Virtual Worlds for Learning
The use of 3D virtual immersive worlds for learning has become increasingly important as more and more learning experiences are moved online (and computer processors become capable of rendering the environment).
SecondLife is perhaps the most popular virtual world for learning because it is easy to use and is available on the internet. However, at its heart SecondLife was not developed as a learning platform as much as a social platform. Other tools, designed specifically to facilitate learning experiences, should also be considered when moving learning experiences into a virtual world. The following are examples of effective learning evnironments in virtual worlds.
Second Life for Learning
Second Life is a very easy to use tool for teaching and learning. It is definitely the best place to start for anyone who is not familiar with virtual worlds or teaching online, mostly because it is free easy to use.
Wonderland is very similar to SecondLife, however it was developed with learning in mind. It requires some development support, but in the long run may be much more effective for teaching. Wonderland is developed by Sun Microsystems.
Croquet and OLIVE
Croquet and OLIVE are additional virtual worlds that provide some potential for virtual learning. Since we have not tested these programs yet, please refer directly to the websites listed below for additional information.
© 2011 Richard Culatta