Second Life and the education system

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J. DOe
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Second Life and the education system

In the article with a title of "Second Life still living its first one" at http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/20/technology/kirkpatrick_rosedale.fortune/..., I read the following:

Quote:
Now over 100 colleges and universities are holding classes inside Second Life, and Rosedale says 4,000 educators are on a special e-mail list Linden Lab maintains.

The rest of the article deals with things like the number of people using Second Life, how extensive it is now, its future technical plans such as with HTML, its profitability and other such related things.A However, I found this one quote somewhat alarming.A I have previously read that there were one or two classes being experimentally being held in SL but not that there are over 100 colleges and universities that have classes there now.A Also, I wonder what sort of information is being sent to these 4,000 educators.A Among my concerns include how many new young people may potentially be introduced and become addicted to this who otherwise would not be plus what happens should a person who already knows about their addiction problem to SL, or even to something similar like an MMORPG, needs to, or even just wants to, take one of these classes that are being held in SL?A For the latter concern, is any provision being made to try to accommodate any such people?

I realize that a short quote like the one above does not provide any details but I think that it is better to be proactive regarding potential problems before they yet exist or are too serious rather than be reactive after the fact.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

satyag
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Re: Second Life and the education system

When i saw that my university was holding a workshop for how instructors can used this as a teaching too, I alerted them to the adictive qualities for some. The IT person said she was going to bring it to the attention of her superiors but nothing has been heard about it since.

John of the Roses
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Re: Second Life and the education system

It is usual for anywhere from 4% - 8% would become addicted, at least this is what I have heard and learned from working the forums here.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

lauramc
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Re: Second Life and the education system

I had heard something similar in a program as well and was really alarmed over this. I don't think people realize the potential harm this could case. In addition, I think someone here mentioned that they are starting to use Runescape as a teaching tool for teenagers; I was floored!

FreeSpirit
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Re: Second Life and the education system

To me; just that quote is really alarming. I saw so many people spending hours and hours and more hours, EVERY DAY on Second Life. And most of them probably don't see it as an addiction. I bet some even see it as another life, a second life, and that we can decide which one we want to live the most in. Unfortunately (for them) there are still some things impossible in-world, like the care for your RL body, even tho you can take your avatar to fancy restaurants and couture clothing-stores, you still need to take care of it RL too. I for sure wouldn't attend a class on SL. /Free

bgh
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Re: Second Life and the education system

There's a version of Second Life created especially for the under 18 crowd. Linden Labs is making a KILLING off this game!

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lizwool
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Re: Second Life and the education system

I am sure it is full of pedophiles...

Liz Woolley

J. DOe
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Re: Second Life and the education system

Another related article, with a subject of "How To Spark Remote Learning" at http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/19/life-lessons-gaming-tech-innovation08-cx_br_0319innovations.html, talks about how Second Life is developing "as a hot spot for learning English as a second language (ESL)."A In particular, it says that

Quote:

Kip Boahn, who has co-led a real-life English-language school in Germany for the last eight years, has become passionate about teaching in "Second Life." As "Kip Yellowjacket," Boahn started teaching ESL to fellow "Second Life" players back in 2006. Originally from North Carolina, Boahn got his start in the game with a group called The English Village, but has now built his own ESL center. "Second Life English," Boahn's new project, is a virtual island entirely dedicated to providing free online resources to language teachers and students.

and that

Quote:

Educators like Boahn and Preibisch aren't the only ones turning to videogames to promote English language instruction. Two years ago, Edd Schneider of State University of New York-Potsdam paired his communications class with a group of high school students in China and told them to play "World of Warcraft" together. In spite of the enormous difference in time zones, Schneider told game industry site Gamasutra.com, the project was a huge success. "Sometimes [the Chinese students] didn't even realize they were speaking English," he said.

