E-Learning Generations and Thoughts

Well, I certainly now know the evolution of online learning; where it originated and possibly where it’s heading.  It seems that there has been monumental growth in the past twenty years in this field and I can only imagine (not really) where the next twenty years will take us!  I decided to take a deeper look at what Second Life is all about because I know what my second life is and was wondering how/if it compares; so I read about it and this is what I discovered.  Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab and introduced in 2003.  It is not a game, there are no manufactured conflict and no set objective.  Participants (known as Residents) create virtual representations of themselves, called Avatars and are able to interact with other avatars, places or objects.  They explore the world/grid, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, build, create, shop and trade virtual property and services with others.  It even has it’s own currency which can be exchanged for real currency?!   So… my first thought is why engage in this virtual world with all of these components when one can step outside his/her door and experience these first hand rather than virtually!  Then my mind went to who/what this world would be good for.  I am definitely an extrovert, I crave/need physical beings to engage with but am respectful of those who are not.  This world could be engaging for those who are not.  Also, for those who are working on building confidence in different aspects of their lives and those who are home-bound for medical, emotional, physical, and/or mental reasons.  This is my thought, hopefully I’m not being offensive, I am honestly ignorant to this world and am learning about it as well as about the people who engage in it:)  So, I am glad these virtual worlds exist because we all need places to engage in or retreat to that are stimulating for our being and bring us joy!!! Peace

3 thoughts on “E-Learning Generations and Thoughts”

  1. I think Second Life sounds pretty cool as like a hobby but coming from a science standpoint I really cannot see how my students would benefit from this type of technology as an educational resource. I can’t imagine how I would use Second Life as a primary source of education in a science classroom that is so bound by SOLs. I can understand your points about “why go virtual” and I have never really had that desire either but I feel like there are a ton of people who LOVE things like this. Maybe we are missing out???

  2. Great post. I think it would be interesting to examine what the advantages of a virtual world could be. For one, anonymity. Students may feel more comfortable asking certain questions when anonymous. Can you think of others things that are possible in a virtual environment that are not possible f2f?

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