Transcript of “Education and SecondLife”[Slide One]
Hi everybody, this is Mike Bogle here.In this presentation we're going to take a preliminary glimpse at SecondLife and discuss what it is,some of the important characteristics and activities taking place in the virtual world and importantly broach some questions on how or in indeed whether SecondLife can be used to facilitate learning inhigher education.The video is divided into two sections – a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the key conceptsand frames the discussion, followed by an in-world tour of 4 sites that illustrate how SecondLife iscurrently being used to support learning.
So we begin with the question: What is SecondLife?Well according to the SecondLife website:“Second Life® is a 3-D virtual world
created by its Residents.
”The emphasis here is mine because I think the implications are important to consider. Virtuallyeverything you see, hear and interact with in SecondLife was created by users, not Linden Labs(who are the creators of SecondLife).
Effectively this means many SecondLife users voluntarily spend countless hoursexploring, building, customising, interacting and learning in-world.So at least for a certain sample of the user community, the implications for sustained attention spanand engagement are significant. However based upon the preliminary research I've done so far it'sseems this isn't the norm.Accounts of some the student experiences I've read have been quite the opposite, with one studyindicating a key outcome of an early iteration of use of SecondLife in the classroom was anger andfrustration.Students didn't understand the relevance of SecondLife to their learning, which was worsened bythe infamous learning curve and technical requrements.I won't quote this study by name just yet because I haven't read the entire thing. The point is that therange of experiences and perspectives on the educational use of SecondLife is quite broad and notnecessarily positive.So at this stage the key questions that need to be researched and discussed are fundamental ones:
What are the implications for higher education?
Does this represent an opportunity?
If so, how can it be capitalised upon?
What challenges or obstacles exist?I'd like to encourage you to think about each of these questions during the in-world tour and hopewe can develop a dialogue together in which we begin to explore these questions together.
In terms of challenges and obstacles the two primary ones that I've identified – both