Eduserve have published a snapshot of how FE and HE institutions are using Second Life.
It makes for informative reading and it’s interesting how quite a few places are using Second Life for a range of purposes.
I have yet to try Second Life and to be honest I don’t really get Second Life! I am not even sure if I “tried” it then I might see the potential for me.
I do however understand why it could be useful for learning activities. Some staff from Gloucestershire College have indicated how they would like to use a virtual immersive environments such as Second Life and I do see why they want to use them – a virtual court room for law courses is one example.
I can also see the benefits of having a presence in Second Life for marketing purposes, so that people in Second Life can see what you have to offer, though I wonder how many prospective students we have in Second Life that would actually result in student numbers to offset the costs of setting up a marketing activity in Second Life. I would have thought resources could be used more effectively elsewhere, even more so when you consider most of our prospective learners are under sixteen and therefore not “using” Second Life anyhow.
As for meetings and other conference style activities, maybe it is just me (and I am getting old) I would prefer a video of a presentation over an avatar giving a presentation. I don’t mind textual chat either with instant messaging or online forums, I quite like video chat (when it works).
It’s probably just me, I don’t get Second Life, but it is apparent from the Eduserve snapshot that others certainly do and seem to be trying to make the most of it.