Monday, February 22, 2010

A Second Chance at Life

Have you ever wanted a second chance at life?  Oh, you know, where you would have more control over your destiny?  Then you should check out the Second Life virtual world. It is known as “The Internet’s largest user-created, 3D virtual world community.”


The possibilities are endless there.  You can meet people, go shopping, travel, work, and even find love!  You are also able to create who you are and how you look.  That alone was enough for me!  So I logged in and created my avatar with a long ponytail, cape and more!  I then began to explore and the different places with my fellow students from class.  I was glad I wasn’t the only one that did not know how to sit, make friends and fly.  I have tried to explore Second Life in the past but quickly gave up out of frustration.  Now we were pioneers exploring together and we were able to talk to each other and collaborate, which made the experience much more enjoyable.

After learning the basics, I explored some of the many educational sites in Second Life.  I see great potential for using this with older students in school.  I went to the Tsunami and was able to see how the wall of water comes up on the beach and quickly washes away everything in its path.  Students would learn so much from just watching that short clip.  There is also a book that you can read for further information.  After I dried myself off from the Tsunami I went to explore the space museum where you are able to see the different space ships and even board them for further exploration.  There were also meeting areas and conference rooms, which could be used for “virtual collaboration.”

The time passed so quickly with my fellow classmates that I went back into Second Life later on for further exploration.  I was surprised to see the complexity of this virtual world.  There are ski resorts, beachcombing events, and even a virtual Sistine Chapel with authentic artifacts, to name a few.  Overall I found it to be very interesting.  It can be frustrating at times to figure out how to explore and knowing how to find everything within the different areas.  I would recommend reading the quick start guide before you start.  I can definitely understand how people can lose themselves for hours when there is so much to see and do.  I would recommend checking it out. Maybe I will even see you there!


  1. Sounds like our experience in Second Life, and perspectives are fairly similar. So glad I was able to try out SL with our class. Couldn't help but wonder if Craig often felt like a preschool teacher as he look after us. ("Don't go wondering off now!") My partner and I explored the Cistine Chapel which was amazing. I loved finding little interactive surprises as I floated around just under the rafters. There is no doubt that the students I work with would find this fascinating and motivating. Like many of the amazing Web applications available the potential for instruction enhancement is clearly there. The hurdles that need to be overcome, however, seem to make it unlikely that I would ever be able to use SL with my students. For example...if as teachers we could just "put" our students around the conference table and open a book discussion it would be great. I actually would enjoy trying to do one of our TIE classes that way. Getting there, and getting accustomed to manuvering in the environment seem to take a dispropotionate amount of time. For that reason, I am more likely to keep my feet firmly planted in my First Life!

  2. in response to julia's first question: yes. :-) (but I'm used to it)

    oh, and julia, don't say "unlikely that I would ever be able." time has a way of, um, kinda blowing those expectations away.

    sherry, ca you say more about the specifics of how you see this might be useful for education, say, in 10 years?

  3. I couldn't get over how much work and research went into each place you could visit on there. The detail was amazing. I was having fun like I were at a theme park and learning at the same time. Like you said, the students would have such a great time learning in this new exciting way. I think sites like SecondLife will be the new way to teach in 10 years. We will hardly meet in a real classroom, instead we will meet in a 3-D community. There is so much that these sites can offer that a classroom setting cannot.

  4. I was excited to have a person that was familiar with second life to provide some guidance on our class experience since I had tried on a few occasions to navigate SL alone. It is amazing to me how much effort some people have put into the various places to simulate the real world and think the students would find some topics so much more fulfilling by being able to get so up close and personal. Since one of the areas I visited was the Sistine Chapel, I could see how viewing the painting on the ceiling so close would be so much more engaging than by simply looking at a still photograph. SL is something I really intend to explore further. Perhaps we can set up a field trip.

  5. In response to Craig's "don't say..." When am I gonna learn? You are right. So many things I didn't think I'd ever do that I have!!!