Some high school teachers see virtual worlds more as virtual classrooms. "Second Life pioneer Peggy Sheehy, a New York teacher whose school district owns six islands on a private estate in Second Life, said virtual worlds should be seen as part of the repertoire of tools that can be used to engage this new generation of students," the Houston Chronicle reports. "Over the past two years, Sheehy's students have used Second Life avatars to examine body image issues, build amusement parks and re-enact Civil War battles." Using virtual worlds, students participate more freely because they do so as avatars they create. Students can "speak" (in little bubbles of text) more freely under that veil of anonymity and no one's more popular than anyone else. Of course, like the Internet, virtual worlds for everybody can have "places" inappropriate for students, so to win over a large number of teachers, schools, and districts, there may need to be online "worlds" designed specifically for school. Meanwhile, some researchers see virtual worlds as a way to learn more about how the real world works, as places where social scientists can do a bit of modeling, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems