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Second Life for Education

Page history last edited by Joe Essid 14 years, 8 months ago

Iggy's FAQ List for Educators


Getting Started

  • Before I teach with SL, how much experience should I vave? I wish I would have had more experience my first time. There is no set answer, but I needed a semester in-world exploring, going to meetings, and learning the interface before my first teaching experience.
  • How can I help my students during their first hours in SL? I am now using the New Media Consortium's portal, not Linden Lab's, to bring my classes in-world. That avoids the public Orientation Islands that I cannot visit.  NMC's portal targets an education audience. I make one-on-one appointmets with each student, log onto SL when they appear in-world, help them with basics, provide freebies/landmarks, and take them to Richmond Island's virtual campus which they set as their home location.



  • How can I use SL on a campus that limits access, has slow computers, or has a lab that runs on a mirror-image updated annually?  I've written an expanded blog entry that begins to answer questions about the technical considerations teachers must make before employing SL in classes.



  • I'm new to SL...where to start? I'm just learning the content of this extensive wiki by Jeremy Kemp, and I welcome feedback from readers here as to what works and how they've used Kemp's content. Also check my blog entry on three "must do" things for new SL educators.



  • How do I answer the question "What is the educational use of SL?" There is a simple answer here.  First, ask yourself (as we did a recent teaching round-table discussion, "what can I NOT do in SL?"  Then consider the excellent applications of SL to education at the Second Life in Education wiki. I usually tell colleagues that if a simulation can help a class, it can often be done cheaply in SL and with less risk to participants.
  • How do I handle adult content? It's easier for educators than it once was, when in any "mature" region one might find XXX content. With the move of that sort of material to an "adult" zoned continent, our work became easier, as the Lindens clarified in definitions of the three maturity ratings that artistic forms of nudity or burlesque would be the "limit" for public activities in mature regions.  "Adult" islands will exist, as will sexual content inside private spaces.  Faculty need to consider carefully a few strategies that I've noted in my blog, especially if administrators become cranky.  In my own classes, I make students aware of offensive content and tell them that seeing or using such content is not part of our class.  They are, legally, adults. What they do on their own time, in SL and elsewhere, is their business. Educators can find a Linden Lab summary of the changes, with links to many of the forum discussion, wikis, and other materials here.
  • I want to pay students Linden Dollars in my scavenger hunt!  Is that ethical? I am going to dodge this question and provide an administrative answer. Richmond's legal team advised us that we cannot use university funds to give de-facto gifts to students without a full accounting that includes social-security numbers, amounts awarded, and so forth for our tax-records.  I can, however, give personal funds as rewards.  So get your alt-avatars camping and rack up some Linden Dollars for prizes! 

Comments (1)

Tenchi Morigi said

at 5:48 am on Sep 1, 2008

The adult topic is surely not an easy one, especially when taking the reputation coined by the media into consideration. While I myself dwell in the adult regions (denying will only until someone finds me there ;) and SL is sometimes smaller then one suspects) I think that this side of SL does not yield enough for research in any way except maybe some tabloid style articles which are widely available enough already.
Even though I do not think that the adult side of SL can be valueable to educational causes I do not think that it has to be denied either. People use SL to engage in cybersexuality and while we all know that the united states adult industries is one of the largest in the world noone likes to talk about it. This is the main factor which makes it so tempting in my eyes. A down to earth approach to this matter would eliminate far more interest (and concern from my point of view) then a deficile strategy on how to avoid it. The students (once they tasted blood) will search for those places themselves and find them in their spare time.

The scavanger hunt in my eyes is ethical ok in the way it is conducted now. The prices are not huge and do not make it the purpose of participating in the hunt. Would the prices be used only to lure students into cooperation I would have had my doubts myself, but those little gimmicks (especially since they do not count against other assignments) are a nicely different approach.

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