The Times Higher article on Second Life and Education

The Times Higher has a supplement with an article on Second Life:

 Black sun rising

The article focuses on creative educational users of Second Life.  One of the main focuses is on Bryan Carter at the University of Central Missouri.  He teaches classes on cyber culture and literature.  The setting for his classroom is torn straight out of the pages of Snow Crash.  

Here’s a quote from the article:

“Carter and his students manoeuvre their alter egos, or “avatars”, around a virtual classroom from wherever they happen to be. In a typical class, Carter says, his avatar might screen a PowerPoint slide show, movie short or live streaming video of a real-life lecture on the Black Sun’s television, before dishing out assignments to students, who can mouse-click on banks of information kiosks linked to web pages for more details. They are then free to venture into the field to conduct ethnographic research on the “subcultures” to be found in Second Life, says Carter, while his avatar reclines on a couch to field any queries (via instant messaging or text entered into a “talk” window on the “client” interface, downloaded to users’ computers, which serves as their portal into Second Life) – the virtual equivalent of office hours.”

Sarah Robbins (AKA Intelligirl), a PhD candidate at Ball State University, Indiana is also highlighted along with work being done by Edward Castronova from the Synthetic Worlds Initiative

This is a great article and well worth a read.


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