Second Life or Virtual 3d Worlds in Primary Schools

Naace are running a conference on using 3d virtual worlds in education. I can’t help but feeling this is mostly focused on the secondary market but I guess it has some relevance to Primary.

Right now, even though I feel it has relevance I feel skeptical that this is a good idea but I could be wrong, it’s happened before 😛

Try to remember most primary school kids don’t even have email addresses provided by their schools yet and we’re going to open them up to a second life (be it walled or not)

I’m not going to rant about security or child safety. I want to focus entirely on the point. Right now, I just don’t get it.

I’m not going to download it or try it out, I don’t want to know if it feels good or clever. This isn’t a particularly new concept. Games have been used in Primary Education for years, mostly cartoony games that are very simple. Why do I need my character to walk to a piece of work to pick it up when its available on my VLE.. (I’m pretending I’m a kid…)

I do however think games is a great way to encourage kids to learn, Primary Games Arena is having huge success worldwide with engaging children in fun learning.

Virtual worlds should be all about engaging with other people, school mates for example.

Maybe the whole Digital Citizenship is what I don’t get. Being that I started with BBS, moved to IRC + LPMUD, now I have every possible way of being “Hailed” 24/7… Come to think of it I think I probably learned a lot of social skills through LPMuds (Multi user environments)..

I think I will go spend some time thinking about what Digital Citizenship is and how it will feel in 3/5 years time when virtual worlds MAY be at their peak. They certainly haven’t peaked yet and all the hype from Second Life is blatant hot air..

I may have just begun a revolution in my head.. Oh dear..

If you read this all the way through then you may wish to consider reading this article of Terry freedmans interview of Miller – its focused more at secondary but you get the picture..

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