More Ideas – Visit to Pulp and Papermill Plant

Today I went on a tour of a build that NMC Virtual Worlds did for Yale University of a Paper Mill Plant on Elihu Island in Second Life.  This build was done for a graduate Industrial Ecology class.  Various field trips are a big part of the course however scheduling of such for graduate students is difficult and Pulp and Paper Mills are not often excited in having students visit for obvious safety reasons.  

What I really liked on this build was the use of ambient sound and movement to create immersion.  Yale also used a blog to provide additional background information.

During the tour, CJ Carnot of NMC Virtual Worlds talked about what he felt SecondLife as a medium does well from an educational perpective and I was glad to see that he supported my own humble thoughts and opinions.  Virtual worlds are great at role-playing and simulations however, they are not the best at actually teaching a skill.  For example, in health-education they are great at presenting a case study and having students interact with content and virtual “patients” however they are not great at teaching a physical skill such as inserting an IV.  SecondLife is also good at teaching math skills.

What I also found interesting is that CJ talked about the challenges in creating specialized builds on different topics where the builder is lacking in background content knowledge .  Working with content experts requires good communication skills and patience to determine what is really important for  the build.  I found this also to be the case on the virtual marsh.  His comments definitely made me feel better!!!


~ by Heidi Trotta on July 1, 2009.

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