The VR@Illinois campus network, with generous support from Technology Services, is offering seed grants to University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff to support the development of innovative research and instruction through the use of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality technologies. Grants are available based on the scope of a project, feasibility, and availability of funding.
The first round of grant proposals are due by the end of the day on Friday, September 20, 2019. Decisions will be sent out no later than Friday, October 4th, 2019.
ANTH 399 – Virtual Archaeology is now available for registration. After a successful trial run in Spring 2019, Professor Laura Shackelford and her team are showcasing their virtual archaeological dig in a classroom setting. No prerequisite classes or knowledge is required!
The class is designed to take you on an archaeological dig where you make the decisions about what to do, learn how to do it, and then reap the benefits (or the consequences). “Using commercially-available VR hardware, we have created an immersive, interactive, room scale virtual archaeological site where students can learn the skills practiced on site at an archaeological excavation.”
In In partnership with Technology Services, The University Library and the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, the VR Club will showcase a variety of virtual reality experiences to explore how VR can be used in higher education. Locations include the IDEA Lab, CITL’s Innovation Spaces, The Media Commons, and the Foreign Language Building. Visit the VR Demo Day webpage for more information.
With generous support from Tech Services, CITL’s Innovation Studio in Armory room 172 has added fourteen VR workstations each with an Oculus Rift S headset attached. This updated classroom will be used to support the new Department of Journalism Course – Immersive Technologies JOUR 460.
We’ve also added 20 Oculus Quest stand-along headsets for use by classes and to support the newly formed Virtual Reality club.
Other student organizations using the space include MakerGirl, Design for America, Design Innovation and Illini Esports.
The schedule is out for this year’s Roger Ebert’s Film Festival hosted by Chaz Ebert, or “Ebertfest,” coming to Champaign-Urbana April 10-13.
An added feature of this year’s festival will be virtual reality demonstrations on the plaza outside the Virginia Theatre in between films on April 12, hosted by the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at the U. of I., through its Virtual Reality Lab and Innovation Studio. The demos will consist of short films that allow viewers to experience border crossings, natural disasters or joyous occasions in other countries.
“Roger was very much a techie and would have loved the fact that we are bringing a VR demonstration to Ebertfest that will give our audience a chance to experience empathy through the lens of technology,” Chaz Ebert said.
U. of I. education policy, organization and leadership professor David Huang, anthropology professor Laura Shackelford and their colleagues are designing Virtual Archaeology, a classroom and laboratory course that will allow students to experience an archaeology field dig without leaving campus.