Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Real World Use of Virtual Worlds...

Loyalist College is one of the first colleges in Canada to have an active learning presence in Second Life. Several other Canadian colleges including my own, the Nova Scotia Community College now have presences in Second Life, but the forerunner was Loyalist.

Currently they are using Second Life to assist learners with Canadian border security and clearance processes. Here is a video of their simulation:

This is a great use of Second Life (or any other virtual world for that matter) to simulate learning environments and work places where the actual real-world environment is not available for learning. This is the power of virtual worlds - simulation, non-destructive testing (and destructive testing too), life-size modelling (very effective with molecules and single-cell organisms that can be "walked through", and other learning tools and resources that are not feasible in the real world. This kind of mix of real-world and virtual world learning will, I believe, become a large part of what we will need to do as adult educators in order to engage our learners - it's a great use of technologyto support learning and meets learners where they are - "Generation XBox".

Many thanks to Ken Hudson (Kenny Hubble in Second Life) for continuing to push the envelope of learning in Second Life. Check out Kenny Hubble's Media Ecology site as well- some great stuff on virtual worlds, media and culture.

If you are in world check out the Loyalist College island (and NSCC's too!) - they have a very interesting student lounge - the Shark Tank...

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