It has been a big month for me in Second Life this past month. I have gone to 4 conferences, meet all kinds of people and learned so much. So, if you think virtual worlds are dying — then I would like to offer that you spend some time with me in Second LIfe.
Yes, many college campus are empty, but that could be for many other reasons. For example, it is hard to get around because they tried to replicate their campus in Second Life. They are not encouraging professors to learn how to teach in Second Life, and they do not have good introduction to their students about how to use tools in Second Life. They do not have any social places for their students to meet at…. and the list goes on. It takes time, patience and commitment, but when you really start feeling comfortable in Second Life, a whole new world opens up. They are still using the traditional model of “sage on a stage” with the professor lecturing with powerpoints, instead of making learning engaging.
The last couple of weeks, I have attended SLPro, The Future is Now: Libraries and Museums in Virtual Worlds, NCTIES 2010, and this week VWBPE 2010 in Second Life. All of these are conferences are full of educators, businesses, and the top people who are using Second LIfe to teach, collaborate and create communities. VWBPE (Virtual Worlds Best Practices Education Conference) had over 5,000 attendees from all over the world.
Karl Kapp in his blog, has written an article “I Have Seen the Future of Conferences….and it is 3D! about the VWBPE conference. The slides of his and Tony O’Driscoll’s talk on their new book “Learning in 3D” can be found at slideshare.