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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2011

Donguk Cheong, Youngkyun Baek and Hoe Kyeung Kim

This chapter describes pre-service teachers' teaching practices of didactic methods based on cognitive apprenticeship. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate…

Abstract

This chapter describes pre-service teachers' teaching practices of didactic methods based on cognitive apprenticeship. The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate potential of Second Life® as a space for teaching practices of pre-service teachers. The participants were 160 college students who were completing a practicum at Korea National University of Education. These students enrolled in four sections of teaching methods and educational technology, which was one of the requirements for their teaching certificate. The students were placed in groups of three to five students according to their majors. In Second Life, they practiced their teaching and participated in the evaluation of other groups' teaching. They discussed Second Life's potential, such as a space for expanding their teaching experiences and explored possibilities for using it as an environment for teaching practices. The authors believe that readers will find that Second Life can offer a valuable environment to promote pre-teachers' understanding of teaching techniques.

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Transforming Virtual World Learning
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-053-7

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Michael A. Katovich and Shing-Ling S. Chen

This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his…

Abstract

This paper provides a general comparison between the ethos, methodological mission, and theoretical standpoint of the New Iowa School, established by Carl Couch and his students and Second Life, a three dimensional virtual world that invites particular forms of sociation. Despite differences in orientation and purpose, as well as biases in communication, we propose that the methodological and conceptual emphasis underlying the research generated from New Iowa School experimental studies can provide a useful framework for research into the virtual worlds created in Second Life. In the course of citing similarities and differences between the New Iowa School and Second Life, we also note that contrived worlds in laboratories and virtual worlds in user domains not only have relevant analogical processes to outside, in situ social worlds, but consist of social stages for performances that have application to the various social stages constructed by actors in the real world. In conclusion, we suggest that the New Iowa School and Second Life represent different but compatible realities in their own right, that the conceptual depth associated with the New Iowa School can inform research into Second Life interactions, and that each offer insights into the external worlds inhabited by real actors who navigate across time and space in their everyday lives.

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Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-933-1

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Book part
Publication date: 22 March 2011

Helen Farley

Second Life, as a three-dimensional social medium, provides an unparalleled opportunity for people to interact with each other and their surroundings in unfamiliar and…

Abstract

Second Life, as a three-dimensional social medium, provides an unparalleled opportunity for people to interact with each other and their surroundings in unfamiliar and innovative ways. After a brief introduction to the discipline of Studies in Religion at the University of Queensland (UQ), this chapter will examine some of the key characteristics of MUVEs in general and of Second Life in particular, with a view to assessing its suitability as an environment for learning based on andragogical and constructivist methodologies. Further, it will explore the original conception and development of the UQ Religion Bazaar project within Second Life.

The UQ Religion Bazaar project was originally conceived in 2007 and developed through 2008. It consists of a Second Life island situated in the New Media Consortium educational precinct and boasts a number of religious builds including a church, a mosque, a synagogue, an ancient Greek temple, a Freemasons' lodge, a Zen Buddhist temple and a Hindu temple to Ganesha. The island was used in two large first-year classes and for supervising distance postgraduate research students.

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Teaching Arts and Science with the New Social Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-781-0

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Justin A. Martin

Using the perspectives of dramaturgy and symbolic interactionists like George Herbert Mead and Carl Couch this study focuses on paid sex work in the hypermodern, virtual…

Abstract

Using the perspectives of dramaturgy and symbolic interactionists like George Herbert Mead and Carl Couch this study focuses on paid sex work in the hypermodern, virtual world of Second Life. Using seventeen semi-structured interviews and six months of ethnographic fieldwork, I find that the employment of sexual scripts, carrying off a successful erotic scene, and the creative use of communication and embodiment are highly valued in escorts’ performance of Second Life sex work. Escorts craft an online persona that is a digital representation of the self, which is manifested in the embodiment of their digital body or avatar. In addition to digital representations of the physical self, Second Life allows for multiple methods of computer-mediated communication, and escorts are able to re-embody the first life body through the trading of first life pictures, voice cybersex, and web cam cybersex. The data allow the conclusion that most escorts are unwilling to re-embody the first life body for reasons of personal safety and the desire to restrict access to the first life self. I find, however, that there is a porous boundary between first life and Second Life in which the first life self comes through in the Second Life persona. In the concluding remarks, I explore the implications this study has for the negotiation of privacy for new social media actors who are reluctant to fully disclose their lives yet perform a persistent, archived persona for friends and followers on the Internet. This study contributes to a small, but growing, body of literature on Second Life and expands the existing work on embodiment and privacy in the digital realm.

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Symbolic Interaction and New Social Media
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-933-1

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Lisa Dethridge and Brian Quinn

This paper aims to examine how media play a role in community responses to disaster. The authors explore how communication technology may allow new relationships between…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how media play a role in community responses to disaster. The authors explore how communication technology may allow new relationships between community groups and emergency agencies. The authors examine the context within which warnings and risk communication are interpreted by media services. The authors observe how, in an emergency context, the thinking about media may change from that of a linear framework of information provision to one of shared resources.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on Second Life, a shared, online space which uses 3D graphic images to simulate a virtual environment. Second Life is posited as a media tool with clear advantages for the training of emergency services professionals and citizens in the community. The authors observe emergency training scenarios and advantages for training for critical thinking and decision-making.

Findings

The authors observe then how virtual worlds such as Second Life provide an online forum in which participants can interact, communicate and simulate action in a complex 3D graphic environment. Second Life may be a useful medium for simulating and testing geo-physical and social manoeuvres using the modeling tools. This may allow for collaborative decision-making in simulations which can prepare or rehearse people for emergency conditions. It may be useful in an emergency with information streamed and coordinated at a single online site. A shared network like Second Life may be shared by many people co-synchronously or a-synchronously, despite their geographic distance. Second Life applications may also be useful in the aftermath of emergencies for design and rebuilding, for analytical and educational purposes.

