Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Campus Technology Article about Molecules in Second Life

Linda Briggs wrote a nice article in Campus Technology about using Second Life to teach and highlighted the chemistry application that I used last term:
Creating Life-Size Molecules in Second Life

A Conversation with Drexel University's Jean-Claude Bradley

1/9/2008

By Linda L Briggs

CT: Conversely, what are some things that work really well in Second Life?

JCB: One thing new that I've done this term is have students do a project in Second Life.

CT: Yes, you recently wrote in your blog that one of your students created a life-size model of a molecule as part of that. That sounded really cool.

JCB: Right. To be able to stand next to a molecule that is as tall as you are, and to have your teacher be able to walk around it with you and comment,... that's pretty useful.

[....]

CT: Do you have advice for instructors who want to integrate Second Life into their course?

JCB: You should have a really good reason to do it. The best advice is to find another teacher who is actually using it, and try to experience what the student is experiencing. You'll get some ideas and advice from that. I was just talking to another teacher an hour ago who might be doing some things in Second Life. She's also an organic chemistry teacher. I told her, just send your students to Drexel Island; have them interact with my students, click around on the quizzes, and if you think it might make sense, you can spawn off from that.

A lot of people have bad experiences in Second Life because they don't have a good reason for going there. It's like having people go to the Internet without a Web address. You want to be guided. That's the best possible scenario.

It's just another tool. I wouldn't teach exclusively on Second Life. We have WebCT Blackboard; I have my wiki; I have my blogs; and those things all have their strengths. You've got to leverage them all.
Drexel Island also got a mention in Matt Villano's article in Campus Technology: 13 Tips for Virtual World Teaching

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