What is Second Life? A Learning at Work Day Presentation


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A presentation for the Open University's recent Learning at Work Day, held by Human Resources Development. This particular presentation provides an overview of what Second Life is and a brief summary of how it is used at the OU.

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What is Second Life? A Learning at Work Day Presentation

  1. 1. Virtual Worlds and The Open University <ul><li>Learning at Work Day </li></ul><ul><li>Thursday 20 th May </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Carter, Steph Broadribb and Anna Peachey </li></ul>
  2. 2. Which of these are you…? <ul><li>According to Spence (2008), the HE community can be divided into four camps: </li></ul><ul><li>1) Those who embrace virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>2) Those who have ignored the evolving use of this technology </li></ul><ul><li>3) Those who are aware of but have not yet explored the technology </li></ul><ul><li>4) Those who are entirely unaware that virtual worlds exist! </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a virtual world? <ul><li>No single definition, but a broad one is: </li></ul><ul><li>“ A synchronous , persistent network of people, represented as avatars , facilitated by networked computers” (Bell, 2008). </li></ul><ul><li>As cited in Spence (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatively… : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Massive multi-user online environments where millions of people live out a collective fantasy existence” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Castranova (2007) </li></ul>
  4. 4. The virtual world landscape… Around 300 at the moment – 800 projected by 2012. Source: http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/universe-q2-09a.jpg
  5. 5. What is Second Life? <ul><li>Virtual world developed by Linden Lab </li></ul><ul><li>Launched June 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Persistent – available online 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>Not a game! No predefined ‘objectives’ </li></ul><ul><li>User-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>Large and highly diverse population (as of 19/5/10, approx. 17 million registered users, 1 million active resident log ins every month; approx 40-60k online at any one time) </li></ul>Sources: http:// www.crunchbase.com/company/secondlife And http://secondlife.com/statistics/economy-data.php?d =2010-05-19
  6. 6. Who uses Second Life? <ul><li>Average SL user – 30s to 40s (average age 33 years – www.kzero.co.uk ) </li></ul><ul><li>Real life (RL) business – global networking, marketing, recruitment, publishing and more </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual World (SL) business – totally virtual business, $L </li></ul><ul><li>- Almost 42 million L$ spent in throughout April 2010 (Approx $150,000 – exchange is roughly L$280 to $1) </li></ul><ul><li>Education – schools and universities worldwide </li></ul>
  7. 7. http://www.kzero.co.uk/ And so on….
  8. 8. How do The Open University use SL? <ul><li>In-world tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>In-world presentations </li></ul><ul><li>In-world exhibitions </li></ul><ul><li>Student networking </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Development </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>e-Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul>
  9. 9. What does SL look like? [video clip]
  10. 10. So, why use Second Life? <ul><li>engagement </li></ul>creativity community support learning enjoyment Skills practice innovation
  11. 11. Potential challenges <ul><li>Attitudes: “it’s just a game …” vs. learning through play </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of technology </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware, firewalls and Internet connections </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing your way around (as the facilitator) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of buying land: </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Fit Island </li></ul><ul><li>$700 / £425 set-up fee (1/2 price for Ed.) </li></ul><ul><li>$1770 / £1075 maintenance fee (annual) </li></ul><ul><li>Total: $2470 / £1500 </li></ul><ul><li>Creating your SL island </li></ul><ul><li>Approx £500 per day (we needed 4 days) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Any Questions?
  13. 13. Thank you <ul><li>Steph Broadribb </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>(aka Lorelli Loire) </li></ul>Chris Carter [email_address] (aka Lavender Skytower) Anna Peachey [email_address] (aka Elsa Dickens)