Eduserv Symposium - Virtual Worlds, Real Learning?

Richard Wallis, Panlibus, May 11, 2007
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Good summary of the proceedings from yesterday's Eduserv conference on Second Life. My only quibble is that the advice, "Second Life is here, now - use it," does not recognize the existence of various alternatives, a number of which were mentioned by several panelists. See also this summary by Shirley Williams. And Kathryn Greenhill offers a really nice detailed summary.

Jo Kay stayed up 'til one a.m. to watch my talk and then was disappointed, not because she disagreed with me, but because the wanted to see more emphasis on the projects and the potential. Fine - and that's what the other five speakers provided. And if I hadn't raised the issues (which are genuine) nobody would have. Is that a fair waiy to treat people who are trying to learn about the technology?

Angela Thomas, meanwhile, posted a summary of the sessions as seen through Second Life. John Kirriemuir posted a number of screen shots in his summary. And see Andrew Stewart's longish commentary, to which I've added a comment clarifying part of my argument. Barbara Dieu also commented, saying that my criticisms should not prevent people from experimenting with Second Life. I don't think I ever said that - but I would certainly recommend caution before making a large financial investment.

I think I'll watch the 3D space a bit more closely in the future, with an eye to mapping out a strategy, the outlines of which I stated in my talk yesterday.
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