Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Barriers to student learning in SL

I have over 2000 emails in my SLED listserv that I haven't read; about 120 emails in SLresearch listserv for graduate students to plough through. However, I can't delete them because there are goodies to be found. At a glance, there are some threads that are really helpful, like the one in this subject line.

Here is what the author and follow contributors mention (SLED listserv, authors: Irene)

Potential barriers to student use of SL for learning:
No technology (computer, internet)
Insufficient technology (need computer upgrades like processor or graphics card or faster internet connection) Technology preparation (downloading the SL client and other software such as
Getting registered in SL
Logging in to SL
Orientation - learning to walk, fly, teleport and search Modifying personal appearance (to at least be wearing some clothes, if staying as a human) Navigating to a specific location in SL using coordinates Landmarking/Bookmarking locations for easy return in the future Using a SLURL to directly access a specific location Dealing with bad behavior of other avatars (fly, teleport away or mute the person or object) How to read notecards How to make notecards What to do if you fall into a spot and get stuck (fly, teleport etc to get
How to use the manipulatives the teacher has built in the SL environment

Another contributor has this to say - RILug:
"...unlike World of Warcraft, for example where the average age is 18-25, the average age on Second Life is between 25-40 [I heard that stat at a conference I attended last month]. Why? simply because it is more of a 'chat forum' than it is a game. When I first discovered second life about 8 months ago, my son who is 19 looked at me like I had lost it. He said he knew about sl all along from chat forums on world of warcraft which he avidly plays, and that second life to him/them represents two words: sex and boooo-ring. This same attitude is what I got from my college students."

Well, I must say RILug's students are not entirely wrong because businesses are tapping on the potential of SL for marketing and publicity purposes. So it seems more like an "adult" thing.

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