Looking At “Second Life” For Educational Opportunities

image of Tony Farley in Second Life

Above is my Second Life avatar (so far). I was able to change the hair to match mine, but other than that I’m wearing a standard outfit. That’s ok, you can spend hours fine tuning your look but I just wanted to fix my hair and move on to seeing what Second Life can do for learners. So I went in search of educational opportunities. I started off in Etopia. I thought the E was for education but it turns out it’s for eco. The builders of this land have created an environmentally sustainable living land with some pretty cool features. One of the first is a free bike!

image of etopia in Second Life

I couldn’t ride the bike. I couldn’t figure out how. 🙁 But I was able to ride a gondola to the top of a mountain and then have an eagle fly me back down.

So far I have not really learned anything, but I have experienced some pretty cool stuff.

I teleported to “The Science Circle” and found a place where I could hear Neil degrasse Tyson speak. I couldn’t find how or where once I got there though.

I was able to swim with some whales there though and this brings to mind some of the ways in which Second Life can be useful to education. Experiences can be built where students can swim with fish, visit an historical place, and gather information. Much of the actual learning of facts comes through reading things when you find them. Kinda like a VR book experience.

I did find a pretty cool science learning land just by chance. I downloaded a list of lands from the Science Circle that had a pretty extensive list of lands used for learning. I went to the Oddprofessor’s Science Center and found some great interactive learning tools build there. Everything from cannons that fire projectiles to vector addition.

 

Here’s a link to the document with all the learning lands: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iXdPvIg6Bp0WEhs1wp6fZ144nuMYhh3L_rJanvxx7R8/edit?usp=sharing

If you visit one and it looks useful, or if you know of a good place to bring students, leave me a note below.

Tony

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