ERIC Number: EJ798512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-18
Reference Count: 0
Educators Get a "Second Life"
Education Week, v27 n42 p1, 17 Jun 2008
For educators who think real life does not offer enough opportunities to practice their profession, there is Second Life, an Internet-based virtual environment that counts thousands of educators among its enthusiasts. Second Life bears a passing resemblance to an online game, with users represented by digitally drawn characters, called avatars, that can interact and engage in a vast array of activities. But a growing number of K-12 educators and groups have come to see the 3-D virtual environment as having educational potential that is very real. Linden Research Inc., the San Francisco-based company that owns Second Life, considers education to be a core function of its virtual world. The company offers educators a 50 percent discount on fees for using Second Life and has started the Second Life in Education listserv, known as SLED, which lists 5,000 "residents," many of them precollegiate educators. Higher education institutions are there in even greater numbers, viewing Second Life, in part, as a marketing tool. Second Life, though it has been made more user-friendly over time, is still not for the technologically faint of heart. Getting involved requires climbing a steep learning curve. Other caveats cited by experts include the costs of participating and the inability to transfer work from Second Life to other online environments.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Virtual Classrooms, Internet, Elementary School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Visual Aids, Technology Uses in Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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