As previously mentioned, this week is the start of Virtual Learning Experience 1, an 8 week course exploring the learning and training potential of Second Life and, by extension, other virtual worlds. Second Life is not new to me, but I have not immersed myself to the point of learning how to build, script, and truly make it a learning arena. In fact, I have to admit that I have seen the limitations, particularly due to past bandwidth and equipment requirements, as well as a steep learning curve, that may lessen the appeal. However, it is time to get beyond this now. We still have a long way to go before virtual immersive environments become more common, but they are being used and there are terrific application and research opportunities for organizations willing to take the lead.
The course starts this week, but our first meeting is not until Friday. After that, I hope to share more as the weeks progress. Watch for me to write about the application to workplace learning and professional development, and ideas I hope to glean for further research.