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July 01, 2007

Like a Fish to Water

I was talking to my oldest son one day about Second Life. And he wanted to open an account to check it out. He opened the account on the teen grid and has taken to it like a fish to water.

Currently, he is selling items in Second Life and has learned to do "magic."

Magic

Currently he is on a quest to purchase land and to make as many Lindens as possible (the currency of Second Life.) He was also able to secure a job, trade items for Lindens and explore the world using motorcycles, automobiles and street cars...not to mention teleporting from place to place (he uses the Landmark function constantly.)

He does stuff like buy clothes and edit his appearance.

Avatar_dmc_dench

In addition to having fun in this new space, he is also preparing for a presentation about Second Life to a group of about 18 high school, middle school and elementary teachers. He is going to show them how they can create avatars, navigate in the world and build items. He was asked to provide a perspective that only a kid from his generation can provide. He understands the world and is functioning within it effortlessly.

Currently he is figuring out how to create "bling" (shinny jewelery).

So what does this mean to learning and development professionals, it means we need to know about this world (or worlds like it) and we need to think how we can prepare this exciting space for learning because if we don't the "gamer generation" will figure something out probably without us.

Netg

So, what professional things can you do in this 3D space...you can role-play, create scavenger hunts, train on machinery and equipment and even conduct virtual classes (see figure)...to some of us "old timers" there seems to be little advantage to this type of environment but to the upcoming generations...there really is no alternative. What we think of as odd or strange is something that they view as normal and proper.

If 13 year olds are creating online jewelery and functioning in an online economy, shouldn't we sit up and take notice and figure out how to utilize this technology for training and development?Meeting2_3

So, if you don't have a Second Life account...you may want to consider opening one up this summer...or ask your teenager or a local teenager to show you how it is done. Explore the world and learn about it...we'll talk about how to use it for training in posts on this blog.

Karl Kapp is the Assistant Director of Bloomsburg University’s Institute for Interactive TechnologiesLogoggg_2 and a professor of instructional technology. See his own blog, Kapp Notes for information on the convergence of learning and technology. He is the author of the book Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning.   

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Comments

TheUIO

I have a magic fish that some people referred as : "lucky fish". It's a unique one.

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I am thinking of buying a couple of fish, and I need different names so I can look them up online and see if they are cool enough for me. I want a red fish, a blue fish with black stripes.The fish must be freshwater, not need alot of care (Like a goldfish) and not be expensive.They can't be something that will die easily or something that is aggressive and eats other fish.

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Couldn't get into Second-Life. Not really sure why, but I just didn't jive with it. Oh well.

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