June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Computers in Education
13.1067.1 - 13.1067.8
Second Life 3D Virtual World in a Freshman Information Sciences and Technology Course
Second Life is an on-line, 3D, virtual community which provides an environment for students to interact, communicate, explore, design, build, and collaborate in a creative fashion. During the fall of 2007, an Information Sciences and Technology (IST) course for freshman undergraduates utilized Second Life to investigate the advantages of using virtual worlds to enhance college education in a variety of disciplines. Students also explored a variety of educational sites in Second Life which included a guided tour of a computer company. 3D modeling tools and the effectiveness of virtual classroom for distance education were also explored. Lessons learned in the use of Second Life with students are presented as well as resources to guide educators in exploring Second Life to support educational goals. Second Life offers the potential to enhance the educational experience in many disciplines and provides new opportunities to collaborate.
Second Life  is an on-line, 3D, virtual community that provides an immersive environment for students to interact, communicate, explore, design and collaborate in a creative fashion. Linden Labs release Second Life virtual community in 2003 and the environment currently attracts between 40,000 and 50,000 people on-line at any given time, with overall registered users in the millions. Second Life users are represented in the virtual world by avatars which can be customized for appearance. Through the use of avatars, people interact with other users on-line, and users may engage is such activities as walking, flying, riding in a car, skiing, swimming, scuba diving, building, and dancing. Shopping in a virtual mall, touring a museum, taking a class, joining a book club, attending a live concert or lecture, talking with friends in a virtual coffee house, and many more activities, are all supported in the virtual world. Many companies (IBM, Dell, Intel, Cisco, Sun, Apple, Toyota, and others), organizations (NASA, NOAA, and others), non-profits, and major universities have presence in Second Life and they are all exploring the benefits of virtual worlds. Due to the on-line nature of Second Life, there is also a large international community of users.
During the fall of 2007, an Information Sciences and Technology (IST) course for freshman undergraduates used Second Life to investigate the advantages of virtual worlds to enhance college education and campus life. The goals were three-fold. One goal was to expose students to virtual world technology, a second goal was to engage students to identify and evaluate specific examples of educational initiatives in Second Life, and the third goal was to evaluate the challenges of utilizing Second Life with students from an instructor’s perspective.
Avanzato, R. (2008, June), Second Life 3 D Virtual World In A Freshman Information Sciences And Technology Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4364
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