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Education in Second Life

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Education in Second Life

Second Life is used as a platform for education by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries and government entities.

Impact and current status

There are over one hundred regions used for educational purposes covering subjects such as chemistry[1] and English.[2][3] Instructors and researchers in Second Life favor it because it is more personal than traditional distance learning.[4] Research has uncovered development, teaching and/or learning activities which use Second Life in over 80 percent of UK universities.[5] At least 300 universities around the world teach courses or conduct research in SL.[6] New educational institutions have also emerged that operate exclusively within Second Life,[7] taking advantage of the platform to deliver content to a world wide audience at low cost.[8]

Due to the announced closure of Teen Second Life in 2010-2011, many derivative OpenSimulator grids have been established for hosting educational projects.

Structure

Info Islands uses library programming sponsored by the Illinois' NASA, NOAA, NIH, JPL, NPR, National Physical Laboratory, UK, and a host of other government agencies, universities, and museums. In December 2008, the United States Air Force launched MyBase, a Second Life island overseen by the Air Education and Training Command.[9]

Second Life's usefulness as a platform for pre-EnergyTeachers.org does with its Sustainability Energy Science Lab.

Language education

Language learning is the most widespread type of education in virtual worlds,[10] with many universities, mainstream language institutes and private language schools using 3D virtual environments to support language learning.

Controversy

Ban of educational institution

Woodbury University's virtual campus

Second Life has twice, in 2007 and 2010, banned a California educational institution, Woodbury University, from having a representation within Second Life. On 20 April 2010 four simulators belonging to the university were deleted and the accounts of several students and professors terminated, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Edward Clift, the dean of Woodbury University's School of Media, Culture and Design, stated that their campus "was a living, breathing campus in Second Life", that included educational spaces designed mostly by students, including a mock representation of the former Soviet Union and a replica of the Berlin Wall. As Dr. Clift told The Chronicle of Higher Education, the virtual campus did not "conform to what Linden Lab wanted a campus to be".[11][12][13] Linden Lab said their decision to ban Woodbury University in April 2010 was "based on historical and recent events that constitute a breach of the Second Life community standards and terms of service."[12]

The university has since moved to a separate, dedicated OpenSimulator grid.

Second Life Educators

Annabeth Robinson

Main Article: Annabeth Robinson

Annabeth Robinson is a Second Life performer and educator who lectures at Leeds College of Art.[14] She develops tools and techniques for improving virtual environment education including the widely used MetaLab Whiteboard. '[15]

Robin Winter

Robin Winter aka Shukran Fahid / Shukran Serendipity has worked with several organisations including Immersive Education and Imperial College to produce a number of training programmes for schools, universities, the NHS and the Ministry of Defense using both Second Life and Open Sim. Currently the CEO of Warm Winter Arts, he is bringing virtualisation into mobile applications and biological sciences.

References

  1. ^ "Chemistry in Second Life". Slusage.com. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  2. ^ "A Real School in Second Life". Languagelab.com. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  3. ^ "English Literature in Second Life". Literaturealive.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  4. ^ Lagorio, Christine (2007-01-07). "The Ultimate Distance Learning".  
  5. ^ Kirriemuir, John (2007-05-05). "Snapshots of Second Life use in UK HE and FE".  
  6. ^ Michels, Patrick (2008-02-16). "Universities Use Second Life to Teach Complex Concepts".  
  7. ^ Erard, Michael (2007-04-10). "A Boon to Second Life Language Schools".  
  8. ^ Cowan, Matt (2008-10-10). "The 'second wave' of Second Life".  
  9. ^ "AETC opens virtual doors to MyBase". Af.mil. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  10. ^ "8D Taps Language Learners, Bots, Microtransactions". Virtual World News. 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  11. ^ Andrea L. Foster (July 13, 2007). "The Death of a Virtual Campus".  
  12. ^ a b Jeff Young (April 21, 2010). "Woodbury U. Banned From Second Life, Again".  
  13. ^ Jeff Greer (April 22, 2010). "California College Loses Second Life for a Second Time".  
  14. ^ Hiles, J. "Blended Realities: A Virtual Tour of Education in Second Life". Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Kemp, J. "Second Life Education Workshop 2007". Second Life Community Convention.  

External links

  • Second Life Education portal
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