Anyone have a Second Life yet? What's so compelling about Second Life anyway? Is this the dawn of Web 3.0? What are the implications for education? Any great SL resources out there?

My avatar's name is Lucy Daffodil if you're looking for a friend there!

Lucy Gray

Tags: life, virtualworlds, Second_Life, secon, second

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I've been in, I saw, I left. I don't mean to be a wet blanket but I find this Second Life stuff spooky, not Stephen King or Dean Koontz spooky, just weird. When are teachers going to find time to re-design all this content into a "new" learning environment? Most of the classroom teachers I know barely use the Web 1.0 stuff--they are overloaded with testing, NCLB, AYP, kids who don't speak English, kids who live in poverty, kids who don't come to school--when are they going to have time (or take time) to provide meaty "interactions" in a virtual environment?

Where is a focus on rigorous content? Advanced math and science skills? I'm old, OK not that old, but I will retire in 3-4 years. I'm 100% into using the technology tools when they enhance the learning and have done great technology related curriculum---but isn't SL the same as "first" life? Why do we need avatar kids when he have real kids? Why do we need avatar teachers not paying attention to virtual staff development when we have real teachers not paying attention to real staff development?

I've rambled enough--isn't there anybody out there besides me that thinks this is odd and worth a second look? OK I'm a repressed luddite. N.
Thank you very much for the coherent, clear and cogent response to the issues brought up by the previous post. With your permission, I shall excerpt your comments and use them to influence my colleagues at the appropriate moments *:-) May I?
Lucy,
I have to disagree with people who see 2D conferencing software like Elluminate being a better option that a virtual environment. I use Elluminate everyday when teaching, so I have some credibility. Second Life is a user created metaverse. Elluminate has limitations. If you are interested, you should go here to see all of the 3D worlds out there.

Unfortunately, SL is being developed for commercial purposes, but I think a 3D virtual world based on education is in the works. I know of one called Croquet. One of the great powers of the Internet is networking, and personally, I would rather do that in a 3D environment, rather than 2D.

Best of luck,

Aaron
Hi Lucy,

My avatar's name in SL is Concord Comet

The Visionaries and Team Players Meeting Center, HQ of iSLa Planet in SL, is located at this SLURL

This meeting center is available to anyone who would like to use it for a good cause

Best,

Ricart Prats
www.islaplanet.com
I think the appeal is the opportunity to be someone else and do things that you might not do in real life. Even though you're dealing with fake people you know that there are real people manipulating those fake people. I've explored it a bit, wasn't that into it, and decided to get out before I was sucked in.
Feel free to join our Secondlife & Croquet Users and Developers group !
http://classroom20.ning.com/group/croquetsecondlif
Hello my ADE friend! I love the discussion going on about this. I must go play! I love the discussion about not making the SL too much like the RL classroom. We need to recognize the possibilities!
SL grows on you the more time you spend in-world. Right now it seems many people are using old maps in this new world. But we all have to start somewhere and that is part of the learning curve. It will take time and experimentation to discover what works best in this new medium. It is definately more "embodied" than other forms of internet communication.
Sky News (in the UK) is running a competition for virtual reporters in 2nd Life.

News and jobs for journalists :: Sky News wants Second Life citizen journalists

Sky News wants Second Life citizen journalists Posted: 14 August 2007 By: Oliver Luft Sky News is calling on Second Life residents to become virtual news reporters and submit videos about the 3D world. Sky News has joined forces with video-sharing website SkyCast to launch a 'reporters' challenge'. The aim is for members of Second Life to create video reports on things they think have news value and relevance to the virtual community. Reports will then be hosted on skycast.com with the best entries run on the Sky News website. Virtual news hounds need to collect a Sky News microphone from the foyer of the Sky's virtual newsroom and put together a two-minute piece. The closing date for entries is September 30.

From http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/story3465.shtml
I have a SL, but like others...the FL is way too busy. Our action plans with SL involve the following:

1. Build an exhibit hall for students to showcase their work (from a variety of courses -CIS, math, art, English etc).

2. Hold an academic conference in the site.

3. Create simulations for nursing students to use as pre-tests for their clinicals.

I just haven't had time to really learn SL to teach it to others--I'm in the fumbling through stage. We should all get together and help each other learn SL. Maybe some one can set up a space to start the learning modules.
First I quite agree with the comments about not recreating the classroom. I found the example of the virtual eye very inspired and inspiring, that never would have occurred to me. I was surprised by the number of posts by people that had a hard time navigating in Second Life as I found it very intuitive and even fun. As for the comment about where are educators going to find the time to learn the necessary skills to develop SL (or any other VR based) curriculum and content, the answer is easy: You don't have to. There are a great number of people who already possess those skills; use them. We don't all write the text books, or produce the audio/video media, or develop the software that we use. Why not take the same approach to SL?

The issue I have with SL is about safety. I have played there a while and it didn't take very long before I met someone I would not want anywhere near my children -- or myself for that matter. I would worry a great deal about sexual predators were I to have my students use SL. Yes, I know there is the teen grid, but I don't think that that is protection enough. Furthermore, what if the child uses her SL skills to create a second identity and joins the adult grid?
I do have a second life account but I crash alot. Since I have well over 1 gig of RAM I am perhaps having trouble with my video drivers. So for now I have a very limited perspective I see the value in second life as:

1. Another way to get kids to work collaboratively
2.The ability to use scripts to construct models in the 3D world
3. Application of knowledge and skills (Classroom experiences often focus on gaining knowledge listening in the classroom, doing a project or two and them taking a test to measure how much they remembered. )often proves to be
4. A g-rated version of 2nd life might allow students to problem solve and test ideas that might not be able to do in school.

From my limited presective as a k-8 teacher...2nd life could be another tool that could be used effectively in the hands of a motivated instructor who has a well thought out lesson and goals .

Just a few thought in my humble opinion

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