In some ways, I think educational offerings in Second Life have been elementary in the sense of concentrating on how to exist, i.e. how to walk, how to fly, how to create a cube, how to teleport, so that by the time you’re done with that stuff that should ideally be done on an Orientation Island, our little 10-week term is over. I see too many classes offered in SL that are extensions of orientation.
That said, it is a new world, and I think there’s a corollary with Early American literature, which was seen as derivative and descriptive, instead of innovative. Being descriptive of the New World, though, made sense. What else is there to say when you’ve just arrived and are in awe? Why do you need to imagine a future, when you’re in the midst of a paradise (so to speak)?
So, in Second Life, we are still in awe of the environment. It’s hard to get beyond that. I’m still looking around at all the amazing things that have been built. You?
About my post title, now. There was a thread on board games on the SL Educators list the other day which got me thinking about using that model to create some learning experiences. It would involve adapting a traditional board game process, in walk-through size, to some problem you want students to solve. It could be a social problem, an historical problem, an educational problem, etc. Students might take turns or it could be for single players; they would move through the board, encountering issues and having to answer questions or even build something to be able to move on; they would gather points or even Lindens. And at the end of the game, they should have learned from the experience (duh).
I’m thinking a lot about this idea. Of course, we can’t use existing, copyrighted games. We have to create our own, but we can be inspired by real games.