Success: Virtual Worlds and Second Life in Higher Education

Continuing the discussion from Social Networking and Virtual Worlds:

The three articles I chose to write this quest about were:

  1. Warburton’s Second Life in higher education: Assessing the potential for the barriers to deploying virtual worlds in learning and teaching. - This one dealt with virtual worlds in higher education through a program called Second Life. Users created an avatar and interacted with other students through real time play. This one is geared toward people who are 18 and up so if you teach elementary school, this program will be inappropriate for young children.

  2. Duncen, Miller and Jiang’s article- A taxonomy of virtual worlds usage in education- Another article about virtual worlds in supporting education. This was more a research based paper with more areas being identified as positive learning environments. Plus this article lists advantages along with disadvantages in using virtual worlds.

  3. Kafai’s World of Whyville- This last paper was focused on the game World of Whyville which is focused on teens around the middle school age. What surprised me about this game was that it lists girls represent over 68% of its users. This to me is encouraging for young girls who are soon to be entering college and maybe looking to major in the math and sciences majors. While girls may feel pressure to participate in class, Whyville allows them to participate in learning games while feeling safer and more comfortable within this unique environment.

Here is a link to my post about it on my blog Kristen’s Adventures While I talk about most of the positive of this different type of learning environment, I also include some critiques and concerns I have for this type of “classroom”

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