Friday, August 18, 2006

Education in Second Life in Boston Phoenix

A great article on education in Second Life appeared in today's Boston Phoenix.

Here is the link:

I have had trouble getting in. If you would like a copy of the full story let me know and I will send it. There was some great coverage of the library I will put here:

"Expanding in-world resources
In-world, there are offerings that are open to the public, from lectures with NASA engineers to presentations hosted by The Infinite Mind public-radio show, which was the first live-broadcast program to have a presence in SL. There is also Info Island, home to the Second Life Library 2.0, a collaboration between the Alliance Library System and Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL).

"More and more educators see Second Life as a way to engage students," says ALS director of innovation Lori Bell. "We wanted to see what role a library could play."

A group of about 35 librarians have volunteered their time to build structures and stock the collection, which includes searchable indexes, audio and video clips, and books, many of which are public domain and available to own. "I see this as a great way to promote reading," says Bell. The library also offers live help at certain hours of the day, for the typical real-life reference questions that inevitably come up, and it will hold live events like authors' chats and tours.

The library is also exploring ways to offer learning experiences that simply would not be possible in real life. It is working with the Library of Congress to build a Declaration of Independence room, where a larger-than-life-size copy of the document will be on display along with additional readings, audio files, and period furniture. There's also a library in the works on Caledon, the exclusively 19th-century island where avatars wear period dress. "


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