The ones who have experienced VR know what we are talking about. For the ones who don’t, here’s what Second Life means. Second Life is an internet based virtual world in which people interact with one another via avatars. They can experience real life situations explore the world, communicate with people via avatars and indulge in a range of activities.
You use this environment to build virtual objects with the option to add interaction.
Where does education fit into all of this? This virtual world enables people to undertake activities which include virtual meetings, training sessions and teaching via a virtual school or university. Many universities around the world have built an online version of their campus within Second Life and use this to give lectures, teach new skills or to enable students to work together on projects.
This type of system gives them a chance to meet and interact with other students as well as keep up to date with assignments.The aim is to build a community in which students participate and collaborate as a way of learning about a range of subjects. They design and build new places, undertake a variety of tasks – which have been set for them by their teachers, and acquire knowledge in new and exciting ways. This gives them an experience which they are unlikely to forget.
A whole new educational model
A virtual world offers a new learning model which is based upon high levels of interaction, engagement and experience. There are opportunities to learn and develop in ways which are not possible in the real world. Virtual worlds such as Second Life enable many students to make connections between abstract concepts as well as understanding the basic theories.
While VR technology has far to go, it will definitely help create the workforce of the future Despite all these possibilities, however, the usefulness of VR as an educational tool rests in the hands of the teachers and how they choose to implement it.