Information Literacy in virtual worlds Part 1

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This was created as part of a presentation for the Information Literacy with Web 2.0 virtual seminar and is part of a page at

This was created as part of a presentation for the Information Literacy with Web 2.0 virtual seminar and is part of a page at

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  • 1. This is for presentation at Information Literacy with Web 2.0 and is part of a page at
    Information literacy in virtual worlds: Pt 1
    Sheila Webber,
    Department of Information Studies
    Sheffield University, UK
    July 2009
  • 2. Who I am& Part 1: What are virtual worlds and what is Second Life
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 3. Characteristics of virtual worlds
    “persistence of the in-world environment
    “a shared space allowing multiple users to participate simultaneously
    “virtual embodiment in the form of an avatar (a personisable 3-D representation of the self)
    “interactions that occur between users and objects in a 3-D environment
    “an immediacy of action such that interactions occur in real time
    “similarities to the real world such as topography, movement and physics that provide the illusion of being there.”
    (Smart, Cascio & Paffendof: cited in Warburton, 2009: 415)
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 4. Increasing use of virtual worlds by young people (13 & under)
    Kzero virtual world consultants
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 5. Second Life
    3-D Online Digital world, owned by Linden Labs
    Most things created by SL residents: SL fashion designers, architects, bakers, animal makers ….
    Avatars- 3D representation of yourself – free to signup and can live on freebies, but need Linden dollars if want to own land, buy clothes etc.
    Need to download SL browser & have good connection & graphics card
    Communication through text chat, Voice and Instant Messaging
    40-80,000 people online simultaneously
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 6. Education
    Virtual Hajj
    Only 18+ on main grid: separate Teen grid
    90% UK universities with some presence
    Many disciplines: English, Psychology, Chemistry, Biology etc. etc.
    Role play, simulations
    Discussion, communication
    Problem solving, inquiry
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 7.
    Dr. Steven Hornik / Robins Hermano
    Kenneth Dixon School of Accounting
    University of Central Florida
    900+ accountancy students
    Tour of the Testis
    Biology learning & exploration
    Peter Miller/ Graham Mills
    Liverpool University
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 8. Problems I know people have with virtual worlds and schools
    Blocked by firewalls
    Seen as too risky
    Computers not good enough
    Broadband connection not good enough
    If only have access during school hours, miss out on interesting events in evening/ at night
  • 9. But, if you can …
    Enjoyment of being able to fly/ build/ drive a car/ change “the world”
    Connection with schools internationally
    Appeals to multiple intelligences … visual, aural … new ways of seeing things … things not possible in real life
    Act out poems, plays, try and build models of difficult concepts
  • 10. Librarians in SL are…
    Providing “reference” services
    Providing links to “real life” web resources
    Providing help in using SL
    Working with educators … and sometimes educating on their own
    Doing reader development (e.g. through exhibitions, recreations, reenactments)
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 11. Presentation about “What information specialists think about Second Life” held 2 July 2009 on InfolitiSchool in Second Life. This slide summarises some views from a survey.
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 12. The next slide has snapshots of SL, showing examples of networking, collaborating and Continuous Professional Development. Clockwise from top right:1. Focus group discussing librarians in SL;2. One of Sheila’s students about to interview a Canadian student for an assignment3. Vicki Cormie being the “inworld” leader for a “crossover” event. She and Marshall Dozier were at the SCONUL conference in real life, people there were asking questions of the people (inc. Sheila) who were in SL. (Vicki and Marshall are Scottish librarians) 4. All 3 of us watched a stream of the Oxford “Libraries of the future” conference, discussing the issues amongst ourselves in SL5. Sheila is a member of the Educators Coop, a community of educators (mostly American)6. Sheila, Vicki and Marshall discuss plans for the class with Sheila’s students, taking place next day
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 13. Collaboration, networking, CPD
    Sheila Webber, 2009
  • 14. How have I used it?
    First year (18/19 years old) students learning to do interviews in Second Life and carrying out research interviews into information behaviour
    Masters students, learning about educational technology
    Organising a discussion series & involved in organising conferences
    Attending conferences, networking, learning about teaching
    Several ppts at
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 15. Links to websites, articles, tutorials, videos, and places in Second Life: (Topics: Education in SL and Libraries/Librarians in SL: all the other links will be found there)
    Warburton, S. (2009) “Second Life in higher education: Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying virtual worlds in learning and teaching.” British journal of educational technology, 40 (3), 414–426.
    Sheila Webber, July 2009
  • 16. Now!
    Look at some of the videos and websites on the Netvibes page, to get a better idea of what Second Life is and to hear about how a few people have used them in schools
    You can also get an avatar free & download the SL browser free – but it is a good idea to go in for a particular event and/or to identify a mentor
    There is a PowerPoint Part 2 – in which I talk about information literacy and Second Life
    Sheila Webber, July 2009