Second Life

About a week ago we had an introduction to Second Life. Although I had played around a little bit in Second Life prior to this course it was really good to get some tips from someone who knew what they were doing. It was an interesting experience learning in a virtual environment. We were talking to each other through our headsets while we were moving around the CSU centre.  I had the same feeling as I do when I am sitting in a room watching and listening to someone talk yet at the same time I felt somewhat detached from the situation as I watched my avatar navigate around the area. It was frustrating at times when I was having difficulty doing simple things like move from one place to the next. It has been a little while since I have experienced the feelings that go with being a new learner. From an educational perspective, this was a good thing because it reminded me of what the experience is like for someone who is new to learning something. As we get more experienced in whatever our specialty is, it is easy to forget just how difficult things can be when starting out. Having this type of experience is important for educators as it reminds us not to forget what it is like on the other side as a student.

I can clearly see the benefits that SL has as a learning environment. In one of my previous assessments I spoke to an educator who was teaching a course on  dual diagnosis in an online environment. One of the problems he reported was that students missed the contact that they had with other students when they attended classroom based learning. I think SL is one way in which this desire for ‘face to face’ contact could be addressed. Even though I knew I was looking at other people’s avatars I still had the sense that there was a greater level of interaction with other students than if we had been doing the lesson by telephone or online. I have read a few articles to date that discuss the benefits that can be obtained from operating and learning in a virtual world. I am very keen to see how I might be able to utilise SL in the training that I am involved with.

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~ by dassocmed on September 22, 2012.

One Response to “Second Life”

  1. Dale, I’d love to have discussions with you about how SL can be used in training – I have participated in a variety of different training and experience sessions in Second Life, and I’m curious what kind of training you’re thinking SL could help with.

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