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.