During the Spring Semester of 2007, this fool rushed into Second Life, something he felt would not only change education but the world beyond. Virtual worlds looked like a utopian technology with lots of zealous folks ready to evangelize the masses. Six years later, grading what may be my last-ever
As Linden Lab gradually loses landmass in its virtual world, as shown so graphically in Tyche Shepherd’s Grid Survey data, the Lab turns again to a dog it kicked repeatedly in 2010: educators. Hamlet Au broke the story that the Lab is “quietly” reaching out to selected schools and nonprofits
A great number of pixels have been used to praise or critique Cloud Party over at Hamlet Au’s New World Notes. True, one needs a Facebook account, and sacrifices anonymity, to use the service fully. Anonymous logins are possible at the link I gave above, but they only permit limited interactions and the
[Editor: Joe Essid teaches a class about Edgar Allen Poe’s “Fall of the House of Usher” for the department of English & Rhetoric & Communication Studies at the University of Richmond, using virtual space on the JokaydiaGrid.] With some glitches along the way, six groups of students completed their final
The good folks at the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable are training new people to host our meetings, and they’ve asked us veterans to share our ideas. The following principles have worked fairly well for me over the past few years. 1. Open forums are not completely open When I host one of
The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worlds
Am I being premature? Second Life has outlived its many obituaries. This is not an obit. At the same time, only the most ardent SL-cheerleaders would deny that the virtual world has stagnated. In the case of education, I expect no more than a gradual decline in participation. Other worlds
When I first rezzed in January 2007, educators were investing heavily in Second Life, both its Teen and Main Grids. Throughout the “hype” era that ended the next year, and amid the inevitable backlash against SL by mainstream media, many of us in education defended Linden Lab and its platform.