Second Life is a virtual world where you can push the limits of what you thought was possible. If you can imagine a world or simulation, it probably exists in Second Life. When you start thinking about using Second Life in education, there are almost limitless possibilities.
Virtual classrooms with avatars could change the way that online education is delivered. As an online student, I have felt disconnected from my classmates because they are some other place in the world. We rarely have had to communicate in real time. I think that Second Life has great potential for digital learning. When I was first introduced to Second Life, I thought of a teenage girl in my community who has crippling anxiety to the point she feels she cannot attend regular high school. It would provide students like her opportunities to participate in a high school community in a way that might be comfortable for them.
As a teacher, I think it would be amazing to use Second Life in my elementary classroom to show some science simulations. Usually, I end up showing videos about different science topics, but being able to interact with the different simulations might help my students see just how awesome science can be.
Thinking about the demographics of my school, I can see that incorporating Second Life into my classroom might not be positively received. The community that I teach in is very conservative and in favor of traditional learning experiences for students. And if it wasn’t a battle with parents getting on board with students using Second Life, I would expect resistance from the district administration.
I’m still trying to figure out what I really think about Second Life. I see a lot of awesome things that I would love to check out. Hopefully, I can learn more about it to find ways to use it in the classroom.