Track: Content Based and Informal Presentations

Title Featured Speaker: Pathfinder
Exploring the Educational Affordances of Web-based Virtual Worlds: Jibe and Unity3D
Author(s): John Lester
Date Saturday, March 19 07:00
Location: Central Auditorium
Abstract Educators have many different pedagogical goals, and it is critical to find the best match between tools and specific needs when creating a new learning experience. Fully immersive virtual worlds such as Second Life and Opensim provide a novel way to deeply engage students in collaborative experiences. And for many learning objectives, they are a perfect match. But when leveraging a preexisting curriculum with educational content that may be primarily web-based, many educators are looking for a more lightweight way to engage students with a 3d virtual world experience that integrates more fully with their work on the web.

This session will focus on discussing different learning objectives that educators commonly have, and how to think strategically when exploring the right tool for the right job. It will include a demo of Jibe (, a web-based virtual world platform developed by ReactionGrid and based on the Unity3D game development system. Participants in this session will learn more about the specific affordances of web-based virtual world platforms and how they may be used as part of the spectrum of different virtual worlds available to educators.

Bio(s): John Lester: SL: Pathfinder Lester

John Lester is an expert and strategist in the use of virtual worlds and social media to support educational online communities. He is currently the Director of Community Development at ReactionGrid, a 3D world development company focused on the educational and business use of virtual worlds for collaborative work and team training.

John has worked on the development of online communities and virtual worlds since 1995, when he first pioneered the use of online communities and virtual worlds for medical education and patient support at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. From 2005-2010 he worked at Linden Lab, where he was known as Pathfinder Linden. During his tenure at Linden Lab, he led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the use of virtual worlds in academia, training and immersive simulations.

With a background in neuroscience research, John focuses on the how to best design and use technological tools that augment the human mind. He frequently works with organizations on strategic planning to promote knowledge sharing and new models for creative learning.

John is known as “Pathfinder Lester” on Second Life and many different
Opensim grids. His personal blog is, and his email is

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