I was in in Washington D.C. this last week attending the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technology Education conference. During the conference, I attended one workshop and one talk on Second Life. Both of the presentations were focused on Teen Second Life, which was interesting, but neither presentation did a very good job of illustrating how I would use Second Life as a teaching tool.
Julian Lombardi's blog has a short YouTube movie that comes pretty close. Be patient, the marketing pitch doesn't last forever.
In part I, I wrote about my first semester of teaching on-line and talked about our challenges with technology. Blackboard had a database corruption event during finals week and I had all kinds of struggles with the Windows version of Microsoft Excel. Mike wrote and asked if I thought students should be working more with non-Microsoft software and what I thought the challenges would be in doing so.
I can answer with a totally unqualified "it depends."
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