Second Life - handout version (text only)
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Second Life - handout version (text only)



Handouts from a presentation to eLive2007, Edinburgh, May 2007 given by Kate Farrell

Handouts from a presentation to eLive2007, Edinburgh, May 2007 given by Kate Farrell



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Second Life - handout version (text only) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Second Life: Using 3D virtual worlds across the secondary curriculum Kate Farrell Castlebrae High School
  • 2. What is Second Life?
    • Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by 6.5 million avatars.
    • 1.7m people have logged on in the last 60 days
    • Normally 20-40,000 people online at any one time
  • 3. Why use SL in Education?
    • Creative
    • Exciting
    • Fun
    • Engaging
    • Entrepreneurial
    • Collaborative
    • Worldwide
  • 4. How to use SL in Education
    • Meetings
    • Discussions
    • Interviews
    • Talks
    • CPD
    • Lectures
    • Debates
    • Presentations
    • Simulations
    • Games
    • Creating
    • Designing
    • Collaborating
    • Working together in RL (real life) and SL
  • 5. Existing Educational Projects Current uses of SL with 13-17 year olds
  • 6. Kids Connect
    • Kids Connect is a series of workshops for young people in multiple locations, teaching them to connect and work together via performance, digital storytelling and networked collaboration
    • In our pilot program, participants connected and created with other students in New York and Amsterdam via video streaming and in Second Life, the online virtual world.
  • 7. Kids Connect
    • New York kids were taught SL building and scripting and appearance skills
    • They also learned performance and movement skills, digital storytelling, Playback theatre, VJing (Video DJing), filming and sound recording skills
    • The Amsterdam kids had less time and were more focused on programming skills in SL.
    • They recreated their neighbourhood, including graffiti
  • 8. Global Kids
    • Global Kids Island in the teen grid is a place for teen residents to learn about important social and world issues.
    • The island recently hosted a digital media essay contest, the SL version of the Save Darfur charity wristband campaign, a photo show from Global Kids Leaders, Camp GK, UNICEF A World Fit For Children Festival, the Henry Jenkins lecture/dance party, and interactive, experiential workshops led by GK staff on issues related to digital media.
    • In Autumn 2006 a real world machinima program and a real-world gaming program, both using TSL, were launched in NYC.
  • 9. Suffern Middle School
    • SL being used in Language, Art, Geometry, Entrepreneurs, Robotics and History classes in school
    • Recent project in Health Education is on body image and self-esteem
    • Pupils recreate scenes from books, such as “Of Mice and Men”
  • 10. Pacific Rim Exchange (PacRimX)
    • Exchange project between a school in California, USA and Kyoto, Japan
    • American kids learning Japanese
    • Japanese kids learning English
    • Getting to know each other before meeting in real life
  • 11. Open University’s Schome (not school, not home)
    • Research project by the Open University looking at ways of overcoming the problems within current education systems
    • Part of a network of activities for high achieving students in the UK
  • 12. British Council
    • Three islands in Teen Grid
    • Space for foreign students to practice their English Language skills
    • Wide range of materials for students
    • Games, quests, and treasure hunts based on linguistic clues
    • An iconic representation of Britain
  • 13. Virtual Grammar Dunoon Grammar School
    • Use of Audio / Video in the main grid
    • Supporting homework & revision
    • Whole school initiative
    • Use in English using Scottish texts
    • Use in Art designing virtual school uniform
  • 14. Using SL in the Curriculum
  • 15. Modern Foreign Languages
    • Virtual penpal scheme
    • Communicate using text so reading and written skills improve
    • Combine with Skype to practice spoken language skills (this facility will be included in SL soon)
    • Roleplay by creating café or shop scenes
  • 16. Modern Foreign Languages Modern Languages could use SL for collaborating with kids around the world - a high-tech penpal scheme! Also, locations such as cafes or shops could be set up to allow role-play. As SL uses a chat/IM system, this would allow pupils to practice their writing, although programs like Skype or Vivox could be used as well to practice talking in foreign languages. It could be like a virtual school trip, without the expense or risk assessments ;-)
  • 17. Religious & Moral Education
    • Attitudes towards appearance and disability
    • Change your skin colour or use a wheelchair for a week. Do others react differently?
    • Research into different religions
    • Body image and Self-esteem
  • 18. Craft, Design & Technology
    • Product design and testing
    • Consumer research
    • Not as advanced as CAD or other design tools
    • Can design in groups
    • Other teens can see and walk round your final design
  • 19. Craft, Design & Technology Second Life could be used to do product design and testing. Objects could be designed as normal then created in SL and consumer testing carried out. Is the chair too big or too small for different sized people? Is the three legged table safe? Do people like the design of the mobile phone holder and should it be made in plastic or neoprene? Any objects can be created in SL without the expense of testing with real materials.
  • 20. Art & Design
    • Virtual Art Gallery for studying existing work or showcasing pupils’ work
    • Don’t Touch doesn’t apply in SL!
    • Sculptures, including moving sound and light scupltures
    • Product design and testing
    • Photography
    • Fashion Design
