I had the pleasure of being invited to “lead” a conversation during a “Teacher’s Buzz” session at the New Media Consortium Campus in Second Life earlier today. I’m looking especially bizarre these days…white socks and black flip flops…how’s that for style? And I got some weird raccoony looking pony tail going on. Oy.
Anyway, it was a pretty interesting dialog (if you can follow it) that went a lot of different directions over the hour. We were trying to get some sense of the educational opportunities here, and to be honest, I’m not sure how much sense I made even to myself. There were about 25 people in the space which made it pretty chaotic at times, but I learned quite a bit from the experience. I’m starting to focus in on what for me, at least, are the salient questions about SL that I’ll save for later, but you can get a sense from the chat transcript if you like.
Technorati Tags: secondlife, education, teaching, learning
Interesting. I read through about half the chat, but now need to get to bed. What I thought at one point was that we have this great tool (SL) and we’re saying, “What can we do with it?”. Instead of saying, “We have this problem/need”, what tools exist to solve it? It always concerns me when I find myself trying to find a place for some cool technology. We need to work from the problem side. For instance, I would like to see some greater emphasis on collaboration and multi-cultural experience in our school. How can we do that in an engaging and affordable way. Second Life fits that problem. What an interesting way to learn a written foreign language, totally immerse the student in an SL realm of native speakers.
What are our other problems … reading, writing, math skills, technology/information literacy … now give me the tools. I am always reminding myself to be careful not to go, “blogs … cool … where can we use them.”
I also am new to SL and have spent some time there. I wonder too about the potential benefits educationally. What I have found so far is, as stated in the chat, I connect to people and find great resources. I walk up to people in SL where I would not in the real world. I don’t have a desire to create content in SL, but I enjoy and gain from the interactions.
I believe ultimately everyone will interact remotely (business meetings, distance learning lectures, etc) in an environment derived from this. Right now there are barriers (speed, following a chat, etc) … but when bandwidth and graphics cards are not an issue, we have sound, the avatars have our expressions and gestures mimiced from the RL you real time, then it’s a no brainer with enormous benefits. I can’t wait until my laptop has the computational power of the human race … but I’m also excited to have been in on this from the ground floor, chatting with people around the world back in the monochrome-text based-300 baud days!
Shaun Carey says
Second life sounds really interesting! I can’t wait to try it. I think my students would really get into this.