How and Why to use Second Life for Education?
Do you think Second Life, the virtual world is still about gambling and pornography? Forget it! While gambling is being forbidden in SL, education has it’s golden age. Let’s see why we should use Second Life for education:
- Collaboration: You can contact people of the same field of interest from around the world.
- Without boundaries: You can work with people without boundaries (neither technical or geographical).
- Interactivity: It’s better than a videoconference because you can use videos, presentations, images and weblinks at the same time in one place. It means you can easily create links between in-world activity and real-world information resources.
- Support: If you’re a patient, you can easily find people dealing with the same problems. You can meet them virtually, discuss your problems, listen to doctors attending in SL.
- Learning: In some fields, there are just a few experts and it’s far not simple to find them in real. But in SL, it becomes possible by presentations and e-learning tools. You can also use tutorials.
- Search: You can do PubMed searches or you can browse among the many books of the virtual libraries.
- Exhibits: How could you create an exhibition in a videoconference or a website? Well, you could, but it’d be complicated while in SL, it works like that:
And how can we use Second Life for education? Here are some examples:
- Ann Myers Medical Center: a virtual medical training center where medical education gets a unique opportunity to find new ways in training medical students. During the first exercises, I could learn more about medical cases with images, videos, patient stories and weblinks. I’ve had a chance to discuss those cases with medical students and physicians from around the world. (Teleport!)
- SciFoo lives on session: This is the perfect example how to do something virtually when you have no chance to do it in reality. I couldn’t participate in such a great conference like SciFoo was, but now I’m the co-organizer of this virtual session with Jean-Claude Bradley. I’ve already presented my slideshow about web 2.0′s impact on medicine at several clinics and department at my university. Through SL, I could present it to people from Nature Precedings, Connotea, Biowizard.com, Tiromed.com and scientists, physicians from around the world. It was a unique experience for me.
- Genomic Island: Max Chatnoir has been working hard to create such an interesting and useful island totally devoted to the education of genetics and genomics. Several floors with genetic quizes, images, virtual experiments, texts, videos and plenty of links to genetic resources. (Teleport)
- Drexel University: Jean-Claude’s main project: “With the growing popularity of gaming, we anticipate that more students and faculty will use virtual platforms like ‘Second Life’ to extend the education experience. On this platform — where anything is possible — the Library gets to explore new ways of supporting academic programs, research and student learning, limited only by the scope of the imagination.” Anyway, Harvard, Stanford and MIT are among the universities using SL. This is the example of how to construct a real university’s virtual form.
- Learning languages: Plenty of tutorials, texts, links, online learning groups.
- Presenting slideshows: There are many rooms, sites and buildings created for conferences, meetings, etc.
- Top 10: Virtual Medical Sites in Second Life!
- Live Coverage: SciFoo lives on session about videos in science
- Live Coverage Now: SciFoo lives on session about the definition of Open Science
- SLHealthy wiki
- Second Health and the SciLands
- Educational Uses of Second Life (the best resource ever!!)
- Web 2.0 and the 3D Web (Virtual Worlds and Second Life)