Thursday, September 27, 2007

Educational Uses for SL and Important Resources


I have been putting this together. Many people ask me in RL when they find out that I am in SL and teach some of my graduate classes in SL they want to know some of the educational benefits. I usually list one or two items and then when the conversation is over, I think wow - should have mentioned ...

Well I have been putting together a list for any educator considering SL that consists of Educational Benefits (compiled from multiple blogs/wikis - they are mentioned in the next section - many have been compiled on, which is a lengthy website, but has great resources if you have the time to read it), and other reliable SL Blogs and Wikis and some educational places to visit in SL with connected links and videos to visit if you do not have an SL account - These also are posted on many websites, but compiled at

Here we go with the Reader's Digest Version of the materials out there requestion by our schools (Approximately 50 school disitrcts interested in a 5 minute or less overview that did not want to view lengthy websites and wikis:

Educational Benefits of SL

• 3D virtual worlds can provide opportunities for rich sensory immersive experiences, authentic contexts and activities for experiential learning, simulation and role-play, modeling of complex scenarios, a platform for data visualization and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation that can not be easily experienced using other platforms.
• Provides an excellent platform for flexible delivery and online education.
• An extension tool to meet student learning needs on a 24/7 basis.
• The many communities of Second Life provided students with rich opportunities for observation, research and interaction with other cultures, as well as many interview subjects for use in their writing.
• Second Life's ability to create a sense of presence, shared space and shared experience makes it ideal for presentations, panels and discussions. Presenters can show slides and videos and stream their voices into the world.
• The platform allows for the development of a range of strategies and spaces for training and skills development. Users can access a range of training options in Second Life - both useful in the virtual world and in real life!
• Residents are creating displays and exhibits on a broad range of subject areas. Using images, text and multimedia they are able to create dynamic, interactive displays and exhibits, which avatars can move in and interact with.
• Immersive Exhibits in Second Life allow residents to engage in, experience and respond to information in context, allowing for a deeper understanding of places, situations or circumstances through simulation.
• Allows students to undertake a range of role-plays and simulations, practicing real life skills in a virtual space or exploring situations that they could not undertake safely or easily in the real world.
• Advanced scripting and building tools built into the Second Life platform allow for the development of complex data visualizations and simulations.
• Teachers can create laboratories where students can take part in virtual experiments that produce and analyzable data.
• This platform currently hosts a range of Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums where residents can engage in events, discussions, and displays on a wide range of topics that they might never be able to do in the real world.
• The platform allows for the creation of amazing, immersive environments based on historical places and events. These environments can be used for a range of learning activities including role-plays, action learning and research and historical study.
• The built in scripting tools allow users of Second Life to explore a range of Artificial Intelligence concepts.
• Second Life is one big arts project, as all of the content is user-generated. However, there are plenty of examples of original artworks, both in galleries and in the "open", from scans of paintings and drawings from the real world to 3D dynamic and interactive sculptures and installations that make use of the unique 3D qualities and building tools of the Second Life platform.
• Second Life offers the ability to create a range of performances and theatrical events. Easy to customise avatars, and the ability to make elaborate sets and props quickly and cheaply makes it an appealing platform to some performance artists.
• Built in camera tools allow users to shoot virtual photographs in Second Life, which can be save and used in a range of ways including photo stories and photoscenarios. This strategy can be used to engage students in digital storytelling, and recording and reflecting their work in Second Life. It can also be used to create engaging multimedia resources, which can be used in teaching and learning.
• As well as being used by language teachers - including ESL/TESOL - to run language classes, Second Life also provides opportunities to interact with native speakers of target languages.
• Second Life has also been used to help abused children redevelop socializing skills; adults with cerebral palsy to allow them to share personal interactions without prejudice.
• Because Second Life has a real population it provides an opportunity to explore various forms of governance and community-building and to engage in political action, such as protests and electioneering, without many of the risks associated with taking action in the real world.
• Second Life has a real economy and currency exchange making it possible to experiment with running businesses and engaging in economics modeling in a low-risk environment.

Reliable SL Blog/Wiki Resources

Articles and Papers

Some Must See Locations in SL ( I did not duplicate any from my last educational tour of SL -

• Remember Me - Alzheimer's Exhibit on InfoIsland
• Gold Rush -
• Hydro Hijinks Diplomacy Game
• Play2Train - Idaho Bio-terrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program -
• UC Davis Medical Center's Emergency Workers Simulation-based Training
• National Oceoanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Island
• Seifert Surface’s Mathematical Sculptures in the Future Sim
• S&P 500 Visualized in Second Life on Clear Ink Island -
• Genome -
• Roma - Ancient Rome
• The Independent State of Caledon -
• Temple of Isis -
• Ant Harvesting Simulation -
• SDSU Second Life Pioneers based on

Regards till my next post,

Educational Uses of Second Life

Give Education a Second Life

Introduction to Second Life and Its Educational Possibilities

Education in Second Life - Explore the Possibilities

Introduction to Second Life

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

September 07 - Highlights for SL and Education (Mostly)

Well, I have been posting a little less frequently about SL the past few weeks because of the start-up of the new school year. I went into SL yesterday for the first time in about 2 weeks and downloaded the new updates. However, I could not find any friends online to try the voice features out with. I will have to go back on Sunday night when it seems to be Educator Central in SL. :-)

Just because I have not been on SL does not mean I have not been active. Take a look at these great SL web pages and articles I have come across in the past few weeks:

Digital Space Portal - This is an interesting website/wiki. Digital Spaces is an open source multi-media presentation and simulation engine. It is highly flexible allowing the designer to choose what capabilities they want and how to use them. It supports a range of media types, with a focus on immersive 3 dimensional "spaces".

