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Libraries in Second Life: New Approaches to Education, Information Sharing, Learning Object Implementation, User Interactions and Collaborations

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Author(s): Susan Smith Nash

Journal: Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics
ISSN 1690-4532

Volume: 7;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Repositories | Online Learning | Second Life | Simulations | learning objects | Virtual Worlds

ABSTRACT
Three-dimensional virtual worlds such as Second Life continue to expand the way they provide information, learning activities, and educational applications. This paper explores the types of learning activities that take place in Second Life and discusses how learning takes place, with a view toward developing effective instructional strategies. As learning objects are being launched in Second Life, new approaches to collaboration, interactivity, and cognition are being developed. Many learning-centered islands appeal to individuals who benefit from interaction with peers and instructors, and who can access learning objects such as information repositories, simulations, and interactive animations. The key advantages that Second Life offers include engaging and meaningful interaction with fellow learners, media-rich learning environments with embedded video, graphics, and interactive quizzes and assessments, an engaging environment for simulations such as virtual labs, and culturally inclusive immersive environments. However, because of the steep learning curve, technical difficulties, and cultural diversity, learners may become frustrated in Second Life. Since Second Life is social learning environment that emphasizes the creation of a self, effective learning requires step-by-step empowerment of that new, constructed self.
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