University

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Welcome to Decentraland University

This district was proposed by Katalin, Kristza and myself to create a functional educational establishment in VR. To fuse our experience in stand-up education and training with my experience with learning management systems, eLearning courseware and virtual classroom training technologies. The original proposal required 100 parcels - which I myself planned to stake - I hoped to maybe double or treble that and have a few like minded people to travel this road with. But the project turned out to be very popular and we have 1550 parcels that have been contributed by 170 people/wallets. We are extremely excited to have the honour of leading a project which has grown in scope way beyond what we hoped for.

Although I have an academic background, and studied at 2 universities in the UK, I picked the name University more to denote this district as the primary spot for education in this VR world. As well as being a community of teachers and scholars as every University is it, we wanted it to be more than that. More inclusive than bricks n' mortar universities. And something that will educate at all levels. When a resource is as dynamic as VR, why not strive to remove the restrictions that face Universities IRL. I would aim that someone could study a degree here, but they could also register for an hour long cookery tutorial, take a yoga class, or just visit us to use the Observatory or our Library. We will create a platform to for teachers to convey knowledge to students and we will create the integrations required to allow those with existing learning systems to track with the courses taught at this university, and one day when the tech allows, to utilise existing training material in-world.

We thought we would engage a good friend of ours, James Smith (http://www.jameshsmithart.com/), to create us a couple of concept sketches. One, to visualise a VR classroom session, and to sketch out what a small campus might look like:

Campus.jpg

District Board

Katalin and I have appointed a district board to assist in the planning and execution of the district's development - in terms of community, development and education. So we are:

James Ashton (me) - A commercially minded technologist with strong programming skills with experience in eLearning and Virtual Classroom Training systems.

Katalin Ashton - An experienced teacher with a background in broadcasting and electronic training/certification. Katalin is also a yoga guru and a mother of 3 young children.

Carl Fravel - A Senior technology and business executive with 40 years of experience spanning software and hardware. Carl has 10 years of experience in Second Life, authored Sansar Creator’s Guide and taught at the University of California.

Samuel Hamilton - A multi platform acknowledged artist, project manager and social media expert producing output for global brands.

District Ownership Model

** THE DISTRICT LAND OWNERSHIP MODEL IS BEING REWORKED **

Revenue Model

The goal of the University district is to generate revenue sufficient enough to support its long term operation, development, marketing and administration and a form of ROI for all district contributors. This will be achieved by pooling and distributing revenue/rent via an open and auditable smart contract. ROI might be returned directly or indirectly depending on the specifics of the funding model that we put into place.

Funding Model

Some possible funding models allow investors to be treated as shareholders who will receive a dividend. However it might be that funding is achieved through a simpler mechanism. Especially if that mechanism also lends itself as a vehicle to indirectly deliver ROI to investors.

Projects

In our slack community, which if you staked you are invited to, we have a channel called projects. This is where community members can define projects that they would like to see on Campus. To get the ball rolling I proposed a few projects. And since then we have had numerous other projects proposed. If you have an idea of something that you'd like to see on campus, then head over to #projects and get it down. Stake your claim to it. The people who propose each project in the slack group will get first opportunity to champion that project in it's development.

In the very early days of the university the board will select projects they proposed - although they will seek community members to participate. Here are some projects that we have defined:

VR Academy

The VR Academy will be a practical centre of excellence for learning VR. I would like a space-age buildingv to look like something out of Star Trek and the faculty should run courses in all aspects of VR.

Some ideas for courses: - Getting Started in VR - Tutorial for Decentraland - Beginners Guide to LAND ownership in Decentraland. - Handling MANA and buying Land. - VR Etiquette - Business in Decentraland - The legal side of VR - Art in VR - Music in VR - VR Development - 3D Modelling for VR

We would also have guest speakers, and practical workshops, VR hackathons, and seminars and we could collaborate and provide education content to support conferences and other events with VR based eLearning. We could run some courses for free, and some courses would cost a free. Students could subscribe for unlimited access to content.

