Creating a "Second Life" beyond Blackboard
February 19 and 23, 2009 - Roberta Walker Kilkenny (Africana and Puerto/Rican Latino Studies)
Second Life is an online, user-created virtual world. Users create "avatars," virtual representations of themselves that are used to navigate through the world and interact with other Second Life residents. The Second Life environment, which is also user-created, includes countless sites that facilitate learning including Virtual Ability Island, Koru (based on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences), Virtual Harlem, the Genealogy Research Center, the Meteora Tsunami Demonstration, Tintern Abbey (based on the work of William Wordsworth), Capitol Hill, the Ohio State Univ Testis Tour, and the Abracadabra language lab. Hundreds of colleges, universities, and libraries, and thousands of faculty members can be found educating and learning in Second Life.
In her February 19 presentation, Roberta Walker Kilkenny discussed the successes and challenges of educational applications of Second Life, drawing on examples from a range of disciplines, including political science, literature, medicine, history, foreign languages and educational pedagogy/andragogy. In her February 23 workshop, Professor Kilkenny led a hands-on tour of some of the sites discussed during the presentation.