Thursday, July 10, 2008

My World gets Lively

ASU My World student

You may remember the strangely ambiguous "My World" posters placed around campus last year. (What was that about?)

Now the secret is out: thousands of ASU students volunteered to solve the mystery, and, as reported by the Associated Press in the New York Times, two thousand of those students were selected to join Google’s Trusted Tester program to test Lively, Google’s new interactive virtual environment. The students were asked to use the alpha version of Lively and to provide feedback.

For more information about Lively and ASU's collaboration with Google, see
"Google Ventures into Virtual Reality with 'Lively'" from the New York Times Business section, and Kari Barlow's blog post, "3D Social Networking for REAL Life".

But that's only part of the news...

ASU is excited to present My World powered by Lively, a virtual environment that enables members of the ASU community to interact with one another and other Web users in real time and in 3D.

My World at ASU isn't just seriously fun - it's also a fun way to pursue serious ideas. In the beginning, it will support several educational initiatives, including advanced placement (AP) instruction and virtual study halls for subjects like English and math.

For instance, ASU will use Lively by Google to offer Calculus instruction to students preparing for the College Board’s Calculus AP exam, with more virtual-world advanced placement courses available in the future. You can learn more about the planned My World AP Calculus course at

Can you imagine the ways that education and research could flower in a virtual world? We want your ideas. Think about the box.


Sandra Ley,  July 23, 2008 at 7:06 AM  

I've tried Lively. I'm afraid it's no where near as immersive, developed, flexible, or graphically engaging as Second Life. The graphics in Lively seem babyish; they'd appeal only to kids 12 and under. That will be a turn-off for teens and 20-somethings who are familiar with high-end graphics via online gaming. Second Life has nearly 15,000,000 residents internationally - a large, international pool of individuals with which to interact and learn. Content creation in Lively is limited, unlike in Second Life. User rooms in Lively support a maximum of 20 users at a time; this is generally too few for classes or online meetings, seminars, lectures, conferences, etc. Second Life supports much larger gatherings. When I entered Second Life 18 months ago, there was a bit of a learning curve, but it was not difficult to figure out where to go or what to do. With Lively, I felt lost and disinterested. Second Life may not be the final answer to education in virtual worlds, but it's the best out there today. Sorry - I can't see why ASU chose to work with Lively if it wants to embark on education in virtual worlds.

Jeremy Rudy,  August 6, 2008 at 8:42 AM  

Will Lively be incorporated into each course on Blackboard, or perhaps, Sakai?

Jon (does innovative marketing) September 29, 2008 at 11:36 PM  

Well that's innovative marketing for you, Google gives the students free access and the students promote Lively around campus. Brilliant, as always.

Not only that, but - as you mentioned - the merging of education and research (powerd by Google, of course) is what will really propel the world into a remarkable future. But should we really count on a huge corporate giant like Google to lead the education research way?

Pet Supplies Fish February 16, 2009 at 1:59 PM  

Long live google lively! RIP 31/12/08.It certainly was no match to second life, but it helped keep a few google boffins employed. I wonder how long we have to wait until google enters the world of avatars again?

Omer March 17, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

Lively was an interesting concept, but I knew it wouldn't last. Come on, an MMO by google? lol