Wednesday, January 7, 2009

5.*: Second Life: "The potential to make an impact"

A YouTube video by Stacy Williams, research professor at Case Western Reserve University, outlines how Second Life is being used for educative purposes. Listen for this quote: "..trends indicate that this type of learning simulation has the potential to make an impact on transforming the future of education".

Nicely put. Just how realistic that potential is, and what its eventual scope might be, are yet to be determined. The video does show some ways in which Second Life has been used by the University (field trips, client assessment), which are reasonably predictable. Whether the potential to make an impact makes a truly meaningful contribution to teaching and learning is a very open question. A New Zealand project is exploring things in detail; I am interested to see whether the results reveal anything further about the potential for education.

I remain skeptical. I suspect that the impact Second Life will make will be to find its place amongst the various pedagogical options already available to educators. Anyone still believe in pure m-learning?

Ah well. At least there's money to be made!

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