Tracking activity in UK universities and colleges.
Virtual World Watch (http://virtualworldwatch.net/) is funded by the Eduserv Foundation. It is continuing the series of snapshots that have been undertaken by Silversprite Helsinki on the take-up of Second Life within the UK Higher and Further Education sector. While Second Life is still the most used virtual world by UK academics for teaching and learning purposes, an increasing number are experimenting with alternatives. VWW is extending its research to include these alternatives.
Recent posts on the VWW blog include Buddhist monastery: University of Aberdeen, Leeds Metropolitan University: from Second Life to OpenSim and Second Life at the University of York. There is also a useful blogroll of UK VW bloggers.
I was alerted to this by the excellent Internet Resources Newsletter. The May 2008 snapshot of UK HE and FE developments in SL summarises an investigation into the use and uptake of Second Life (SL) by UK Higher and Further Education. The research, carried out in the period up until May 2008, had four main goals:
to determine the “state of play” of SL developments within the Higher and Further Education sector,
to discover how these developments are supported, in terms of time, funding and other resources,
to explore the functionality of these developments, i.e. which types of media or interactive service they incorporate,
to establish how “busy”, or well-used, the developments have been and discover any impacts resulting from their implementation and use.
Even if you do not work in higher or further education, this report is worth reading in order to get a feel for how it is being used, the pros and cons, and the positive and negative attitudes of people directly involved and those on the sidelines.