The rest of the relatively long article mainly provides details about some of the ways that these various groups provide ESL services.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Unreal76
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Hey people, this is my first

Hey people, this is my first posting on this site so be gentle ;) I am a new educator (still awaiting certification) and am very interested in Second Life as an educational tool. We had a guest speaker talk about Second Life yesterday and piqued my interest yet again. I've had an avatar in SL for over 3 years but don't spend much time there, partially because I know how much of my time it can consume. I am very torn with SL...it has a HUGE potential to engage learners, but also the potential to entrap some in online addiction. From what I understand, to join Teen SL you have to provide evidence of your age...is that true? As an educator I believe I have to create my own world (sounds tedious) and invite students to it (this is their way of getting adults and teens to interact legally). So...as a high school teacher-to-be is the potential learning worth it, or do the dangers outweigh the benefits?

Desire to Stop
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I think we have some folks

I think we have some folks here who do more interfacing on a cooperative basis with the professional community. Given that we are a site that offers support to gaming addicts, and those affected by the gaming addiction of someone they are close to, I'm sure our perspective will be a unique one. I don't think you have to worry about anyone being mean here. Our desire is to cooperate. What I can say for myself as a gaming addict is that I would have to petition school administration to waive any required class that would mandates my presence in an online game because it would trigger me, much like if I was a heroin junkie trying to attend a lecture being held in an opium den. Let me assure you that a return to gaming for someone like me would have devestating effects for my loved ones, as well as for me. The other thought I have as a mother is that I would hate to see any of my child's teachers require her presence in an MMO, as I think this is a less than ideal method for learning, and could possibly open the door to something that can lead some students to powerful addictions. I would certainly "go activist" about this, and feel strongly enough about it that I would raise a fuss. Someplace, on wowinsider.com is an article by a teacher who took the mechanics of World of Warcraft (progressive quests with rewards, some activities encouraging cooperation) and portrayed some of the classroom lessons as quests, with factions, rewards, etc. The students were not required to actually be in the game of WoW, but the instructor knew that a number of his students played and he wanted to tap into that goal orientation in the classroom. That is possibly the only method of introducing a framework taken from an MMO and utilized in an educational setting that I would not protest, were it to take place in my daughter's classes. This might sound heavy handed on my part, but I would strongly urge you to rethink heading down the path of classroom participation in SL. You don't get to know in advance who in your courses will demonstrate addictive tendencies--and much like we wouldn't necessarily take our statistics class to the local casino slot machines to explore probability, I personally don't think SL is the best method for educating, even at a distance. There will be people who find their way to the MMOs, and some will become addictive, some will not. But I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be taking your class to the slot machines at a local casino, an opium den, or a bar, or requesting that they all hang out and smoke cigarrettes as part of the course. All these activities / substances aren't necessarily guarranteed to cause an addiction, but the higher than average risk (say compared to drinking water, flipping a coin, etc.) is already there. I'm just one person, and this is my personal opinion--I don't represent OLGA. I hope that my honesty is not taken as anything other than that, I certainly bear you no ill will. I applaud you for endeavoring to explore creative options in your teaching.

Cheers, Desire to Stop
ALL quoted text (unless otherwise stated) comes from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (with wording sometimes changed only to make it more relevant for gaming addiction). I will include page numbers.

Hoping & praying for a measure of recovery for all of us today.

Solei
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Welcome Unreal, And to think

Welcome Unreal, And to think when I was in school ~ All we did with the computers was play Oregon Trail, Carmen San Diego and keyboard. I have been an elementary school teacher for the past 8 years. During my college years, I mentored and worked with inner-city middle and high school students In absolutely no way would ever invite my students to participate into a virtual world - regardless of the learning experience I felt it may produce. High school students are still very much in need of social development, and it is my opinion that socializing online can stunt that growth. High school students, likely, spend quite a lot of time "online" or "texting" at home after school. While technology is key in our classrooms, I feel that there are many other ways to encourage learning than opening a virtual world. That being said... Who knows where technology is going in the classroom? My grade two classroom is equipped with 4 working desktop computers, one laptop, and an interactive "touch screen" board called a SmartBoard ~ all of which the children flock to and love to learn with. During free time (Last 6 minutes of the school day) I have to set up a computer rotation schedule, as they all want to be engaged on the PC. My students, however, are only 8. They are only allowed on educational websites in my classroom. Thankfully, my school system has great parental controls set up - - but the students know, thanks to their older siblings, that some game sites are still acessable while at school. My students tried to access their "Webkins" online account ~ which is a small virtual world where you have to care for your "Webkin" and can spend literally hours playing games on. They know that in my classroom, Webkins are not allowed. I am very much aware that there is a huge difference in the needs and education of a primary student and a high school student. I would be extremely cautious in implementing the use of a virtual world in my classroom. I have had students tell me that their older brothers play Halo, Call of Duty, and Counterstrike. I have also had a 7 year old boy who tell me that he plays Runescape. I can only imagine how exposed the high school child would be to these video games. Technology is an evergrowing educational tool, but must be used appropriately and cautiously. You asked if the dangers would outweigh the benefit of Second Life in your classroom ~ and I absolutely think that it would. Your goal is to reach every child and not every child will or should respond to an online educational tool like Second Life and some may eaily become obsessed with and too engaged with a virtual reality. There are many other methods of education out there ~ many of which do involve technology. I wish you luck. =) Blessings, Solei

-6 Years Free of Online Gaming-

Gamersmom
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I can't add a thing to what

I can't add a thing to what Desire to Stop and Solei have said. This is one of the scariest things I have seen in education. The kids spend so much time in virtual worlds as it is. They don't need more of the same.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

John of the Roses
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This thread was started a

This thread was started a year and a half ago. I can just imagine what advances have been made within the structure of SL for educational purposes!

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

J. DOe
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The article Med Students Get

The article Med Students Get Training In Second Life Hospitals says:

Quote:

Discover Magazine reports that although medical simulations have been around for a long time, medical schools like Imperial College London are starting to use virtual hospitals in Second Life so students can learn their way around an O.R. before they enter the real thing. ... The most significant benefit of SL training may be the cost. Real-life training facilities require thousands, and sometimes millions of dollars to build and maintain, while SL simulation rooms can be created for minimal costs, and accessed from anywhere in the world for the price of an internet connection. SL can also expose students to situations that a standard academic program can't duplicate: 'You can take risks that aren't safe in the real world and teach more complex subjects in three dimensions,' says Colleen Lin.

Although there are some potential benefits to using SL in this manner, I would prefer that they design a virtual system (or have a subset of SL) that is limited to only the training scenario that they are trying to create. That way, it should have minimal addictive potential to those people, like me, who are susceptible to that sort of thing.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Tm87
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I test second life for 1-2

I test second life for 1-2 hours in my last relapse, but i didnt see the fun in it :), but my laptop grapic card is not so strong too so....

Exavatar (not verified)
What a joke!  I'm so sorry

What a joke! I'm so sorry to sound uneducated, but that's the first thing I thought when I saw the post. I laugh because I was there for four years and got there because my husband tried to use SL as an outreach tool for work, which failed miserably btw, but meanwhile I got addicted and it almost ruined my marriage.

i knew a few people in SL that had meetings for their RL jobs in there and all of them were addicted. LL would like you to believe SL is this wonderful tool for work. Gimme a break. SL is nothing but a playground for sexual fantasies and using that term is being gentle. I had friends in there that were pre-2009, which is when I started, and they told stories of how SL used to be a wondrous thing exploring virtual reality and how said it morphed into a twisted place. I laugh because even though they were aware of it, they were doing twisted things themselves even though they didnt start off doing those things when they joined. One of my "good friends" joined in 2005, a pastor in RL and he made a popular sex product! How twisted is that? He made about $5,000 USD each month from this product if you can imagine that. I even knew a judge that would SL from chambers and I knew 100% this was true because I ended up knowing her RL.

