SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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Teaching Beyond the Human Form
Thursday, 8:45 - 9 am
Room 502B

Bespace (2003) is a web3D, multi-user lecture hall that empowers teachers, and addresses both the affordances and limitations of virtual space. A synchronous, online distance-learning environment, it utilizes a standard convention of information delivery found in real environments -- the multimedia slideshow. A radical shift occurs in that information is not presented on a faux projection screen within the virtual space; instead, the teacher's avatar, the wed3D representation of the teacher, transforms into the presentation. The teacher's avatar acts as a node for delivering information and literally shape-shifts into slides, interactive models, and small exploreable landscapes. This approach negates the long-standing multi-user, web3D problems of collaboration and navigation. It exploits, rather than denies, the fact that web3D is generated by lines of code and engaged via mouse and screen. Web3D is a graphic user interface (GUI). The teacher's avatar is a part of that GUI and unbound by rules of faux reality. The teacher is the presentation.

Steve Guynup
Georgia Institute of Technology
steve_guynup (at)

Ron Broglio
Jim Demmers
Georgia Institute of Technology

educators program jury
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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA