As you know, this blog here has become my personal sandbox again and all the news in education 2.0 are now over at EDUKWEST. In case you did not know, now you know ;).
For all of you who check back regularly on KirstenWinkler.com for your dose of education 2.0 related updates, I thought I will post a weekly “Monday Roundup” with links of what has been going on over at EDUKWEST.
Just a few weeks after they announced the closing of their $1 million funding round, the team at Languagelab shares more interesting news. In collaboration with Pearson, Business English students are now able to bring the case studies of the popular textbook series “Market Leader” into life. Second Life that is.
Based on Languagelab’s virtual world English City, students from around the globe will be able to interact live with other students and teachers in a 3D environment.
Shiv Rajendran, Director at Languagelab and a regular on my webcast review:ed shared some exciting news with me today. The London based startup behind the virtual town of English City on Second Life has closed a $1 million funding round.
In their approach of bringing English learning and teaching into the virtual world of Second Life Languagelab is one of the most innovative startups in education 2.0 .
Mingleverse, the mix between Skype, a webmeeting and Second Life just launched a Facebook application. As you might remember, I was quite surprised by the audio quality even at the beginning back in November 2009.
Since then Mingleverse have steadily worked on new features and the quality of their product and now they are taking on the social network number one and as Mashable reported yesterday Facebook is responsible for 41 percent of all social media traffic. So, that’s likely to be a move that’ll pay off for Mingleverse in the future.
First of all: thank you to all participants who took part in the lively discussion about my last post. This brought up another point of Second Life I haven’t had on my list before.
However before I start to give you my final point of view about SL I think I need to explain what my intention was writing the first post. Interestingly it attracted a whole new group of readers to this blog. The first post was written from the perspective of an edupreneur (me or anyone else) who hears: “There are so many students to teach on Second Life, you have to go there.” As you can see this was a totally business driven decision, no fun involved. But the post brought in SL evangelists, not other teachers.
I really appreciate the input they gave me on Second Life itself but it was basically not my intention to poke in a hornet’s nest and start a discussion about the general use of Second Life. I just wanted to show other online teachers that
1. they are not alone with their first impression of Second Life and
2. there is a problem of how most of us see Second Life.
There are obviously some issues about Second Life and Linden Lab that lead to what I experienced yesterday and maybe I will give you my thoughts on this, too.
Judging someone by the first half of a two part blog post, start a “riot”, tell the person that she is basically to dumb /ignorant to use the search, should have RTFM read the Wiki, does not know how to have fun, is not well prepared, does not know how to use Google etc is not very helpful either. I can understand their intention and I can also understand that they are fed up with douche bags who just want to bash SL users as useless people who don’t have a first life. But still I think it would help them more to inform themselves about the writer of the post or, even better, to wait until the second post before getting “berserc” ;). If everyone who has doubts / a question about SL has to experience this I can understand a part of the problem.
So without further ado, here is my corrected view on Second Life as an edupreneur.
Since the first ETCon back in July Second Life, or SL as the cool cats refer to it ;), has been an ever upcoming issue on my agenda. There seems to be a virus that especially infects ESL teachers and draws them into the depths of the cyber space.
I checked out Second Life two or three years ago for the first time, when the hype brought it into the magazines. As most people back then I was disappointed and soon left. In between I checked it out occasionally but after 10 or 15 minutes of flying around in empty spaces the result was the same.
After the first ETCon I wanted to give SL a last try, this time in the name of educational research. Therefore I logged in to SL every day and tried out if there are possibilities to teach on this platform.
During this research I came to some conclusions I would like to share with you.