Session on Learning in Virtual Worlds

Live Blogged

Literacies for Learning in 3-D Virtual Worlds. This is a session that will focus mostly on Second Life, as the virtual world that most folks know about. Lynn Anderson-Inman, of the Center for Advanced Technology in Education, is talking about the central qualities of virtual worlds. She itemizing and describing…

  • immersive,
  • interactive,
  • participatory,

Driving the demo is Jonathon Richter, also from CATE. I had an intriguing conversation with him before the session, talking about a virtual worlds conference that will be held in Tampa in September.

Lynn also says that one of the important points is that everything is user created, as opposed to other virtual worlds. 3,000 islands. Each island is a server. 9,000,000 distinct users. This room (physical) is packed with folks, some sitting in the floor. I got hear early.

So what are the literacies for this kind of work. Navigating is actually a skill that you have to get good at. There also literacies for interacting with objects. There are literacies for the information, reading, communicating, and sharing information products. Presenting formally at a conference in second life. Gesturing is also a literacy, how to communicate or express your self through your avatar. Then there are the literacies of reading, listening, learning, using exhibits that people have created.

Jonathan is talking about how there are cultures forming in second life where they live in a space and are evolving their own way of communicating. It’s almost like a language that they are forming. It is a language, requiring its own style of literacy.

So, their group us using something called Sloog to tag objects in Second Life, so that they can be identified by subject area and other education topics, and then organized dynamically through a wiki. The items are also being vetted in some way and the best shared through MERLOT. This is worth researching.

There are supposed to be 20 new virtual worlds launched this year.  Google is working on one.  Sun has an open source server called Darkstar.  Second Life has been promising an educational world for about a year. 

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.