Monday, July 23, 2007

Reading about Second Life

Recently someone asked me in an email about my activities in Second Life. I wish I did have time to hang out in SL and get used to the interface and explore all the educational things that are hatching there. But it's a time sink. I'm interested and curious, but it's hard to find the time to play with it.

I just read several blog posts by Sylvia Martinez about her experiences in Second Life. She was invited to join an educators group in SL, and went into it open but somewhat skeptical. She said she has been through many new interfaces that people think are going to revolutionize the way we think, including BBS's and Tapped In, and although some good things happen, there are still big limitations.

Her first post is considering what SL is in relation to education. Her second one related her first SL visit and the things she learned to do. The third reflects on the whole SL experience and why it isn't that revolutionary and doesn't allow learners to do much that they couldn't do in First Life, and since the interface is kind of clumsy, and fairly hard to learn, as she said it better be a really good learning project to justify spending the amount of time learners would have to spend just to learn to navigate around.

The counter-argument is that yes, SL is clumsy and bandwidth-intensive right now, but this is the direction the Internet is headed and pretty soon we will be doing everything via avatars and virtual environments. Well, she's right, it's going to have to be a much better and more intuitive interface than it is right now. But then, remember DOS?

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