ERIC Number: EJ798974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Foster, Andrea L.
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v73 n5 p12-17 Jan 2008
Despite its image as an all-American city, downtown Peoria, Illinois, home of Bradley University, is also a place of strip clubs and violent crime. For undergraduates, it's a risky environment in which to conduct field research. Edward Lamoureux, an associate professor in Bradley's multimedia program, saw a better place in the virtual world Second Life. This fall he is teaching his second ethnography class online in a computer-created environment featuring buildings, lakes, and avatars--digital characters who fly from place to place, chat, and form communities. Students have analyzed, among other topics, online hackers (known as "griefers" in Second Life) and avatar fans of musicians who perform in Second Life. Flying avatars, virtual fan clubs, and computer-drawn lakes seem, at first glance, to be of little educational value. Ever since Linden Lab, a San Francisco-based company, unveiled Second Life in 2003, professors and college students have flocked to it. In this article, six educators' Second Life stories are presented.
Descriptors: Ethnography, Internet, Educational Technology, Information Technology, Technology Education, Technology Integration, Technology Uses in Education, Virtual Classrooms, Teaching Experience, Computer Simulation, Profiles
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A