Two years ago, as part of my capstone project for my MAED, I was fully entrenched in a study of virtual worlds and their application for education. As part of my research I tested as many free virtual world platforms as I could get my hands on. One platform that was in development at that time that I was not able to access was Metaplace. Metaplace is a totally flash based virtual world platform that can be accessed on any computer. It is free, though some of the things you can do there are not free. When you sign up for an account you get a free world that you can build on. Metaplace provides you with lots of building materials but you can also create your own. Unlike other virtual world platforms you create objects from jpg images. Additionally, you can assign properties to your objects that perform various functions such as opening web pages, playing YouTube videos in the integrated player, perform animations, etc. The list of options is pretty vast.
I played around with this platform for just 30 minutes tonight and found it very easy to build things. I didn't create anything that I feel has any value as of yet but I do see enormous potential for this platform in education. Imagine assigning students to construct their own worlds or multi-player games to demonstrate their learning. I also noticed that these worlds are embeddable: