No dull old talking head hook-ups by computer or satellite for guest lecturers at Ithaca College. They’ve started making virtual trips to campus by sending their avatars from the online alternate universe of Second Life.
Aaron Uhrmacher from Text 100 Public Relations Company came to an Ithaca College island on Second Life to present to a class, also in the guise of their avatars. No plane ticket needed to get to this island.There in a virtual world, students’ avatars from (Professor Kim) Gregson’s Qualitative Research class sat in a virtual amphitheatre on the side of a hill while Uhrmacher presented them with real-world information. After the presentation, the students typed in questions and Uhrmacher responded verbally.
“This is a great opportunity for the students; they get to meet people they never would otherwise on a regular basis. They don’t just hang out there—this is education so they need real life experiences, and for a virtual world that is as real as you can get,” said Gregson…”
Some people spend many hours living their “Second Life” and find it exhilarating; others just drop in occasionally. Like almost any other pastime, we’re told, participation can go too far. If you’re not familiar with Second Life, this download page will tell you some of what you need to know.