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Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:20

GeoDome brings learning alive in 21st century

AARNet is demonstrating its inflatable dome, interactive software, immersive learning, digital projector, three-dimensional, high-definition GeoDome theatre that it says will "engage Australian students and make the curriculum come alive."

Australian Academic and Research Network, or AARNet, is a not-for-profit company in Australia that provides Internet services to educational and research facilities throughout Australia.

It is backed by 37 universities and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which is the Australian organization for scientific research.

The press release “AARNet demonstrates 'GeoDome' inflatable high-definition 3D theatre for first time in Australia” states that GeoDome is being demonstrated for the first time in Australia at the annual QUESTnet 2009 Conference, being held at the RACV Royal Pinces Resort, Gold Coast.

The conference goes from July 7-10, 2009. QUESTnet is short for Queensland Education Science & Technology Network.

The conference attendees will see a video of the “Digital Universe Atlas” that will be “… guided remotely by NASA [U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration], the American Museum of Natural History or any of the partners in the GeoDome network. This will include 1080-pixel high-definition video feeds through a fish-eye lens in real time.” [PRwire]

The Elumenati is the company that actually created the GeoDome. Its president, Doug Matthews, comments on its creation. Matthews says, “The GeoDome was designed to provide users with transformative learning experiences. By presenting complex concepts in an immersive, easy-to-understand, visual context, learners of all ages can benefit.” [PRwire]

GeoDome is mobile. It goes to the classroom and can be assembled in under one-half hour.

Once setup, it “provides a fully enclosed, immersive theatre environment for a classroom of students. It enables audiences to navigate through, interact with and collaborate on high-definition images, video and presentations.” [PRwire]

Page two contains websites to see GeoDome in action.

The software used by GeoDome is the same technology used for online gaming, which already has enticed users from all over the world.

Consequently, GeoDome promises to provide “an interactive, immersive, visual-spatial experience.” [PRwire]

Learn more about the GeoDome, along with a video, at The Elumenati website http://geodome.info/.

To see photographs of GeoDome, go to the QUESTnet website and enter the password: pr

The network of GeoDome users includes such organizations as NASA, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), science centers, research universities, public schools, and visualization laboratories.

The chief operating officer (CEO) of AARNET, Chris Hancock, stated, “AARNet is continually seeking new, innovative technologies to engage Australian students and make the curriculum come alive. The GeoDome is an excellent example of a collaborative, interactive tool that can add real value to the learning process for students from kindergarten to year 12. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead with this technology and the benefits it will bring to school children.” [PRwire]

Hancock adds, “We are using the demonstration at QUESTnet to look beyond the GeoDome’s existing capabilities, to developing our own applications and to further integrate high-definition video conferencing and other interactive learning experiences for students.” [PRwire]

Page three concludes.

The GeoDome technology consists of four primary features.

They are:
•    Uniview visualisation platform, which brings to life multiple scientific databases,
•    Geoscope, which streams high-resolution satellite imagery,
•    Octopus networking system, which enables collaborative connectivity anywhere on Earth; and
•    Digital Universe, which is the world’s most extensive and accurate 3D atlas of the observable universe.

Nick Cross, who is the manager of Education Outreach for AARNet, said, “The GeoDome is an exciting innovation to enrich student learning experiences. The GeoDome presents school age students with a combination of visual-spatial, kinaesthetic and auditory representations of complex and diverse data sets, giving form to subject matter that can be difficult to decipher from paper, and ultimately delivering on greater depth of understanding.” [PRwire]

Cross concludes, “The 21st century learning agenda is about supporting students to pose the right questions and to develop an investigative wonder and fascination about all aspects of the world around us. We are excited about the potential this presents for Australian schools.” [PRwire]

Interactive and progressive educational services provide teachers, learners, parents, and others with better educational materials for our children.

The more interesting, and less boring, the educational process the more children (and adults) will learn. Such interactive educational facilities, such as GeoDome, help to support and enhance the educational process.

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