I have successfully downloaded the software and logged into Second Life for the first. Finding your bearings and navigating in this environment is definitely challenging especially for those who don’t have much skills with digital gadgets such as games but I think it is an amazing virtual world for teaching and learning. It is an experience to explore this environment.
Here are some of my photos in Flickr that I took while touring Second Life.
Second Life is a 3D virtual world where users can socialise, connect and create using free voice and text chat. Users can create an ‘avatar’ and explore this world and interact with others in this social space. A number of educational institutions and commercial organisations including ABC have a presence in this virtual world.
The University of Western Australia has a blog in Second Life. There are exhibitions and presentations.
ABC offers a number of services in Second Life called ABC Island. ABC Services in Second Life are really interesting.
Why should librarians and educators care about Second Life?
According to Ilene Frank that is where our users are headed. They are becoming more familiar and comfortable with virtual worlds. Users with an average age of 26.25 spent an average of 22 hours in virtual worlds. Online gaming fans spend time in virtual worlds. According to Gartner Group (2008) by 2011 – 80% of active Internet users will be using virtual worlds. it is becoming a familiar and favoured environment. Association of Virtual Worlds (2008) lists 250 virtual worlds.
One issue with virtual worlds is that it requires computing power. To run Second Life the minimum requirements are – broadband connection or LAN connection and a high quality computer with appropriate graphics card. Another problem for educators is dealing with students who have physical disabilities.
Play is not the only features. Virtual worlds have captured the attention of educators who are eager to explore the possibilities of simulation, role–playing, and creation that are possible in virtual environments.
Educators are looking at Second Life – free, opportunity to learn social skills
Some of my fellow students did their INF506 Project Presentations in Second Life. These presentations looked so real and shows the different ways this environment can be used to engage students.