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Implementing Second Life: Ideas, Challenges and Innovations

ltr_45n2_cvr_graphic_0.jpgSecond Life is a virtual world owned by Linden Lab with over fifteen million users. It is currently one of the most popular 3-D social virtual worlds. The use of Second Life by libraries and universities has become a hotly debated topic in Library and Information Science circles. Early adopters of Second Life have been called evangelists, while nonusers of Second Life have been called Luddites who “don't get it.” The goal of this report isn't to feed the fire on either side of the debate, but rather to inform readers about the historical foundations of virtual worlds and to provide concrete examples of how virtual worlds have been used in the teaching and learning process from K–12 through higher education. This report examines the origins and evolution of virtual spaces, and explores several different instances of their practical application in an educational setting.

-Joe Sanchez
 

In this issue of Library Technology Reports, virtual world virtuoso Joe Sanchez takes us beyond a mere exploration of Second Life and looks at the history of virtual worlds and how educators have used them as tools for learning in the twenty-first century. Sanchez extensively and objectively explores the pros and cons of using second life for both educators and librarians, and a chapter guest-authored by LIS student Jane Stimpson examines several examples of public libraries who have established a Second Life presence.
 

In this issue of Library Technology Reports, virtual world virtuoso Joe Sanchez takes us beyond a mere exploration of Second Life and looks at the history of virtual worlds and how educators have used them as tools for learning in the twenty-first century. Sanchez extensively and objectively explores the pros and cons of using second life for both educators and librarians, and a chapter guest-authored by LIS student Jane Stimpson examines several examples of public libraries who have established a Second Life presence. Topics covered include:

  • A Social History of Virtual Worlds
  • Public Libraries in Second Life: Expanding
    Service to the Virtual Environment.
  • Pedagogical Applications of Second Life
  • Barriers to Student Learning in Second Life
  • Understanding the User Experience in Second Life
  • The Second Life Learning Curve

About the Author

Joe Sanchez is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on collaboration in virtual worlds and the convergence of digital media, play, and learning. Joe has designed and taught two information studies courses, both of which have been covered in national media outlets such as the Chronicle of Higher Education, USA Today, and ABC News. Joe has been teaching in Second Life since the fall of 2006 and was recently awarded the first Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur grant for service learning in a virtual world. His homepage is at  www.ischool.utexas.edu/~sanchez

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