Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog

Sunday

First-Hand Second Life Experience

I recently attended a Second Life meeting. There were definite pros and cons to the experience, and I was attentive to how the environment really would suit a synchronous e-learning course. Shortly after, I read a short article by Tom Werner in which he lists what he believes are the plusses and minuses to using Second Life. Here they are:

Plusses:
  • Tom feels that the newness and novelty of the environment can get attendees charged, excited, and energized.
  • You can find "pleasant" meeting locations in Second Life, such as a park or patio or nice deck. This has a positive effect on meeting attendees.
  • While you are able to show PowerPoint slides in Second Life, Tom's experience must have been more positive than mine. For me, despite my high-speed internet connection, the entire environment (including the viewing of PowerPoint slides) was very slow and jumpy - almost not worth using. But the plus IS that you are supposed to be able to show slides in SL.
  • When compared with teleconferences or web-conferencing tools, attendees seem to enjoy the experience of "meeting with" physical representations of other attendees, not just their voices.
  • This is quoted straight from Tom: "There can be entertaining side activities in Second Life. Our avatars hopped into a nearby hot tub after the meeting." The meeting I attended certainly wasn't that fun!
Minuses:
  • Attendees should learn and practice how to navigate in the SL environment (not that easy to do) before attending meetings or e-classes. Any meeting or e-learning experience can be affected by newbies.
  • If your meeting is for sharing and discussing information, SL isn't worth it. Just "keep it simple" by using the tools you (and everyone else) already know. You'll save everyone time.
  • In addition to the SL environment being very sluggish and jumpy, another gripe I have about SL is this: Why would I be interested in "meeting" with people whose avatars look nothing at all like the real people, nor do they use the same name? No, it's not my lack of imagination. It's my complete lack of desire to be forced to remember/recognize two different faces/bodies and two different names for every one hot-blooded person. Seriously, my life is already complicated enough.
As Tom mentions, it's still a good idea for me and my associates to keep our noses in SL and other such tools and environments because it is important to follow their progress. Like fine wines, they can only continue to get better with time.

5 Comments:

  • This is a really cool idea. I had read about Second LIfe but never really thought it would be used for something like this. Keep us informed to let us know how it works out for you.

    Thanks for a fine read.

    By Anonymous healthcare lean training, at 3:57 PM EDT  

  • How creative.... Second Life and other forms of virtual reatlity is a great way to engage employees in an active, fun learning experience.

    By Anonymous process improvement, at 12:45 PM EDT  

  • I appreciate your idea however Educators are always lagging behind technology. What is needed is innovation in learning, Education should be flexible enough to really educate.

    By Anonymous nicheguru, at 2:19 AM EDT  

  • I somewhat agree with nicheguru regarding the innovation in education. Technology always develops but education regarding such technology doesn't appear for many years to come.

    By Anonymous lean six sigma training, at 12:22 PM EDT  

  • I agree with nicheguru as well. Educators need an easy-to-use tool for e-learning. I'll suggest them to try iSpring product line: combination of clear interface and quality.

    By Blogger Deborah, at 2:01 PM EDT  

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