Web 2.0 and Education Seminar (III): Larry Johnson: Second Life as an educational space

Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer. New Media Consortium (USA)
Case Study 1. Second Life as an educational space

Larry Johnson speaks about the experience of the NMC at Second Life for educational purposes.

NMC Virtual Worlds to help build Second Life, to build things in Second Life. For instance, Second Health, to explore new ways for health systems, and shifting from hospitals for ill people to hospitals for healthy people. Second Life was useful to create different stories by filming series of videos — machinima — and then deliver them outside Second Life. The stories were also created as teaching materials simulating heart attacks, limps, etc.

Second Health: Polyclinic Tour


Second Health: Emergency and Specialist Care

Traffic data about Second Life use in NMC islands show that people spend most of their SL time not inside classrooms but on the “open air”. So, besides the formal or official purpose that gets people inside SL, a conclusion is clear: it is a social space, it is social software.

Another powerful thing to state about Second Life is that people can express themselves, and can do it in a lot of ways, in a very compelling visual way.

And SL is 100% user built. And SL world changes constantly.

The type of interaction that takes place in SL is really different from anything previous. The fact that you have to go to a common place, to meet through the glass, makes the experience more immersive.


Graham Attwell states that these are good technologies because of their multiuser aspect, but most probably are transitional technologies — such as Facebook — until we come with open, standardized technologies. Larry Johnson answers that early pioneers — and his example is America On Line — are just for that, to disclose new spaces: Who cares now about AOL? But they were great!

National Center for Academic Transformation.


UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning Fourth International Seminar. Web 2.0 for Education (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Web 2.0 and Education Seminar (III): Larry Johnson: Second Life as an educational space” In ICTlogy, #49, October 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from https://ictlogy.net/review/?p=645

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1 Comment to “Web 2.0 and Education Seminar (III): Larry Johnson: Second Life as an educational space” »

  1. Hard as I try (and I have tried) I still don’t see SL as relevant technology. I have seen interesting uses of SL tech (group conversations come to mind, in particular), but I still haven’t seen anything done in SL that could not be done easily (or, even, more easily) outside SL…

    ANd one more thing: 3D tech is already here (first person shooters”, Grand Therft Auto and the like) are extremely successful, I agree. My theory is that those 3D apps have very limited interface needs (there are maybe half a dozen possible actions, easily doable from a keyboard and/or a mouse) while SL needs many more. As long as we don’t have suitable user interfaces, I don’t see 3D worlds taking off.

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