Second Life as a Pedagogical Tool

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Information about Second Life as a Pedagogical Tool

Published on May 17, 2008

Author: lauranicosia



This was our presentation for the Learning 2.0 Conference at Montclair State University. Teachers from across the disciplines and from K-20 attended in a Standing Room Only crowd.

Second Life Virtual Environment as Pedagogical Tool AJ Kelton Laura Nicosia AJ Brooks LauraMaria Onomatopoeia Director of Teaching and Emerging Technology Assistant Prof English/Dir. Eng.Education College of Humanities and Social Sciences @ Montclair State University

What do you already know about Second Life? Why Second Life?

A Universe of Virtual Worlds Platforms Adult - 22 Teen /Tween - 18 “Kids” - 15 55 virtual platforms 80.8 million users

What is Second Life? Officially Launched in 2003 (beta in 1999) “Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents.” A flexible space for learning and exploration An opportunity for people to interact in a way that conveys a sense of presence lacking in other media. Generalized rather than contextual, applicable to almost any discipline, business, industry, etc...

What is Second Life? Second life is NOT a game - there are no rules or a fixed goal-oriented purpose. 10-15K sign ups daily - nearly 14 million total 30 - 60K residents on at one time - avg 50K (2000 census puts Montclair and Little Falls at about 50K) over $1 million spent daily (real US dollars) Well over 300 educational institutions with thousands of meters of land dedicated to education

The CHSS Pilot Project

Recreate What Exists

xt Recreate what exists, differently! Recreate what exists, differently!

Walk into a story

Always “On” Content

Gloria Naylor’s Willow Springs

Traditional Spaces

Create Something New

Engage Your Students

ENWR 105:18 Introduction to College Writing I

ENWR 105:18 • The technology use was required • Notification prior to the start of classes (MWB / MWH / MWO) • Full support from the Department • Open and Clear Communication • Email prior to class starting • Posting syllabus prior to class • Expectations clearly outlined in syllabus • Expectation of use • Expectation of access

ENWR 105:18

Assignments • Explore NMC’s Orientation Island • Group work • Info Island field trip • Research and share relevant SL places • Alternate meeting place • Library research (RL and SL) • Friends, Groups, and Landmarks • Final Project: Dorm

What does it take to teach a technology rich class? • Relevance • Planning • Flexibility • Experimentation • Research

Using SL in a Literature Class • ENGL 240.03 The Art of Fiction

By Using SL in Literature Classes: Comprehension soars Learning communities are fostered Collaboration is nurtured Cognitive capital is distributed

Students become immersed when inworld

And they enter a world... where the environment is as persistent as I build it to be

My learning sites are “always on” & “always full of content” Each site is “always on” and “always full of content”

We meet in “interesting” places

Meeting in these places would be difficult or impossible in real life.

Dante’s Inferno and Linden Hills

Construct 3-D Sites

Autonomous Learning

Students visit the always available site

They enter the learning space

Explore and orient themselves

Encounter my assigned tasks

Open search engines and visit my pre- screened and pre- selected urls. I control the environment.

They receive tasks to accomplish (whether I am with them or not)

Students write essays on note cards, deliver them to me via an “inworld email” system or deposit them in items.

Creating note cards is as easy as opening a file in a word processing program

Their note cards can be as long as they need to be.

Yet, while SL is new and fun • It is not an end, in and of itself

Technology for learning’s sake--not as an end



Genome Island


Spaceport Alpha and Delta

The Second Louvre

Renaissance Island

The Lost Gardens of Apollo

San Francesco Assisi



The Sistine Chapel Vassar

Vassar Island

Abbott’s Aerodrome

Kelly Employment Services


MUVEing Education Forward An Unconference for Anyone Interested in Second Life as a Tool for Teaching and Learning Monday, June 23rd, 2008 University Hall - 7th Floor 8:00am to 3:00pm Free and open to all

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