I was surprised to know that people can really earn money from the second life. Consumers glance and purchase the merchandise in the shopping store of second life, then the real good will be at your hand in real life! Everything in second life can be real through online technology. Sara also mentioned that there are so many things you can do in second life, but not in first life. For example, she let her students pick up their avatars like pumpkins and made them adventured to the places she assigned such as a bar, a public place with crowded people. She successfully educated her students what “placing oneself in other’s position” is. Those students indeed understood what is obese feel like, and they also learned from community as well. She also utilized second life to enrich variety of possible topics such as presenting yourself as a researcher. Maybe in the future of second life, we can pick up avatars and use masks to present who we want to mimic in the virtual classrooms. In this way, it’s more authentic and easy for users and learners to place themselves in a history context if the interface can provide this service.
Can you think about ways to connect second life to existing and emerging technology? Some people can. Here is an example, on the website of the TV program, Gossip girl (you can also search on “CW” channel online), there was built a second life to let people who are interested in fashion and current development of the episode to talk and play or even dance in that community. If you want, you can have a coffee social with the main actors and actresses there. (http://cwtv.com/thecw/gossipgirl-uppereastside)
I also want to mention one of the articles I read this week, “Game-based learning: Present and future state of the field” wrote by Squire. He pointed out that virtual university and virtual leaders are in the absence of learning theory. It’s our chance to contribute our knowledge and profession into this field. This article provided many cases from corporation and military settings to see current and future vision of the field, game-based learning. For example, the Woodrow Wilson sponsored Serious Games Initiative Company sells experiences that not only train skills but also convince workers to take up the “subjectivity” of the company. The vision to awake employees’ subjectivity truly inspires me. I think we should also think about this in our education field as well. I still remember there was a fight among professors in school of business in my university. They argue about should or should not let freshman taking core courses like Chinese, History, or Art and humanity. Some deem those courses as useless for future need when getting jobs; others think that we should retain those unless we want to lose our origin. Why not give students chances to take up “subjectivity” of the school? Why not let students decide?
It was so exciting when I read the paragraph about emerging framework, it said: “The experience of using the learning map is quite fun. The images evoke nostalgia, and immediately tie the brand and lesson not just to an abstract pedagogy but to personally meaningful experiences.” It reminded my original intention to pursue a master degree in IST, which is that learning how to build an educational environment that can arise enthusiasm of learners to learn based on their personal and meaningful experiences. It was also valuable to know instructional designers in the near future should be people who think holistically, imagine user scenarios, and understand the culture of organizations.
Among the research questions, I am particularly interested in identity issue and Interface issue (Human Computer Interaction). I am so excited to see the possibility to build a new system for lifelong learning in second life. Just like Chris said, I am sure as well this posting will not be the last one in my blog.
Squire, Kurt (2005, February). Game-based learning: Present and future state of the field. The Masie Center. Retrieved July 4, 2007, from http://www.masieweb.com/research-and-articles/research/game-based-learning.html or http://www.masieweb.com/dmdocuments/Game-Based_Learning.pdf