Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Age Learning

I have read a couple of articles lately about virtual learning using Second Life. Evidently this is a virtual 3D world with characters called "avatars". I looked up avatar and according to Wikipedia it is a computer user's representation of herself; an object representing the embodiment of the user. At first when I was reading what Second Life is I was asking myself why would anyone need a virtual world when it is challenging enough to live in the real world??

But the most interesting thing about Second Life is the article I read where companies are employing this computer graphic to conduct training sessions. When I was working we would have to sit through endless training sessions listening to someone drone on about something no one cared about...the best part was being able to go out to lunch since working in the schools we never had that luxury.

The next advancement in presentations was power point which was even more boring as the speaker would literally read the slides that were presented on the screen...something I could do myself. But now with the advent of a 3D virtual learning classroom where I could create my alter ego in the form of an avatar, training and learning take on a whole different look. How cool would it be to design some persona totally not like me and then participate in a virtual classroom. I probably wouldn't mind asking questions or challenging ideas since it wouldn't really be me but my avatar.

Just think of the possibilities of using this kind of learning in the classroom. Kids who are not typically engaged in traditional learning might just come alive and actually get turned on to learning.

I still don't quite understand how all of this would work but I find it very interesting and possibly a way to make learning exciting and stimulating! Mom

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