I’ve not spent any time with Second Life so I know I am not in any position to pass judgement on it, but I have this ‘fear’ of such a large virtual world. I read lots of posts on blogs and Twitter about the pitfalls of using it, but every now and again I find something that raises my spirits.
Thanks must go to JISC who, once again, have come up trumps with their recent “Second Life guide helps lecturers teach in the virtual world“.
“‘’Getting Started in Second Life’ answers some common questions like how to set up in Second Life, what the rules of the world are, how to plan lessons and how best to help students use it effectively for learning. The aim of the guide is to present the basics in order to help lecturers experiment, rather than them getting lost in mastering the detail of the virtual environment.”
David White, who led the project, says:
“Virtual worlds are not going to be for everyone but it’s important to understand the genuine pros and cons rather than getting a skewed picture from the media. Teaching in these environments feels more like running an event than simply using a piece of software. This [magazine] has been created to help educators make informed choices in their use, or non-use, of virtual worlds for teaching and learning.”
As I have said a few times before in previous posts it is imperative that we, as educators and facilitators, know and understand the world in which the today’s and tomorrow’s student lives.
Follow the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #jiscsl09.
Second Life is described as “a free 3D multi-user virtual world developed by Linden Labs in 2003, and is inhabited by millions of residents across the world. It is used as a platform for education by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries and government entities, with over one hundred regions used for educational purposes. This guide is aimed at those who are wanting to use Second Life for teaching in further and higher education. It provides in-depth descriptions of all aspects of the immersive world for both direct useand facilitating others’ use.