Crypto College

This is going to be the main centre of learning for crypto. Some streams of learning at the Crypto College: - Beginners guide to the world of Crypto. - Bitcoin for beginners - Crypto coins for beginners. - Crypto trading - multi level course. - Decentralisation - practical approaches to organisation. Possibly focussing on something like Aragon.

My plan is to invite crypto businesses with relevant products to get involved with Crypto College. I’m especially interested in pulling in tech startups such as Decentraland itself and Aragon to teach examples applicable in the real world to VR.

I think Crypto College has a huge potential - especially for a crypto based Virtual world like Decentraland.

The Observatory

A crowd pleaser, this project is to build an observatory. I am very excited about this idea - it might form the basis of a school of Astronomy. However at the very least it will be a self contained observatory., on a hill/raised-ground, that people can go and use. It can be a landmark....

The idea is to build a simple to use user interface to allow people to navigate real life telescopes. And when you look through this in VR, you are going to be looking at the real stars.

I have already contacted a vendor of a service which allows users to choose a telescope and take control of it- so where I would like to get to eventually is that you control a real life telescope from this Observatory - I have asked about their APIs and what it’s likely to cost. Am waiting for them to get back to me.

I had thought about registering this as a seperate district in it’s own right - but I feel it is more appropriate to house this inside the university and will be something that pulls people to the district to take a look and try it out

How cool is that though - VR telescope that lets you look into outerspace from any ‘connected’ telescope on earth

University Library

One of the stake holders has expressed that they would happily have the library sat on their land.

I think the library joins the observatory as a resource which can be useful even to those not studying at the university. I have some ideas about how this could work, and be an amazing resource without breaking any copy right rules. And if, one day, Amazon built a VR Kindle component then maybe people could access their own book collection in the library.

But for now it could be limited to literature and papers that are in the public domain. But provide contributors and educators an ability to publish material to the university library- that could be their own journals, white papers etc. etc.

School of Art

As WebVR evolves, this could be used in all sorts of ways artistically. A VR based school of art has huge potential. Aside as an aid in conventional art education, a whole new world is going to evolve in VR. Artists will want to paint what they are seeing in VR ‘in-situ’.

I was recently blown away by the video of Tilt Brush. I have yet to try this but it looks absolutely amazing. WebVR is going to always be some way behind custom built programs but if we look at Tilt Brush as an aspirational level of tool available to us then in a few years the school of art could have people creating that level of artwork in DCL university. But in the early days, maybe it will be possible for those using tools such as tilt brush to use the DCL university school of art to analyse, present and examine creations that have been made in something like that.

In the early days it could be some facilities aimed at artists, with a gallery which as well as being able to be used to display students work, could host small art exhibitions and perhaps sell prints.

The Grand Lecture Hall

Individual faculties will all have lecture theatres. But there should be one central hall for flagship lectures. In additional to invitational type speakers which could be chargeable , we could have a 'TED' type approach where all-comers can pitch to deliver their lecture. We could even reach out to TED, and see if we can present TED lectures in this theatre

Gym

Run a VR gym in the university, personal trainers can subscribe to schedule their programmes in the gym so that ppl can work out at home.

The University Senate

This is a building for the university senate. This is a large panel which would be comprised of founders/stake-holders, educators, faculty heads, facility heads, as well as independent land owners who have facilities in university district but are not part of the university organisation.

The Senate is something the district board will establish for organising matters of education and district-wide matters and would over time be granted voting powers by the founding board.

In time we would transition the district board to be executive to the Senate. And in the long term when the founding board members have stepped down, the Senate may appoint their replacements.

School of Music

A school of music in VR could be an amazing things. As a keen musician myself I look forward to exploring with fellow contributors what we could do with a VR school of music. Perhaps in addition to the educational aspects, this department will provide an audio backdrop to DCL university. We could have university bands form who could then perform around campus from time to time. I can definitely imagine a university choir, a classical orchestra, and also a university jazz band.

