Training in second life on Friday was a very new experience, trying to walk seemed the hardest of all…teleport…wow do it again, and even the occasional flying stint wasn’t too bad, but clunk, clunk that avatar wouldn’t move the way I wanted it too!
The applications and benefits a virtual world can hold seem quite exciting and possible, for long distance learners, disabled, disenfranchised and any other group where actual face to face learning isn’t viable. It does require a level of user knowledge and skill that may be hard to immediately grasp for many, or easy depending on level of computer competency and gamer mentality!
Spaces for learning, collaborating and conversation can be created in this virtual world, and access for all is possible. The functionality of Second Life is very good, given it is a free service and this means open access for all, which is a great advantage. Private conversations and meetings can take place while at group conferences and connections can be made across the globe to enhance personal and professional lives.
It could greatly increase access for remote study and online study, where students may require actual interaction. It can increase access for disabled and disadvantaged. Providing they have computer access. Students become connected and collaborate on their course work and it provides a sense of community. It won’t suit all but maybe an extra tool worth considering for the delivery of certain information, provided a certain amount of time is considered for learning the programme and technological issues that arise.
Is it creating more problems in a new world, instead of finding solutions that work in the here and now world?
Let’s say I’ll be keeping all options open ,and learn how to work that avatar ,easier to maintain and none of the social problems of the lesser human forms!
- Second Life Founder, Philip Rosedale, Is Quietly Creating a Next-Generation Virtual World (singularityhub.com)
- Google Funds Creation of Secretive Avatar-Style Virtual Reality! (socioecohistory.wordpress.com)
- Baker et al.(2009).Using virtual worlds in education: Second Life® as an educational tool.Teaching of Psychology,36(1).DOI 10.1080/00986280802529079