Scorp's Second Life Adventures - This is SL comic book style - very cool.

CBS News Article on SL - from September 18th, 2007 - Learning Architecture In A Virtual World:Larry Magid Reports On Real Life Tycoon's New Way Of Teaching. "(CBS) Terry Beaubois had a problem when he was offered a position teaching architecture at Montana State University. He wasn't ready to move to Bozeman, Montana, where the campus is located. So he figured out a way to teach the course from his home in Northern California . . . "

SciLands - This is a blog that is devoted to a special region of SL called the SciLands.

Knowledge Transfer Innovations - Pretty interesting site, especially for SL medical and college level teaching.

Second Life Computer History Museum - The objective of this site is to develop a Museum to showcase information about the history of Computers, Computing and Computer Science. They need to include a SLURL - this is very cool, but I am not sure if it is connected to

Tenth Life
is a new blog that takes Torley's tips from videos and toned them down.

Edmonton Journal Article - NAIT goes virtual with Second Life from 9/18/07

The Modern Virtual Environments - Provides PDF documents and they are a theory. It is intended to be used as an educational tool for those interested in the field of architecture from a digital perspective.

Best of Both Worlds - I was attracted to this one since they recommend and read Puritans Guide. Thanks guys. :-) Content seems good and has a lot of readers. Over 20,000 for this blog. Love the catch phrase : A man in his mid second life crisis. :-)

Random Thoughts; for Boston Now Readers - Not completely about SL, but occasionally posts about it and other technology.

Shambles Menu - gives a listing of some hot SL educational blogs.

Digital School House - Another cool blogs - they also mentions Puritan's Guide - so thanks it is much appreciated - :-) Good site and has some great blog widgets!

Ambling in Second Life - Fantastic content!!!

Avatar Languages - This is a school out of South America that will teach you a language in SL - very cool concept. Never tried it, but looks like a great idea.

ABC' News - Second Life Gets Real at a conference.

Flickr - Second Life Families

Second Life - A guide to your Virtual World - New Book out on SL.

Sliterary of Fiction and Second Life - Very cool web page. A must visit. Stories from in world of SL. Great idea!!!

Second Avatar - one of my all time favs!! they are currently publicizing SL Next Top Model They are looking for Mr and Ms SL World. It is free. More info at MS SL World gets 5000 lindens and the top 10 pictures get 500 lindens. Does not seem educational, but a lot of fun. Maybe Dembe should join to see if she can be the next title holder. :-)

Natalia's Second Life Diary*%20Getting%20Started%20in%20Second%20Life%20Guide*
Gives a good starters guide and also good recommendations for fashion to the SL new comer. Wish I would have read this blog when I got started. :-)

SL Newspaper Finance - Blog that looks at the business side of SL. I guess it is kind of the Wall Street Journal of SL ;-)

Alliance Second Life Library Project Report in PDF format - This is a must read.

3 Point D Good blog on virtual worlds. Today they published that the Google 3d world is back on the rumor mill. "Arizona State University students will have the opportunity to test a new product that sounds very virtual world and that also sounds like it will require a Gmail account. Apparently to be “publicly launched later this year,” the product is developed by “a major Internet company” and, says Google Op" very interesting articles - great blog as well.

Its Not Whether You Win or Lose, But How You Play The Game in Education - an Annotated Bibliography on SL

Tech Crunch - Virtual World Hang Outs -So many to choose from - a review of some of the top 3d worlds -

Second Life/Second Changes? Maybe - From Arab News on SL -

IBM Gaming and Leadership Report -

SL video Tutorials for educators getting ready to teach in SL

Educause Connect - Reading into the Virtual World for Real World Learning article.

Okay - If you would like to see all of my SL resources, please join my network. I am Dembe01 on

I will be posting a monthly highlights for education or of interest in SL like this at the end of each month this academic year.

Regards till my next post,

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

ABC News on SL

Great story from ABC News/iCaught - Creating a New Self on Second Life.

On my computer the story is a little choppy, but worth the wait.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Learn a Language is SL

What a great site! It offers a way for people/students to learn a language in SL. "Real teachers and real languages in a virtual world."

This service was started by a language teacher in South America, looks like out of Bolivia. Go to for more information on how this service works.

Unfortunately, I could not obtain pricing or a SLURL for where these courses take place.

Regards till my next posting,

Tech Tools 4 Teachers Podcast - Podcast link

Sean and I ventured out today and decided to start a Podcast for Educational Technology. Above is the link to our podcast site. You can subscribe by RSS using iTunes, My Yahoo, Google, Podcast. We will be podcasting every Friday afternoon, please check out our podcast and joint blog - Bits n Bytes News .

Our Schudule:

  • Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0
  • Great Educational Blogs and Wikis: Must Know Teacher Sites
  • Second Life and Education
  • Social Networking
  • M-Learning Trends
  • Gaming and Learning
  • Distance Learning
  • Data Assistance and the Teacher
  • Who is the Millennial Child?
  • Internet Safety
  • Educational Web 2.0 Sites
  • SmartBoard and the Senteo in the Classroom
  • Year 2007 in Review

About Me

Cyber, World, United States
Dembe is an international educator that is a member of ISTE and EDUPODCASTING. SHe has created this blog for research and development as well as to document and make SL easier for other educators. Below, please check out the Educator's Survival Pack. It is designed to help new educators entering SL and Teen SL to Teach.

ClusterMap as of July 25, 2007

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