SarVana's OpenSim Living

An avatar's experience within Opensimulator grids

Real to Virtual to Real Integration of 3D Virtual Worlds in Lab Training and Career Recruitment

Previously posted in my laboratory blog at ONELab, an online professional community created to foster relationships among members of the growing laboratory team. Please note that my postings to ONELab are solely as an ASCP-certified medical technologist and that my independent use of ONELab does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). The opinions and thoughts expressed in my blog postings are my own and are not representative of any organization or other third parties mentioned within the postings. The external links were provided for informational purposes only. Professionally and personally, I strive to enhance access and delivery of information, services and resources associated with HIV/AIDS awareness, laboratory science, and social media capacity building.

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Greetings and welcome to the initial laboratory blog posting from “Med Tech Diva” also known as  “Ms. BugLady“.  I am an ASCP-certified medical technologist who is also a”social media techie” and Virtual Worlds Evangelist.  My professional and personal activities include reviewing social media and virtual worlds platforms for nonprofit capacity building, HIV/AIDS awareness, STI laboratory training,Image and networking. It is felt that social media especially 3D virtual worlds is a valuable communication tool within the laboratory science community.  The feasibility, usability, and acceptability review is a key factor in the selection of any communication tool. This review process  has been essential in developing a strategic social media plan and toolbox that enhanced the seamless  integration of real life activities within virtual worlds. According to Wikipedia, a virtual world also known as a massively multiplayer online world (MMOW) is a computer-based simulated environment. Virtual world users must create three-dimensional representations known as avatars in order to be visible within the  interactive virtual environments. Virtual worlds are also defined as a genre of role-playing video or web browser-based games known as  massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORG) in which a large number of individuals interact with one another.

ImageAlthough virtual worlds may be viewed as “games”, the application of virtual worlds is considered as “serious business” by a growing number of medical institutionspublic health providers, nonprofits and businesses as well as the military. The three-dimensional gridsOpenSim (i.e. Kitely, JokaydiaGRID); Second Life; and standalones  have proven to be feasible platforms for training, networking, collaborating,  and conferencing. The interactive grid-based communication mode is usually real-time text and when possible real-time voice.

The questions about usability and application of virtual worlds lead to virtual-based feasibility testing in preparation for the “real to virtual to real” integration of HIV/AIDS awareness, STI lab training, and capacity building activities. Since the initial beta testing in 2008, the evaluation process has involved assessing the ease of using virtual worlds, measuring the amount of content design/creation time, and calculating the overall cost of setting up and maintaining the designated virtual-based projects.

  As a result of the feasibility, usability, and acceptability review, Virtual Lab Training and Career Image(VLTC) Project – the “real to virtual; virtual to real” integration of laboratory training and laboratory career recruitment activities was established in OpenSim’s CHARE Village in Kitely and CheriNetiva in JokaydiaGRID. Despite the challenge of reduced funding, the Kitely-based component known as the CHeTARE STI/HIV Training Laboratory serves as the Project’s hub for laboratory training, career recruitment, information exchange, and community building.

ImageThe virtual worlds components of the Virtual Lab Training and Career (VLTC) Project are developed and maintained by yours truly, a real life ASCP-certified Medical Technologist and STI Laboratory Consultant/Instructor, Sally S. Cherry, BS, MT(ASCP) with the assistance of a computer-generated avatar identified as  Sally Cherry.

For more information,  click on http://real2virtual2real.com. If you are interested in using (or discussing) relevant social media and 3D virtual worlds platforms for laboratory-related activities, feel free to visit Med Tech Diva online.

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February 13, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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