Second Life Learning
Second Life learning opportunities have exploded in the Second Life virtual world. High school students, college students, and professionals can attend classes, network, form study groups, develop projects and participate in many other educational opportunities in their “second life”.
It’s Not Your Mom’s High School
Many school districts are recognizing the lure of technology for younger generations. Students respond to new and interesting learning situations in a more excited manner than they do when faced with the same material in the traditional classroom.
Schools across the world are setting up learning centers in Second Life. This virtual Second Life learning is allowing students who are forced to stay home for health issues to attend virtual classes. Other situations where students find they are unable to attend traditional classes also benefit from learning through Second Life. Even students who want to take more than the normal load of courses can be seen in Second Life high school classrooms.
When Harvard University makes a move other universities stand up and take notice. When Harvard set up its learning areas in Second Life other universities like Stanford or Princeton soon followed. Distance learning is now available in this virtual world for almost any college student and on almost any subject.
Who the Teachers Are…
Many people want to know who is teaching in Second Life. Are my kids being taught by an automaton?
According to Second Life experts the teachers in this virtual world are high caliber teachers who currently work in the corresponding real life institutions. If you are signed up for a Harvard Law School class at the Berkman Center you will be taught by a Harvard teacher.
Beyond the Classroom
There are more learning experiences available. Not all learners will be found sitting in classrooms. Second Life offers virtual field trips that allow students to go anywhere in the world. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a Second Life area where users can see the bottom of the ocean floor or view the northern lights right from their monitor.
Study groups are very popular in Second Life. Users with similar interests or users studying the same material in a real world or virtual classroom can meet on a regular basis to study, discuss important information and work together.
In order to find educational events in Second Life use the Second Life viewer interface or screen. At the top menu choose Edit - Search. Once In the search window go to the “Events” folder and do a search within the “Education” category. You will find hundreds of educational events daily. You can also access to the “search” button at the bottom menu of the Second Life Viewer or screen.
Anything, (almost), you can do that is considered learning in real life can be found as a Second Life learning experience. IBM and other companies have their employees network on the site and offer courses just for their workers. Tutors can be found for any subject matter and local chat, IM/Call and voice chat allows them to instantly communicate with students needing help. Second Life learning offers a wide variety of learning experiences to all of their many users.
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