  • 21. Art and Design Art students could use the simple shapes (prims) available to create sculptures of different things. Work can be displayed to everyone who passes the sculpture gallery. Pictures can be imported into SL so pupils' real life work can be displayed in the virtual world to everyone. Photography is also very easy. Pupils can take photos 'in-world' and send them for free to or to be displayed and commented on by others. They could do a scavenger hunt for pictures of themes like light, shadows or repeating patterns. Other scavenger hunts could be looking for words to make up a photo poem made up of different words found around the virtual world. The photos can also be downloaded and used in collages or other work.
  • 22. English & Media Studies
    • Study newspapers created in SL
    • Work as a journalist for a paper
    • Recreate scenes from books and poems
    • Talk to characters in setting
  • 23. Drama
    • Costumes and characters can be changed easily and quickly
    • Poses, actions and situations not normally possible
    • You don’t even have to be human, you can be a dragon or an alien
    • Combine characters, costumes, poses and actions into a live performance or record using machinima
  • 24. Drama Drama students can use Second Life for planning real life performances or for performing in SL itself. SL can be used for designing sets and lighting easily. Performances can then be planned out by a director to show where cast will be standing. Costumes and characters can be created by editing your avatar's appearance. This can include characters that can't be achieved in real life such as tall blue giants or tiny purple mice. Shows can also be performed in Second Life to a worldwide audience using poses and animations stored by the avatars.
  • 25. Music
    • There are musicians earning a living performing in Second Life.
    • Worldwide audience compared to performing in pubs and small venues
    • Audience participation
  • 26. Business and Enterprise
    • SL is ideal for creating and selling objects.
    • Teams of pupils could work together to research the market, design and develop an object that they think will sell well, promote and sell the object. The pupils could compete to see which team makes the most profit. It is very easy to sell objects in SL, and you can control whether the buyer can copy or modify the object.
  • 27. Business and Enterprise Business Studies or Enterprise education is one of the best examples, as Second Life's copyright and control facilities is ideal for creating and selling objects. Teams of pupils could work together to research the market, design and develop an object that they think will sell well, promote and sell the object. The pupils could compete to see which team makes the most profit. It is very easy to sell objects in SL, and you can control whether the buyer can copy or modify the object.
  • 28. Business and Enterprise Second Life offers pupils the potential to be working in a safe enironment but with responsibility. They can take on roles as builders, scripters, designers, managers, DJs, hosts and organisers for events. Through this work they can earn 'Linden Dollars', which can be used to buy products or rent land in SL. If the pupils are very successful and earn a lot of the Linden dollars these can be exchanged for US dollars.
  • 29. Mathematics Second Life could improve pupils' Maths skills through building structures. In order to build skillfully in SL it is better to use numbers for co-ordinates and dimensions in the objects properties, rather than adjusting by eye. Also to build a complex shape more than 10m big, angles need to be worked out using formula and trigonometry. It can be done by hand but doesn't look as good. Co-ordinates and maps are also skills that can be developed, with orienteering challenges being quite easy to set up.
  • 30. Geography
    • Map reading and co-ordinates
    • Geographical features like volcanos and glaciers can be created (by the pupils)
    • Real-time Weather simulations
    • Environmental awareness
    • Scavenger hunts and orienteering
    • Time zones!
  • 31. Science
    • Simulations
    • Models
    • Experiments that would be impractical or expensive in RL
  • 32. Science Science classes can use SL to recreate experiments that are not normally possible or practical in the classroom. Zero or low friction environments, space science, etc. Experiments can be set up in advance for pupils, ready to just 'take out the box'. Variables can be altered to see the results and the experiment repeated as often as required without any additional expense.
  • 33. Computing
    • LSL – Linden Scripting Language
    • Simple scripting with very visual results
    • Motivational way to learn programming
    • Real reasons for scripting
  • 34. Computing Computing teachers can use the scripting language provided with Second Life's (LSL - Linden Scripting Language) to introduce scripting and programming to students. Scripts can be used for simple tasks like making objects 'speak' or play sounds, or more complex tasks like vehicles that move or fly. When simple scripts are used to open doors or show water 'moving' in fountains, the effect is quite impressive. Pupils very quickly realise they can change settings and see the effect, which is a great way to introduce variables and other programming skills.
  • 35. SL and Educational Initiatives
    • I could go on about how using SL fits all the capacities of A Curriculum for Excellence….. but I won’t bore you :-)
    • It does though!
  • 36. Barriers to using SL in school
    • Network access (speed and permissions)
    • Perceptions of SL as a place for porn
    • Child protection
  • 37. Educational Links
    • Second Life -
    • SL in Education –
    • Mailing list –
    • Wiki -
  • 38. Teen Project Links
    • Global Kids –
    • Global Kids blog –
    • Kids Connect –
    • Dunoon -
    • PacRimX -
    • Suffern -
    • Eye4You -
    • Schome -
  • 39. Next Steps
    • Join Second Life and create an avatar
    • Come to the SL Best Practices in Education Conference 25 th May (24 hours from 9am GMT, just drop in)
    • Join the SLED and TSLED mailing lists
  • 40. Costs
    • SL is free to use
    • You pay to have land you can build on
    • It is possible to rent or borrow land
    • An educational island is $838 (~£426) for the initial purchase
    • Monthly land use fees for an island are $148 (~£75)
  • 41. Thank you for listening
    • Kate Farrell (AKA Katie Farina) Web: Email: Blog:
    • Hugh O’Donnell (AKA Hugho Writer) Email: Hugh.O'Donnell@ Blog: