Thursday, October 9, 2008

Second Life

While going through the articles listed for our Wiki assignment, I thought the article regarding literature and the Second Life was astonishing. We are talking about a virtual world that is taken very seriously by those who are participants. To be able to log onto a computer and live a life as an Avatar takes society to a whole new level.

Should we be concerned that our ability to meet face to face may become extinct? Are our social skills eroding? This seems discerning, however there are definitely advantages to this new interaction. As is noted in the article by Laura Nicosia, "Adolescent Literature and Second Life: Teaching Young Adult Texts in the Digital World," the world of literature and the second life collide and find some great success.

It is amazing that Avatars can join together and create this great source of education. To be able to meet in the virtual world and share the works of Shakespeare and other great authors is an invaluable source of literacy education.

One issue I found intriguing, is the idea that these online/virtual classrooms can add as many seats as possible. The article makes the point that in the Real Life (RL), you would need to order new chairs and tables to accommodate new students. In the Second Life (SL) anyone can join and take part of the learning. Also, learning at home in your pajamas is an advantage as well as the ability to meet people from all ends of the earth. This brings different perspectives, which will in turn enrich our knowledge.

I find that the concept is going in the right direction, however, I have some issue with the middle school students joining the Second Life (SL). It just concerns me that our future leaders will have little social interaction. I think there is more time for development and with the interaction of teachers this may have a future in our schools.


Colin and/or Michele said...

You raise a good point, Lindsay, bout "social life". So, do you think all social life necessarily has to be face-to-face? It's so interesting that the "social life" issue was never raised about telephones, and yet they're not a face-to-face medium at all. While I don't talk to many strangers in SL, I do speak to friends I meet there, plus belong to an email discussion list and I do red and comment on SL-related blogs. Does this mean I have no social life?

Colin and/or Michele said...

Oh, and while I think of it--y'all haven't exactly been filling up the blog with accounts of your explorations of Second Life.... So, how bout you all give it another go and teleport yourselves to Orientation Island, which, I've found, has much better how-to tutorials than whre Second Life dumps you when you first register. the SLURL for Orientation Island is:

And here's a walkthrough for if you get stuck somewhere on the island:

Nancy said...

Hey Lindsay,

I agree that Second Life is amazing. There is so much one can do and so many places one can be transported to. However, one of my concerns was for the younger children.
Younger students have many other virtual games and ways of interacting wtih each other. A cool site I learend about is for Webinz, en. I was interviewing a third grader and one of her favorite things was playing with her webkinz. I never heard of this before. You should check it out if you get a chance. It is neat.

Lindsay Zweibel said...

I would first like to thank everyone for there comments as this helps all of us expand on our thoughts and ideas.

When discussing social life the first thing that comes to my mind is the physical socialization of the young students that were discussed in the reading. I realize that the telephone did not totally cease physical communication and probably could be thought of as a convenience and probably one of the greatest inventions of mankind. However, my concern is that the young people of society will begin their lives behind a computer screen and never come up for air. I guess we will all wait and observe as the world changes and communication evovles.

Dana said...

i went to the web site but I couldn't pull up the article. Nonetheless, I feel a little weird about the second life of educating children too much about the digitlize world. As with everything it has it's pros and cons. the pros is the world it still evolving and shifting to make people's lives easier. However, the cons are cyber bullying, threats, kidnapping, etc.