FAQs

What is virtual learning? 

 Virtual learning is a three-dimensional, interactive environment where everything is possible: visiting New York, exploring the human cell, flying through the Solar System, or traveling back in time to Ancient Egypt. It combines the power of a computer, the information of a textbook, the imagery of a movie, and the excitement of exploration into one new learning experience.  We hope you've already clicked on a picture and tried it for yourself.  If a picture is worth a thousand words then, well...

What is the difference between SUNRISE virtual learning programs and virtual worlds like Second Life?

With one click virtual learning programs open up onto your computer, and its all free.  Most virtual worlds like Second Life and Disney Toontown (our favorites) are based on clients that take a while to download. SUNRISE programs are Flash based, which means they can open up onto most devices in seconds.

Quick loading, browser-based environments used with existing websites are the new gateway into powerful virtual worlds. To date, most 3D applications do not run in a web browser and are not linked to existing webpages. 

How is this possible?

Well, for a long time virtual learning was confined to places like NASA, the Department of Defense and well-funded research labs. That's where we learned to create it.  It was very, very expensive to build, and very very expensive to run.  But now through advances in CPU power, broadband connections, authoring tools like UNITY3D, and new 3D capabilities in plug-ins like Adobe Flash and the UNITY player, any computer can access 3D and visualization technologies pretty easily.

What's so great about virtual learning for schools? 

Virtual learning makes ideas easily accessible to students, helping them to create a solid understanding of a subject. It is an effort to make learning more relevant and engaging to today’s technology-savvy kids.  It helps students bridge the gap between the concrete world and the abstract world of concepts and models.  This gap is where students often fail.

How do I get the Flash Player?

The Flash Player is free, easy to get, and available to everyone on the web. 

Download the latest version of the Flash Player here.

How long does it take virtual learning programs to appear on my screen?

About 20-40 seconds.  We're actively trying to cut this time down!  In the meantime, enjoy the sponsors.

What platforms are virtual learning programs available on? 

We live in a multiplatform technology enivronment, so we're trying to have SUNRISE programs run on most of the devices you use.  Right now, programs are available via the internet (Flash, Unity, and Chrome), and laptops and computers (PC, Mac, Chromebook).  In Fall 2013, programs will be available on Facebook, Android and IOS tablets as well.

How do I move around in a virtual environment?

With your keyboard arrows and mouse.  That's it.  We're trying to keep it simple!

My organization is interested in partnering with SUNRISE.  How do I get involved?

Contact SUNRISE.   This stuff is brand new... we'd love to work with you and hear your ideas.  Seriously.