Friday, 20 July 2007

Sl in Education

One of my colleagues pointed out to me a recently published report surveying the use of Second Life in UK education, written by John Kirriemuir. The report was commissioned by Eduserv, the UK not-for-profit organisation coordinating, publicising and funding work to develop IT in education. In compiling the report, John spoke to leading and knowledgeable figures in the use of SL in UK higher education, and also to me. His report gives a very good overview of what is going on. The main conclusions that I draw from his survey are that the level of activity is less than one might expect, considering how fashionable SL is and how widely it is being adopted in US universities, and also that most activities are being driven by enthusiasts rather than adopted strategically by the institutions. The former may be due to the residual focus on the RAE and the second impression may be false because universities approaching SL strategically are developing areas in private, ready to launch them fully-formed on an unsuspecting World. John found evidence for this covert development in finding many of the SL spaces being developed blocked to public access.

The list of web pages and slurls in the appendix is very useful when planning trips in SL: use it like you would those lists of archaeological sites in the Rough Guide to Italy. I recommend you read it now, because by next week it will be out of date.