Second Life for Educators
A BC Campus Project
Managed by BCIT
With support from SFU




Nola Johnston
njohnston12@my.bcit....
What is Second Life?

• Platform, not game


• 27,483 islands as of May 15, 2009


• Free basic account


• Residents have...
Activities

• Social (e.g. parties, clubs)


• Exploration


• Entertainment
  (e.g. live concerts, streaming media, games...
NOT a mature technology!
  Hype (for or against) does not reflect reality.
C u r r e n t ly h u n d r e d s o f
in s t it u t io n s a r e a c t iv e
                             in S L

          ...
Why you should use SL

• SL increases engagement for many students


• SL offers opportunities for collaboration across di...
If you are thinking of using SL

• Look realistically at the pros and cons


• Find out how it has been used in your field...
How educators (and others) are using SL
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Meetings, presentations, panel discussions, conference
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Collaboration across distance and/or disciplines
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Exhibits/Displays/Galleries/Museums
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Exhibits/Displays/Galleries/Museums
How educators (and others) are using SL

• 3D environmental models
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Process models
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Experiential simulations
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Experiential simulations
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Roleplay simulations
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Training models/diagnostics
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Games
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Creating machinima
How educators (and others) are using SL

• Creating machinima
Barriers to using Second Life
• Identified by IBM Research Social Computing Group
  (Acquiring a Professional “Second Life...
Barriers to using Second Life

• Motivation
Barriers to using Second Life

• Technical difficulties
Barriers to using Second Life

• Learning curve for becoming
  a competent virtual person
Barriers to using Second Life

• Learning curve for becoming
  socially proficient in a virtual world
Barriers to using Second Life

• Ability to find compelling activities
And don’t forget...
And don’t forget...

• Dealing with educational
  challenges specific to virtual
  worlds
And don’t forget...

• Legal/governance issues
And don’t forget...

• Land acquisition and
  management issues
Second Life for Educators

• Provides solutions to these challenges by creating a framework for providing:


• Information...
Phase 1: Resource Wiki

• Information


• Resources


• Sample course modules and assignments
Phase 2: Workshops

• Introductory presentation


• 4 orientation workshops


• 2 assignment course modules


• 4 skills d...
Phase 3: Testing, revision, documentation

• All workshops to be offered 3 times


• Gather feedback on wiki and workshops...
Phase 4?

• It’s up to you.
Workshops

• S c h e d u le : Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm PST/SLT (SL Time)


  •Workshop 1: Thursday June 25 (communication...
Second Life for Educators by Nola Johnston
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Second Life for Educators by Nola Johnston

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Presented at the 7th Annual Canadian e-Learning Conference (June 17-19, 2009) by Nola Johnston.

The virtual world of Second Life (SL) offers exciting new opportunities for educators, and many instructors and institutions have begun to explore its possibilities. Some hold classes in-world, others augment face to face teaching practices with uses that include in-world slide show presentations or galleries, streaming audio/video, filming in-world "machinima," or building exhibits or models or process demonstrations. Many develop content that is impossible or impractical to create in the real world.

The learning curve for using Second Life can be discouragingly steep. A current BCcampus project aims to mitigate the impediments by setting up a training framework for educators interested in its possibilities.

The first stage was to develop an informational/resource wiki for educators. It includes an overview of SL, basic how-to's, a review of educational uses, challenges and solutions, information on practical classroom practices, curricula and class modules, and resources and references for further exploration. The wiki will continue to develop over time as educators add content. The next stages will involve offering orientation classes to educators. Ultimately the project is intended to provide the structure and tools for a self-sustaining peer-based mentoring system that supports a community of educators interested in SL.

This presentation will first give you a taste of what is possible by showing examples of educational projects within Second Life. The second part will introduce the BCcampus project wiki and update you on the overall status of the project.

