Second Life, the new dimension of training and education

Forum at ITK 2008 conference together with Kim Holmberg (in English)

Second Life ( is a three-dimensional online digital world created by its users. User created in this context means that registered users, or residents, can collaboratively or individually create everything from their own avatars, structures and vehicles to social groups, games, experiences and educational and training related events, materials and more. In February 2008 Second Life had almost 12.5 million registered users and almost a half a million users who had logged in during the last seven days (19.2.2008).

What makes Second life of special interest to educators is the great number of schools, universities and companies that have created presences in Second Life and that use it in various ways for education, training and collaboration. The department of Information Studies at Åbo Akademi has used Second Life as an education environment since 2006 on a number of courses. Besides teaching and developing educational and training related practises, Holmberg and Huvila have conducted research on learning and collaboration in Second Life. The results have shown that the barrier for students to participate in discussions and to ask questions is lower in Second Life based education. The students also stated that they felt as if the other students were really present in the virtual classroom where the lectures were held. The forum focuses on practical experiences and theoretical insights gathered in using and studying Second Life environment in education and training. Significant advantages of using Second Life instead of other educational environments and platforms are discussed together with principal challenges. The findings are based on extensive practical experience, two survey studies and course feedback gathered from students.

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Thu, 04/17/2008 - 14:06

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