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,

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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.

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