SL twists your mind and I believe is one of the most dangerous games out there. There is a popular saying there, "What happens in SL stays in SL". Even that's a joke because eventually it destroys any semblance of rational thinking you had when you started, so it never "stays in SL".

Sheesh, I had insomnia and came here to browse the posts and this one got me riled up. Lol. So now you know how I feel about SL in the workplace. :)

Exavatar (not verified)
Oh yeah and one more thing

Oh yeah and one more thing in case anyone else reads this thread wondering about SL, it IS full of pedophiles! One time I created an avatar (one of my many in my repertoire) that had pigtails. I was at a noobie area so I could unpack some clothes I bought and there was this older male avi sitting there starting to talk to me. I engaged in the convo at first but it was clear he was a sicko. I saw that same avi at another noobie place a couple years later and I baited him and let him have it, lol. It's one thing to be twisted with another adult which is bad enough but to pray on kids like that? Or people you are hoping are kids? That's even sicker.

Wow, that felt good to get that out even though this thread is old! Glad I am out of that demented place.

daveb
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Exavatar, I appreciate how

Exavatar,

I appreciate how strong your conviction is again SL especially after all of the time it consumed and all of the stuff it took from you, but the truth remains that it can be a good educational tool. I am currently going to college for a Master of Arts in Learning With Emerging Technologies. As part of the curriculum for one class I had four meetings in SL to talk with my teacher who was hundreds of miles away. She set up a new area that was for the college solely and I never left the area. We were able to communicate as if we were in person and I was able to get a lot of information from her about my project, which was the presentation of our final projects in SL.

I am not saying the potential isn't there for addiction, but to say it is full of pedophiles and that everyone who goes on is addicted is grossly unfair. I have problems with gaming, but was able to go on there and not go on at all when it wasn't necessary for school. SL is becoming a more refined platform and from an educational technologies standpoint it is becoming a more valid tool. Also let me just say this. Your argument that it is full of pedophiles is founded in experience, but there are also people on the professional site LinkedIn whom have complained of sexual harassment.

The thing I wanted to say is that people with skewed thinking are everywhere online, as a parent I personally refuse to let my daughter do anything on the internet by herself. Watch the movie Meghan is Missing (which is a fictional movie) and you will see enough why we have to be careful. I am not saying there isn't potential for addiction and that there are not a lot of perves or pedophiles. I am just saying this, the factors for addiction are there and this is an online community where people talk to each other, not everyone is going to be an upright citizen. I also want you to think about this just for thought. Pedophiles weren't always pedophiles, there are things that make them this way. Many have underlying problems themselves with sex addiction. I am by no means defending their actions because they can get help before it gets to that point, there is a transition.

All I am saying is that it is kind of mean to call a pedophile a pedophile without looking what made them that way and see how their brain is working. How would you like it if someone said I don't want you around me, you are a game addict, it might corrupt my child?

Once again I want to say, pedophiles are terrible and every last one should be punished to the full extent of the law for what they are doing, but it must be known that none of us started out as terrible people as babies. There is more to everything than meets the eye and more to SL than just the addictive parts.

Stopped Gaming 6/20/13! Excited to have a shot at life.

Gettingalife
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I'm not so interested in

I'm not so interested in "punishing" anyone as protecting children. The fact is that the internet in general and these games specifically provide the anonymity and opportunity for deviant behaviors of all sorts to be acted out. They are no place for children. And, as someone with the potential for addiction to SL as an alternate reality, I'm not keen on defending it for any use.

Acceptance. When I am disturbed, it is because a person, place, thing, or situation is unacceptable to me. I find no serenity until I accept my life as being exactly the way it is meant to be. Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.  Acknowledge the problem, but live the solution!

