Saturday, February 10, 2007

Virtual vs Reality

Increasingly I find myself using virtual environments and virtualization tools in my education practice. We are using tools like VMware and Microsoft's Virtual Server and Virtual PC to create customized software environments that allow for the learning of specific IT skills without worrying about impacting on the college network. We are using tools like Elluminate to meet and deliver learning across distance and I'm increasingly using Web 2.0 tools to expand my learning environments beyond the college walls.

I am also spending time in Second Life where I have met people from allover the world and developed friendships that I value no less than those I have in the real world. I may never meet my Second Life friends face to face, yet I value their friendship, knowledge, and advice no less than my "real" friends. I have met people, seen and done things, and learned so much in this virtual environment that I would have never done in the real world due to time, space, and logistical restrictions.

For me the boundaries between the virtual and the real have faded - together they make up my world, my reality. I firmly believe that this combination of virtual and real spaces is the learning environment of the future. So if I see you in the hallway and ask you if that's flexi-hair that you're wearing, please forgive me...

2 comments:

paul derby said...

Hi Ian, I agree with you. It's wierd in a way. But it's happening to us all more and more each day. I work with virtual teams every day, every week. And the web 2.0 tools that have become available in the last year are really helpful. I've been using Yugma at https://www.yugma.com for the last 2 months for example. It feels like a real web 2.0 killer app. You could say it's just another web conference/desktop share program. However, when an app gets that simple, fast, and universally usable, it becomes part of your whole communiction approach. See what you think. Worth trying...

Ian H. MacLeod said...

Thanks Paul, I'll give it a try. Thanks for the link and the comment.