Learning Lab FOUR: Exploring Virtual Worlds - New Frontiers for Learning


While Second Life (SL) is not the only 3D MUVE environment, it has become the poster child for virtual worlds (VWs). Regardless which world you "avatar" in - be prepared for sensory, collaborative and very creative mind-twizzling experiences. Also step into a world of imagination with the art of machinimas - see examples below!

• Bernajena's Second Life (SL)

A virtual underwater campus - A Sea of Joyful Learning and Imagination - was created in Second Life to engage educators in their own unique experiences with skills, topics, group tools and virtual worlds that are capturing the imaginations of our students. Three general areas make up Bernajena's imaginative world: AtlantisRisingCampus.us; StoryKeeper's Gardens; and ShaheraZade.

  • Atlantis Rising Campus - Bernajena's underwater world for educators exploring new learning landscapes - inworld staff development and collaborative projects - see photos below
  • ShaheraZade - Bernajean's Persian storytelling palace in Second Life - hosting story circles and mini-workshops to promote and enjoy digital storytelling in all mediums - see photos below
  • Storytelling in Second Life: Building 3D StoryWorlds
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  • Ramapo Teens Use SL to Explore Body Image
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• NewWorlds 3-D Immersive Environment (PA)

New Worlds is similar to Second Life, but is populated and managed entirely by Pennsylvania educators from schools connected to PAIUnet. The New Worlds multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) is a 3-D immersive environment where students and teachers can build communities, interact, communicate and collaborate.

• QuestAtlantis (Free)

• Machinimas: Mixing Magic and Film-Making

Welcome to a new world of creativity! Machinima is a hybrid term for machines and cinema. The planning steps for creating any film-making are the same except filming takes place in virtual worlds not real life (Second Life, SIMS, Halo, or World of WarCraft). All avatars are actors NOT animations with sets, costumes, animations and backgrounds built specifically for the storylines. Machinima (creating video using 3D virtual worlds) holds real potential for developing numerous 21st century media literacy skills as well as proficiencies in communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem solving. Here are a few examples:
  1. Bernajean's In-world presentation on "All Technology Uses are NOT Equal"
  2. Anne Collier's (Founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc.) shares an in-world presentation on Online Safety: Myths and Facts -a special guest feature at Bernajena's AtlantisRisingCampus.us Monday Nite Conversations in SL
  3. A Child's War - a student production video sharing the trauma of Sudanese Boys
  4. Toto's Africa - a beautiful musical machinima
  5. Beloved - a haunting historical machinima based on Mao's Second Wife