Educators explore ‘Second Life’ online. ‘The classroom of the future isn’t on a college campus. It’s in the virtual world of “Second Life”. In “Second Life,” virtual residents – cartoonish-looking characters controlled via keyboard and mouse – create anything their hearts desire. Also known as avatars, the residents start up businesses, stage their own concerts, sell real estate and design fashion lines. Reuters news agency even has a correspondent based in the cyber community.
A growing number of educators are getting caught up in the wave. More than 60 schools and educational organizations have set up shop in the virtual world and are exploring ways it can be used to promote learning.
The three-dimensional virtual world makes it possible for students taking a distance course to develop a real sense of community, said Rebecca Nesson, who leads a class jointly offered by Harvard Law School and Harvard Extension School in the world of “Second Life.”
Press Release: Harvard Extension and Law Schools Offer Course in a 3-D Virtual Environment. ‘The Harvard Extension School and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School announce the offering of CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion, the first class at Harvard University to be offered in part in Second Life, a 3-D virtual environment.
Co-taught by Professor Charles Nesson, Rebecca Nesson, and Gene Koo, CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion turns law and Harvard toward the creation of our future in a networked information economy. â€œCyberOne models a university relationship with the public of open-access,â€ says Professor Nesson. â€œOur class is itself an argument for open access and its expression.â€
CyberOne is being jointly offered this fall through the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Extension School. Course video, lecture, and project materials will be freely available in Second Life to anyone with an Internet connection. The Berkman Center, in conjunction with Cambridge Community Television (CCTV), will also be broadcasting select video on CCTV.’