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Students solve chemical problems and take quizzes in Second Life
JCB: Second Life’s immersive environment allows for three-dimensional representations of objects, and it creates a more personal interaction compared with other electronic communication tools such as e-mail or simple chat.
JCB: Students are able to build objects that would be impossible in real life. For example, they can build 3-D molecular models that are much larger than their bodies. And, Second Life gives students who are not present in the face-to-face class an opportunity to interact with the other students. Because there is a wealth of resources already in several areas in Second Life, students can bond in much richer ways. For example, one term students found some Star Wars artifacts near our chemistry area and were playing with them. As long as play does not overtake the time spent on class material I think it is a very positive thing.
JCB: Just as in real life, like-minded people find themselves in proximity because they are attracted by the same content. Educational islands like Drexel Island, Nature’s islands, and the American Chemical Society island have a tendency to attract teachers, students, scientists, and science writers. I think it is never too early for young scientists to start meeting individuals in their field of study.
JCB: An excellent way to get started in Second Life as an educator is to find others who are already using the technology in a similar area and have them provide a tour. Educators on Second Life are generally very helpful in this regard and will show the novice only the set of tools that they need to operate. New users who attempt to navigate Second Life for the first time without such assistance often find the experience confusing.
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation