to navigate though a dangerous riot. Palmer’s work challenges participants to understand other people’s lived experiences, and represents a powerful development in the emerging field of neurogames.

Another area of VR-in-the-public interest growth is in the health sector, and how VR can make us “think” differently and even heal from trauma. This New York Times had a great story today about the use of VR by therapists to heal patients from the fear and trauma of car accidents, the fear of heights, flying, spiders, PTSD, and other forms of anxiety and stress.

And lastly, the team at the Public VR Lab sat in on an insightful VRARA webinar a few weeks ago hosted with Robert Scoble as he shared his always intriguing insights about where tech and VR in particular is headed (here). Check it out!

Gateway Arts Visits the Public VR Lab

We’ve been super busy this month at the Public VR Lab and Brookline Interactive Group.

We’re hiring a new Assistant Director, have several summer multimedia programs (aka “camps”) for kids, launched new VR classes for adults, and co-coordinated Crowdsourced Boston to get ten other community media centers involved in re-creating Back to the Future! BIG’s talented members won three awards at the Alliance for Community Media‘s national Hometown Awards, and BIG won Best Public Access Station in the country! Woot!

We are laying our plans for our fall eleven-day film sprint, curating the immersive content and LIVE VR ART at the Northampton Film Festival for their September 27-October 1st, 2017 fest, in collaboration with our sister organization, Northampton Community Television (NCTV).

We’re launching a national collaborative on a VR project around immigration stories, and an affiliate program will be announced soon so that libraries, teen centers, arts and cultural organizations and media centers can learn to share VR with their communities, have the equipment and training they need to start a Lab on site and engage their communities in a conversation about the future of 3D computing!

Our VR demos are weekly, and recently we had Lead Boston, Brookline High School math camps, and the Gateway Arts program stop by for a tour and VR demos at the Lab.

Check out the cool vid of their folks playing for the first time in VR above!

 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Immigrations Stories in Full Frame: Collaborative 360/VR Filmmaking

Collaborative Immigration Project: Deadline extended to 9/18/2017

We’re building a national collaboration project around 360 filmmaking, immersive journalism, and community storytelling. You’re invited to apply to join our team, and we’ve extended the deadline to help more folks apply to the project.

Join our cohort to learn, share, and create a 360/VR documentary project on “Re-imaging Migration” together over the next year, as well as a create traditional media content for our local, regional and national networks. We’ll even have an app, and insights throughout the project experts on immigration messaging, history of migration in America, and on interviewing techniques.

To Apply:

Please email info@brooklineinteractive.org with the following information:

  • Contact info for applicants
  • A description of your work and your organization (media center, news outlet, library, arts org, etc)
  • Your interest in 360 video and immigration stories in your community
  • Capacity: Describe the technical skills and interest of your team, storytelling, and journalism, as well as describing the immigration stories that you feel need to be shared from your community.
  • Describe a current collaboration you participate in and your experience in it. Why do you wish to collaborate with our project? What can you offer your cohort co-members?
  • Do you currently own any camera equipment? Any 360 equipment?
  • How able are you to meet monthly on a call with the cohort?
  • Application date is now September 18th, 2017 at midnight

We’ll begin our work together in late October/early November and it will continue through the summer of 2018.

Requirements: Team collaborative calls monthly to share successes, challenges, and opportunities,  webinars (optional), and training/tips on 360 filmmaking.

We’ll provide a 360 camera, an ambisonic microphone, training on 360 filmmaking, and on VR/AR technologies, and immigration interviewing techniques, and other topics and coordinate editing and submission of the final piece to film festivals as well as promote the work of the collaborative, locally, regionally and nationally.

We hope to together create a template for a strong immersive news/content sharing network, engaged communities, training programs, and collaborative, community-based VR projects.

We hope that we’ll find some best practices for how to work together as a national cohort group, developing our methods, techniques, strategies, funding, and distribution to create social impact in the area of immersive, empathetic immigration stories.

Hopes & Dreams 2017: A Community Storytelling Project in Virtual Reality

(Brookline, Mass., June 1st , 2017) The first publicly-funded virtual reality lab in the U.S. has launched a participatory virtual reality (VR) campaign titled Hopes & Dreams. The project allows viewers to access community-based stories inside a virtual reality headset, on the web and via mobile.

One goal of the Public VR Lab and this project is to reduce the barriers to entry and show that virtual reality content creation can be easily created and shared on 3D web sites using WebVR and the programming language A-Frame, an open source tool created by Mozilla.

Kathy Bisbee, co-founder of the Public VR Lab, said that the accessibility to mass media, and gaining access to equipment and training are issues that traditional community media and VR share, “The Hopes & Dreams project and WebVR help lower the barriers to entry in the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) space bringing new creators and storytellers into our community media centers to use our 360 cameras, and take classes in mixed reality content creation.”

“VR/AR is still in its nascent stages, but it’s growing fast. Many creators and storytellers don’t have the technical tools or the new skills required for this new industry,” citing the need for public accessibility to be part of the VR conversation.“

Nir Darom, BIG’s lead creative designer shared how the storytelling works in VR: “In the Hopes and Dreams project we wanted to let viewers feel as though they were right there, inside the circle of people sharing their hopes and dreams. Once you’re inside the circle, whoever you visually “click on” begins talking. This immediacy is what makes VR such a great documentary tool.”

When Fasility’s co-founders heard about the Public VR Lab’s mission, they knew WebVR and A-Frame would be a natural fit. “WebVR has the power to transform human storytelling,” said Kathy Trogolo, Fasility’s CEO. “Creators and storytellers are sharing something precious. Thanks to VR, their words and emotions are almost as impactful as they would be in person; plus, the interactive experience allows the viewer to pause and reflect on the content more deeply. The Public VR Lab and the Hopes & Dreams project is a perfect match with our mission to empower authors to create 3D immersive and interactive webspaces.”

Top five reasons WebVR is a key to the future of accessibility in VR/AR

  1. Works on the smartphone you already have in your hand
  2. Anyone can be an author – no expensive software or hardware needed
  3. Incorporates browser’s built-in accessibility features
  4. Works across mobile, desktop, and VR equipment like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift
  5. No app store!

Learn more about using WebVR to create virtual reality content at the free Boston Meetup at the Public VR Lab on June 8th, 2017 in Brookline, MA. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/web-vr-and-you-tickets-34548544627

To view the Hopes and Dreams Virtual Reality project, visit the site below: http://brooklineinteractive.org/had

About the Public VR Lab

@PublicVRLab

www.publicvrlab.com

Over the past year the Lab has demoed over 90 virtual reality experiences at senior and teen centers, offered free bi-weekly VR sessions at its Boston-area labs, curated interactive content for film festivals, launched a VR Academy with free and low-cost classes, organized a regional virtual reality hackathon focused on climate change, and created the first private-public partnership for two location-based augmented reality community storytelling projects.  

In its second year, the Lab is building on its long tradition of public access television, to provide increased accessibility and digital inclusion with an immersive media grant program, and teaching specialized classes at their low-cost VR Academy to support the production of experiential storytelling, immersive journalism, storytelling in games, and new forms of artistic expression in the public sphere.

About Fasility

@fasility_vr

http://fasility.com/

Fasility is a WebVR consultancy focused on education and user empowerment. Fasility helps their clients create web-based VR experiences that are easy to navigate, impactful, and play back on desktop, cardboard, and high-end VR devices. Established in 2016, Fasility prioritizes design, human factors, and interoperability to reach broad and inclusive audiences. Through studio projects and customized training, Fasility is bringing the power of VR to everyday content creators.