Presenter: Tanya Joosten
SL: Juice Gyoza
(active in SL since 2006)
Uses SL in 3 Communication Courses and consults with faculty, including workshops
Note: Juice is willing to help just in case you get stuck in the water, lose your hair (or clothes), get lost, or need help on how to use SL for education
Blogger: Karen Skibba, UW-Whitewater
SL: Karen Sharpesworth
Juice Gyoza, wearing a customized UWM T-Shirt, in the UWM Second Life Island
What is the UWM Second Life Initiative?
• Pilot started Summer 07, Delivered Spring 08
• Received a UW System Emerging Technology Grant
• Faculty Development Workshops for Second Life – over 40 new faculty
• Second Life Wiki for Faculty (many resources 0n how to use SL in courses, including orientation materials, syllabi activities, freebies & advice): http://uwmsecondlife.wikispaces.com
What is Second Life?
• Not a Game, but can provide a platform to create one
• Online, Virtual World, 3-D
• Network through software to a virtual space
• Instead of going to a URL you visit a SLURL
• Islands and Sims – similar to Web site and webpages
• User constructed (free and “for sale” artifacts available to build)
Second Life is a platform that students and faculty access through a software download. The software provides access to a virtual space through a network where people can connect with other people. The virtual platform consists of virtual places, islands and sims (portions of an island), where students congregate, share, communicate, and perform. These islands and sims can have virtual locations, such as classrooms, meeting rooms, lecture halls, auditoriums, amphitheaters, galleries, exhibit halls, theaters, labs, medical facilities, and outdoor spots. Students enter the world as avatars, or digital representations of themselves, which are customizable to represent the students own identity.
What is the potential of Second Life?
There is great potential to transform learning from a didactic process utilizing a lean medium into a stimulating, thought-provoking, and media rich setting.
This can engage and motivate students by:
- providing an alternative platform for learning where they can construct knowledge through observation, discourse, construction, and interaction.
- providing a stage for students to share their work through an immersive, synchronous medium.
- building a community that is more personal and social — students identify with their and others’ digital representations (avatar) and actually “feel” the reactions, interactions, and emotions — feel like interact with “real” people or sometimes other forms of life
- meet and interact with and get feedback from people from around the world that you would not normally have access to.
Note: Must have a sound pedagogical reason to use Second Life. Take advantage of the media richness of SL. Why would you lecture or show PowerPoints in Sl when other methods would work better and be simpler for students to use?
When to use D2L and when to use Second Life?
Use D2L to:
- Deliver content — students like to receive content asynchronously
- Assess and organize: dropbox, quizzes, gradebook
- Provide asynchronous discussions so students have time to reflect and consult resources and share ideas
A few suggested uses for SL:
- Showcase: art exhibition, presentations, architectural build
- Field work: interviewing, native speakers, virtual field trips
- Experiential: Simulation and role playing
A few more good resources on educational uses of Second Life:
Educational Uses of Second Life
Lots of Second Life ideas and resources from UW campuses (let’s network and share resources!)
Top 20 Educational Locations in Second Life
Also, find the U-Wisconsin System members on Second Life.
Note: Tanya will share statistics on the effectiveness of Second Life at Educause. So more to come.
So get a Second Life and help faculty create immersive and engaging educational events to explore and construct knowledge!