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Second Life for Educators by Nola Johnston

  1. 1. Second Life for Educators A BC Campus Project Managed by BCIT With support from SFU Nola Johnston njohnston12@my.bcit.ca
  2. 2. What is Second Life? • Platform, not game • 27,483 islands as of May 15, 2009 • Free basic account • Residents have ability to create content • Content is persistent • Ability to rez (display) content is linked to land ownership • In-world economy permits buying and selling, convertible to US$
  3. 3. Activities • Social (e.g. parties, clubs) • Exploration • Entertainment (e.g. live concerts, streaming media, games) • Creative expression (e.g. art, design, music, dance, machinima) • Subcultures and communities of affinity
  4. 4. NOT a mature technology! Hype (for or against) does not reflect reality.
  5. 5. C u r r e n t ly h u n d r e d s o f in s t it u t io n s a r e a c t iv e in S L It s u s e is N O T a p p r o p r ia t e f o r e v e r y in d iv id u a l o r s it u a t io n
  6. 6. Why you should use SL • SL increases engagement for many students • SL offers opportunities for collaboration across distance and disciplines • SL offers the opportunity of doing things that are not possible or practical in the real world
  7. 7. If you are thinking of using SL • Look realistically at the pros and cons • Find out how it has been used in your field • Talk to educators who have been using it (especially in your area of practice) • Look outside your field for new ideas
  8. 8. How educators (and others) are using SL
  9. 9. How educators (and others) are using SL • Meetings, presentations, panel discussions, conference
  10. 10. How educators (and others) are using SL • Collaboration across distance and/or disciplines
  11. 11. How educators (and others) are using SL • Exhibits/Displays/Galleries/Museums
  12. 12. How educators (and others) are using SL • Exhibits/Displays/Galleries/Museums
  13. 13. How educators (and others) are using SL • 3D environmental models
  14. 14. How educators (and others) are using SL • Process models
  15. 15. How educators (and others) are using SL • Experiential simulations
  16. 16. How educators (and others) are using SL • Experiential simulations
  17. 17. How educators (and others) are using SL • Roleplay simulations
  18. 18. How educators (and others) are using SL • Training models/diagnostics
  19. 19. How educators (and others) are using SL • Games
  20. 20. How educators (and others) are using SL • Creating machinima
  21. 21. How educators (and others) are using SL • Creating machinima
  22. 22. Barriers to using Second Life • Identified by IBM Research Social Computing Group (Acquiring a Professional “Second Life:” Problems and Prospects for the Use of Virtual Worlds in Business)
  23. 23. Barriers to using Second Life • Motivation
  24. 24. Barriers to using Second Life • Technical difficulties
  25. 25. Barriers to using Second Life • Learning curve for becoming a competent virtual person
  26. 26. Barriers to using Second Life • Learning curve for becoming socially proficient in a virtual world
  27. 27. Barriers to using Second Life • Ability to find compelling activities
  28. 28. And don’t forget...
  29. 29. And don’t forget... • Dealing with educational challenges specific to virtual worlds
  30. 30. And don’t forget... • Legal/governance issues
  31. 31. And don’t forget... • Land acquisition and management issues
  32. 32. Second Life for Educators • Provides solutions to these challenges by creating a framework for providing: • Information • Resources • Training
  33. 33. Phase 1: Resource Wiki • Information • Resources • Sample course modules and assignments
  34. 34. Phase 2: Workshops • Introductory presentation • 4 orientation workshops • 2 assignment course modules • 4 skills development workshops
  35. 35. Phase 3: Testing, revision, documentation • All workshops to be offered 3 times • Gather feedback on wiki and workshops • Revise materials • Document findings • Recommendations for ongoing peer-based resources and training
  36. 36. Phase 4? • It’s up to you.
  37. 37. Workshops • S c h e d u le : Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm PST/SLT (SL Time) •Workshop 1: Thursday June 25 (communication/movement/appearance) •Workshop 2: Thursday July 2 (interface/social structure/etiquette) •Workshop 3: Thursday July 9 (intro to building & scripting) •Workshop 4: Thursday July 16 (basic educational tools & sites) • In f o r m a t io n : SLBCed.wordpress.com • C o n t a c t : Nola Johnston, njohnston12@my.bcit.ca

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