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Second Life in Education. What is it? Why use it? What to do with it? Anything to worry about?. SL in numbers. opened in June 2003 Almost 10 million registered users 30 000 simultaneous registrations 54 % Europeans (Feb 2007) Average age 33 Women 41 %

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second life in education

Second Life in Education

What is it?

Why use it?

What to do with it?

Anything to worry about?

sl in numbers
Hanna TorpSL in numbers
  • opened in June 2003
  • Almost 10 million registered users
  • 30 000 simultaneous registrations
  • 54 % Europeans (Feb 2007)
  • Average age 33
  • Women 41 %
  • Approx. 1 million USD money transfer a day.
  • 80 % of active Internet users will have an account by 2011 (Gartner research)
give me one good reason to use it
Hanna TorpGive me one good reason to use it...
  • Enhanced motivation
  • Immersion
  • Much better feeling of community than in traditional e-learning
  • Threshold for asking questions considerably lower
  • Fun
  • Free
continued
Hanna Torp...continued
  • Your world, your imagination
  • New tools
  • Networking
  • Cooperating with students and academics from other countries
  • Real enterprises, organisations and universities are there
  • Recruiting

Actually, that was 12 good reasons!

bo akademi university has tested it
Much more fun

More convenient

Enhanced collaboration

Much better feeling of community

(compared to traditional e-learning)

Much more fun

More collaborative

Easier to participate

Lower threshold for asking questions

(compared to face-to-face teaching)

Hanna Torp

Åbo Akademi University has tested it.
how to use it
Hanna TorpHow to use it?
  • distance lectures
  • group work
  • visualisation
  • conferences, workshops, seminars
  • Åbo Akademi: used together with Moodle. Group work and discussion took place in SL.

Let’s go and see…

too good to be true problems with the virtual world
Hanna TorpToo good to be true? – Problems with the virtual world
  • A limited number of people can be on the same island at the same time.
  • Sometimes there are problems with the connection.
  • SL is not (yet) very attractive (at least for people who play console games!)
too good to be true wrong target group
Hanna TorpToo good to be true? – Wrong target group
  • it is a mistake to believe that this is a way to attract young students – SL is an adult thing. It could be like trying to attract kids by playing U2 to them and believing that they think it’s cool.
  • Some companies have made this mistake and the success (or lack of it) has been a disappointment.
too good to be true weirdos
Hanna TorpToo good to be true? - Weirdos
  • SL, like real world, has its share of strange subcultures.
  • A fashion phenomenon: groups of “terrorists” who are after a cheap laugh and disturb political debates or other serious events.
    • > Can be prevented with access limitations?
a self evident conclusion

A self-evident conclusion:

It is crucial to pay careful attention to the pedagogical quality here as well. There is always the danger of hype in new phenomena like this. A good idea and good-quality content are still the most important things. There should be added value.

sources
Hanna TorpSources:
  • Kim Holmberg & Isto Huvila, Åbo Akademi; web.abo.fi/fc/opu/avoin/material/SecondLifeEsitys.pdf
  • Second Life News: www.slnn.com
  • Janne Pyykkönen, Pelaaja Magazine Vol 66, March 2008.
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