Do you have a Second Life?

Second Life is clearly a hot topic amongst educators right now.  I have to admit, even though I’m a gamer a heart, I’m not quite sure I ‘get it’.  I haven’t spent too much time in there yet (I’m still on newbie island), but I’m trying to figure out just where it fits into elementary and secondary education.

Take it a step further, do you see a place for Discovery Education in Second Life?  How could unitedstreaming fit into it?  Would you be interested in having some webinars or group chats within Second Life?  Should the DEN have a virtual home there?

Let me know what you think!  And if you’d like to give me a guided tour or add me to my friends list, my avatars name is "Demb Oh".  Creative, eh?

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10 Comments

  1. Scott Meech said:

    I am not so sure the buzz about Second Life and Education is really about Second Life itself… I believe the buzz is a little more broad in the idea of using virtual worlds. I know that educators are experimenting with Second Life, but my experience is that isn’t totally conducive to my middle school classes at this point.

    I can think of several uses that schools could use virtual worlds…

  2. Rachel said:

    While I have not yet explored Second Life, I was at an e-Communities Summit in Maryland this week and it was discussed. The key-note speaker mentioned it. She said she also felt a bit lost initially.

    One tip she offered: seek out the ISTE community and explore there. She completed a survey and even earned a virtual ISTE tee-shirt. At least it’s a starting place. 🙂

  3. matt malcore said:

    Perhaps many of you have already seen this, but I got an article in my RSS reader today about uses of virtual words that I’d like to share.

    http://www.techlearning.com/showArticle.php?articleID=196604336

    I gave second life a try this weekend. Though I’m not a gamer at all, I’m intrigued a bit. One thing came to mind about use in the classroom. I have students who could be labeled as “anxious or highly stressed learners.” I did some research this fall about strategies to work with them, and found that having them do “role-play writing” can be helpful in relieving whatever it is that makes them overly anxious. Well, the problem comes in that my most stressed learner also hates writing and drawing.
    When I started playing around with Second Life, I saw a really neat opportunity for this child and perhaps others to be able to explore their subconscious in a virtual world.

  4. Susan Plack said:

    Well gee thanks…
    On your recommendation, I went in to Second Life last night, burned the French fries, and got too bed way too late…

    I did find the NOAA space which was really cool. Each item has a link to a website that explains what it is. That is a GREAT way to do research. It was pretty engaging, but I felt bad about not wanting to talk to all the “people” who approached me for a conversation…

    I am certainly not going in there again while cooking dinner.

  5. Maryann Molishus said:

    I looked at Second Life before and didn’t “get it.” I decided to look again–I need a new distractions now that report cards are coming due. It takes a little learning to get the hang of it, but I was having fun. The best part was when I learned to sit, but found myself sitting on the roof instead of in the chair! Then I fell off the roof. Way more fun than report cards!! I’ll continue to explore to find the educational benefits of Second Life after I learn to sit in a chair!

  6. linda in san diego said:

    Earlier this week I was reading Kathy Schrocks’s blog and she mentioned updating the look of her avatar in SL. I decided that if Kathy S was there, then I needed to check it out, so I made an account, Lyssa Sewell in SL. So far I have seen some very interesting stuff. ISTE has a presence there as do a variety of educational libraries. I went on a tour of one such place as we walked, flew and even used an escalator to view thier interactive settings. There were places to schedule and use a whiteboard feature that would even stream video.
    Last night I attended an ISTE social, a chance to talk to others, it was a little strange, all kinds of interactive chat going on and you have to be able to catch the threads of the conversation you are in while “hearing” a dozen other people.
    I did ask at the social if Discovery Ed had a presence and they said there was not, that they had to bring materials over.
    I am fresh off newbie island but I find it a fascinating place.

  7. Anne Truger said:

    Ok…when Kathy Schrock actually sent out her SOS this week and it was all about SL, I HAD to give it a look. My SL name is JessieMarie Flanagan.
    I am still stuck on Newbie Island but hope to make it to ISTE at some point. I think a DEN presence would be another great way to connect with all the people using UnitedStreaming.
    What I was fascinated by was all the people that kept talking to me. I was only on for a little while and I spoke to peeps from Israel, Portugal, France. They were even IMing in their native languages. Of course I only have their sayso on their location.
    I had several people ask me where I was from, I to answer at first, but I figured USA was a generic enough answer to allow me to be friendly but not stupid.

    ~Anne

  8. Darcie Priester said:

    Can anyone explain Second Life to me. After reading this post, I was reading a book for my graduate class that mentioned it. I can’t check it out on our school computers, because the website is blocked, but all of your comments sound very interesting. Is there an easy way to explain what this is? Also for anyone interested, two of the books I am reading in my IT class are, “A Whole New Mind” and “Don’t Bother Me Mom, I’m Learning”. Both books talk about video games and simulations in the classroom; great reads!

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