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More wired than a Roman Internet café

Some places to go in Second Life to explore the possibilities of embodied virtual learning (and some are even Classics-relevant!)

  • ROMA - the obvious staring place. Here are some screenshots and a description of what the place is like... and here's the SLURL to get there, a video flyover, and one person's reflection on the place
  • Created by Second Life resident Aura Lily, the Temple of Isis (SLurl) is an immersive replica of the real life Temple of Isis of Ancient Egypt. Using maps drawn by one of Napoleon's artist engineers, she's also working on an accurate recreation of temples and buildings on the Island of Philae. (but watch out for the neighbours who are peddling ancient-themed porn, trading on the work that Aura Lily did)

  • The Sistine Chapel SLURL is an excellent example of how Second Life might be used for studying art and architecture in context.
  • The Steampunk Project - from its website: "The Steampunk Project is an ongoing teaching and learning project created by Megan Conklin at Elon University, and supported by Elon's Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. This site chronicles the development of an immersive historical role playing game about technology."
  • Virtual Hallucinations SLURL UC Davis, one of my favourites for showing how immersion makes the difference in learning.
  • SVARGA SLURL I have written papers on the use of agent based modeling for understanding historical processes, but here is a simulation that uses agent modeling and Second Life to create a whimsical three dimensional fully realized ecosystem. As that fellow in Jurassic Park often said, 'life finds a way' - some day, these creatures are going to break out of this sim....
  • The Globe Theatre has been reconstructed in London, but getting there is awfully expensive - how about visiting the Second Life version instead? SLURL

I should also point out that many colleges and universities have teaching spaces in Second Life, but many of these places simply recreate the patterns of learning we are already familiar with: bums on seats in a lecture hall, powerpoints, and a distant prof. As people become more familiar with what can be accomplished in these online worlds, expect to see more innovative and remarkable learning experiences!

I'll add more interesting places to go, once my ISP finally installs that highspeed internet access he's been promising for the last two years(!)

Views: 13

Comment by Andrew Reinhard on August 30, 2007 at 11:00am
Fabulous! Thanks Shawn for making these links available to us. I agree that when we have what is in effect a "holodeck", that traditional learning systems go out the window in favor of a real-time, "real-world" laboratory for both practice and play. A virtual classroom is just another classroom. Use the immersive Second Life sims to do what comes naturally with language learning: communicate and interact! Great work!


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