Get the Latest Athena Island News!!
August 2013 newsletter
What is Second Life?
Second Life is a virtual world that can be used as a place to hang out and explore, but its greatest strength is that users can create and share interactive objects within the world and share them. You can use Second Life as a customized, real-time meeting space for an online course, or can use it as a designed learning space where your students can engage in learning activities at their convenience.
Second life can be used as an experiential learning environment in a wide variety of situations. Faculty members at UWW have used Second Life for virtual field trips (e.g., to a concentration camp), role-playing activities (e.g., a forensic investigation of a crime scene or a social worker meeting a client), and practicing skills in a simulated environment (e.g., identifying constellations in a planetarium). This virtual world can also be used to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of ideas by creating their own content, to conduct social experiments and perform observations in a unique environment, or to practice second language acquisition by interacting with native speakers of target languages.
What is the Second Life classroom like?
You can teach in Second Life much as you would in the face-to-face classroom. You would use your avatar to interact with your students in a synchronous environment where you can have discussions and give immediate feedback to your students. You and your students are directly present to one another. You can include PowerPoint presentations on a special in-world viewer to supplement voice lectures with additional media.
Does Second Life replace D2L?
No. Second Life is a real-time environment similar to a physical classroom. For paper submissions and providing documents to your students, you will need to use the course management system in addition to holding lectures in Second Life.
If I use Second Life as my online meeting space, does that require a set meeting time?
Yes. If you plan to use Second Life for course lectures, you need to include that information in the course schedule - just as you would for a face to face class.
What kind of computer do I need?
If your computer is more than a few years old, you may need an upgrade. If you intend to use voice chat in your classroom, we recommend you also purchase a headset with a microphone. Please consult these specs: http://secondlife.com/support/system-requirements/?lang=en-US
Do I need to download a program to access Second Life?
Yes. Download the latest Viewer at: http://secondlife.com/support/downloads/?lang=en-US
Users who have visual impairments can use an alternative browser such as TextSL, available at http://textsl.org/
Do I need to build anything in Second Life?
L&S Media has developed a whole island already ready for your class. We can even custom build pretty much whatever you would want for your class as well. But if you want to build, we have the expertise to guide and train you.
Will I have help?
L&S Media will guide you with workshops and one-on-one instruction. We can provide your students a face to face orientation and meet with them in world to be sure they are comfortable and can find your classroom. We will make sure you and your students are fully prepared for your course.
What do students think of Second Life?
Many students have taken courses that either meet in Second Life or use one of the experiential, asynchronous sites and have found them to be fun and useful. Many say that they would take another course in Second Life!
Check out some videos of previous classes in Second Life and see how Second Life can be a great educational resource.
Watch an introductory video of the vast educational opportunities available in Second Life.
View an introduction to a Philosophy course taught exclusively on Second Life and see a tour of a Second Life classroom.
NEWS IN SECOND LIFE
Keep up with the latest L&S Second Life news and updates.