Exavatar (not verified)
My focus wasn't on

My focus wasn't on pedophiles anyway, but I put that in there because lizwool had mentioned it probably had some in the game, and I was confirming it did without putting the exact sick conversation. I was telling you my experience with SL. It's an evil place IMHO. It is the groundwork for addiction and destructive behavior. Why dangle the carrot?

I had a couple other "friends" who were in "school", college to be precise, in SL. They wasted MORE TIME there! I couldn't believe it! They started out as students and ended up addicted and never finished college.

I just don't think it's a good place for that sort of thing personally. America has enough problems getting smart people at the top without putting more roadblocks in the way.

daveb
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Sorry if I offended you

Sorry if I offended you Exavatar. I was simply stating my thoughts and telling about my own positive experience. I wasn't trying to focus on the pedophiles, but your one post was all about the negatives of SL. I am just trying to say that SL can be used in an educational setting and be successful at helping students learn in ways not possible in real life. Am I saying everyone should go onto SL, no way in hell, especially not on this forum. I am just saying that there can be positives for non-addicts. I don't intend on dangling the carrot and if I knew I was going to have a problem with it, I would tell my teacher that I couldn't use the platform. I also think that any platform could be the groundwork for addiction and destructive behavior if we let it. I made the argument before, but I don't think games like SL create addicts, they give people an outlet to escape and that is where the unhealthy behavior comes from. I know in my case I couldn't properly express myself so I acted out and escaped from reality. In working on some of my past issues, I am finding serenity. My past and experiences laid the groundwork for addiction and destructive behavior, SL is a tool that helps to agitate the addiction not create it.

Stopped Gaming 6/20/13! Excited to have a shot at life.

Exavatar (not verified)
Sorry, I completely disagree

Sorry, I completely disagree Daveb and you didn't offend me, I'm just stating facts I learned while in tht game. Good luck.

daveb
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I respect your opinons and

I respect your opinons and was too just stating my experiences. As with these types of things are experiences will be different. I do know that the part I went to was for my college, so there was nobody else ever there except during class meetings. I have never had a problem with it and have seen how it can positively be used for enhanced learning. In my experiences I have an addictive personality and would latch on to games or porn or the like because of the escape. None of these outlets made me an addict, my life and upbringing made me and addict, I am not sure what creates each addict, but that is my story.

I just wanted to clarify. Thanks

Stopped Gaming 6/20/13! Excited to have a shot at life.

Exavatar (not verified)
Just wondering though why

Just wondering though why you would choose OLGA to post defending this type of thing when this is a place for online gaming addictions. I think it's inappropriate.

daveb
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I'm not trying to be

I'm not trying to be inappropriate, I am just stating my experiences and coming here to share my story. In my experience I was already predisposed to becoming an addict based on my past experiences, anything that I come into contact with can be addictive and I am careful. Opening up here helps me open up to my wife more about how I am feeling. I was just discussing an educational tool and saying that it does work as one for non-addicts and that there is more to it than the bad people.

Please don't think that I am trying to advocate addicts use this, because I am not.

Stopped Gaming 6/20/13! Excited to have a shot at life.

Patria
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Luckily this site is for the

Luckily this site is for the gaming addict. Our primary purpose is to get sober from gaming addiction and help others achieve sobriety.

There is an Outreach portion of OLGA whose sole purpose is to inform society the possible ills of gaming. The message that games/gaming CAN be addictive needs to be addressed. Heroin and alcohol have tons of research and to support the fact of their addictive qualities, but gaming doesn't.

As a recovering gamer, I do need to know how online games can be a problem for me, since I am addicted to them. This is not meant to malign certain games; however, there are games more addictive than other games, and at a certain point I can't play ANY online games.

But, getting back to OLGA. Our mission is to help sufferers of gaming addiction. SL is toxic to us, because it not only is a "game" it also touches on other other addictions: porn, sex, sex and love, etc. As OLGA recovering gamers, we don't need to debate the validity of any part of that game. For us it is toxic. Exavatar is right, stating her experiences on her game. No one can dispute that.

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