School of History

This is a probably a very advanced department in the technical effort required to make the best possible experience. History lessons in VR well….they could take you back in history so you could see it for yourself as if you had a time machine!

Conventional classrooms and lecture theatre would be required. A specially programmed classroom could transport the people sitting in the classroom to a particular scene in history. I think the feeling where you are in a classroom with chairs, where the walls and floor can suddenly dissolve and leave the class surrounded by a history scene would be just amazing.

School of Photography

Depending on the quality of the lighting tech in Aframe, I would quite like to be involved in creating a school of photography to go through advance lighting techniques and other photography topics. I did have quite a good run of doing virtual photography about 10 years ago in Second Life so there is definitely a market for it.

University Shop

This is the official ‘DCL University’ shop. It could sell apparel- both real world, and also virtual apparel. It can also be an outlet by which educators can sell materials from their courses. So if you teach a course at the university, you could list your course material in the university shop. It would need to be able to sell eBooks as well as real world materials. Some courses might need real world aids and input devices - any manner of educational related stuff could be sold out of this shop.

We will come up with a financial model - which will also be applied to any other revenue generating businesses in the centre of the campus which are run by individuals. I want to minimise operational costs in the university so part of that is to allow people, including myself, to be incentivised into running facilities that generate revenue for the university.

To get started with I imagined working towards the virtual reality version of some sort of Cafe Press type shop so that we could have DCL University Caps, T-Shirts and other products.

School of Environmental Sciences

An increasingly popular research area, including a range of disciplines including geology, ecology, climate studies and more. I believe a VR setting can improve greatly on traditional university settings, bringing subject matter - geological structures, biodiversity interactions, etc.. - into the 'classroom'. It could also facilitate meets regarding trans-boundary issues such as air pollution without the costly travel associated with current conferences.

School of Linguistics

"It would be nice to see some linguistics." The proposer is thinking of introducing french.

The Drone Zone

The centre of education in VR for UAVs. Courses covering all types of drone flight including AV Drones, FPV Racing Drones, Freestyle. We could seek a collaboration with those delivering occupational/professional UAV qualitifications. There should be an area of the district which allows flight (when the VR client has matured enough to allow drone control to be implemented). _The university should largely be a no-fly zone in my opinion_ We will seek sponsorships with drone manufacturers, and hopefully collaborate with some well known FPV pilots to put together some compelling learning material.

The Surya Centre

As a Yoga teacher, I am proposing this project to be the home of all aspects of yoga practice. I would also suggest it as a home for other activities that could share the facility and even have a dedicated building or garden. We could have indoor and outdoor teaching areas, some quiet areas and gardens for meditation as well as some social areas. Anyone who would like to press the pause button to experience the beauty of the moment will be welcomed here. This will be the place to relax mind and body.

The Sports and Leisure Zone

I propose this project as the creation of a zone on campus which can house sports and fitness facilities. This might contain the gym proposed by @cy2017 and it might contain @Katalin's Surya centre, and other, as yet undefined projects such as a *sports hall*, *tennis courts*, *boating lake* and other leisure facilities. We might also have a tower for a zip wire. I suspect we would elevate this ground so we could have several underground levels in order to accommodate various sports which will require significant space (e.g. football pitches etc etc)

I've listed a few more to keep sight of a few other must-haves. Feel free to add more - just add them directly here if you have permission, or if not, contact @jamesashton or @Katalin on Rocket Chat.

School of Information Systems

Academy of Software Development

School of Mathematics

Faculty of Science

Drama School

School of Medicine

Department of Physical Education

Home Economics

School of Political Science

School of Economics

School of Management

Business College

Engineering

If there is a project you would like to see, or if you would like to be involved in any of the above, please get in touch with @jamesashton or @katalin on Rocket Chat.