Research limitations/implications

It is clear that social networks like Second Life provide a valuable tool with which to learn about and share data and information about bushfires, community emergencies and safety precautions in a social setting. It can also provide, at the local level, a forum for community information and discussion, as well as for counselling and reconstruction in the aftermath.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that the range and flexibility of tools and their excellent geographic visualization and social networking functions may in future allow for learning and decision-making among diverse and disparate groups who can come together in virtual space. It is especially useful in remote communities as a means of uniting people who are otherwise isolated by distance or trapped in emergency situations. Second Life is useful for sharing information, organizational and local knowledge about disaster and mitigation management. This media-rich platform is valuable to a community that is increasingly adept with shared, 3D graphic computer interfaces.

Social implications

Applications like Second Life may provide a space where users can access a range of tools as a means of informing, educating, empowering and warning participants in emergency scenarios, both real and simulated. They are more than virtual spaces; they are also social spaces. A platform like Second Life may provide a virtual solution for such communication challenges especially where communities are too remote, too dispersed or even too many in number to be easily accessible in the field.

Originality/value

This paper contains new and significant information about emerging communication systems and platforms that may be of use to those researching and planning around disaster management, mitigation and resilience. It addresses the use of new techniques which are the result of innovation in technology, software design and network design. It applies a discussion of these techniques to several hypothetical and real-life scenarios to explore the potential for virtual tools as a way of providing enriched information, mapping and communication tools across a range of disaster response scenarios.

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International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2009

Emily F. Blankenship and Yolanda Hollingsworth

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ongoing issues and concerns of Second Life librarians who are attempting to balance both their virtual library tasks and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the ongoing issues and concerns of Second Life librarians who are attempting to balance both their virtual library tasks and assignments along with their real world library tasks and assignments.

Design/methodology/approach

Members of the Library and Information Technology Association and, in addition, members of the Second Life Librarians group are invited to participate in an online survey during the summer of 2008. In addition to sharing issues and concerns of balancing their work lives in both virtual and real life worlds, survey participants suggest solutions for problem resolution.

Findings

Data from 161 survey participants show that virtual world librarians are passionate about their commitments to virtual world libraries to the extent that most librarians completed virtual library work at home and are not compensated by their libraries for this work. Issues and problems shared by respondents include inadequate computers and slow internet connections at work, lack of support by library administration, blocking of virtual world software by network technicians, and little response to requests for scheduled time for virtual world library tasks.

Research limitations/implications

The number of respondents is comparatively small. The authors feel a larger percentage of members may have participated if the survey was conducted during either fall or spring semesters of the academic calendar year. A second survey may be conducted in spring 2009 to compare findings and to track solutions and concerns.

Practical implications

Librarians may have more time to devote to real life library work and will not need to complete virtual world library tasks at home if they are provided adequate computers and Internet connections at work and are also scheduled for virtual library work.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical data on the perceived allocations of virtual library work time for virtual librarians and also discusses suggested solutions for better time management of virtual work.

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New Library World, vol. 110 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2010

David C. Wyld

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the fast‐growing virtual world, focusing on the appeal of these environments for the “digital native” generation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the fast‐growing virtual world, focusing on the appeal of these environments for the “digital native” generation and the growth of Second Life.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the latest research on virtual worlds and Second Life, examining the corporate presence “in‐world,” as well as the economic, technical, legal, ethical, and security issues involved for companies doing business in the virtual world.

Findings

The paper shows that Second Life and virtual worlds hold great opportunities, along with significant downsides, for companies.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the very fact that this is a fast‐developing, fast‐changing area, constantly generating both new opportunities and new issues/challenges.

Practical implications

With projections that 80 percent of all internet users will be involved in virtual worlds by 2011, it is important that executives and academicians be knowledgeable about these 3D internet environments.

Originality/value

The paper traces the development of virtual worlds in the larger context of the growth of online gaming as a form of entertainment and interaction. It takes an objective look at the benefits and pitfalls for organizations looking to engage in Second Life and other virtual worlds.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2008

Margaret Ostrander

This research seeks to answer, “How do everyday Second Life users go about finding needed information?” as the primary research question.

Abstract

Purpose

This research seeks to answer, “How do everyday Second Life users go about finding needed information?” as the primary research question.

Design/methodology/approach

A virtual ethnographic approach couched in grounded theory was utilized to conduct semi‐structured interviews with everyday users of Second Life, accompanied by participant observation.

Findings

Information seeking behaviors within the virtual world of Second Life were found to be rich, complex interaction with multiple facets. Five themes emerged to illuminate how users seek information.

Research limitations/implications

This research took place over a six‐week period, although most enthographies last at least one year. Conclusions were drawn solely from interviews because participant observation did not penetrate a given community with enough depth to adequately address the research question.

Practical implications

Virtual worlds offer the promise of becoming an integrated part of the information seeking landscape for an increasing number of users. Understanding the factors influencing information seeking behavior that are outlined in this article will equip librarians and information professionals to best utilize virtual worlds and continue to create innovative, user‐focused services there.

Originality/value

This article extends current scholarship by offering a practical, five‐factor approach to understand how people seek information in virtual worlds. The literature is robust in description about library services and the nature of information in virtual worlds. Yet, investigation into information seeking behavior in this environment is in its nascent stages.

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Library Hi Tech, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

Isto Huvila, Kim Holmberg, Stefan Ek and Gunilla Widén‐Wulff

Second Life is a user‐created online virtual world, which is a place where people with shared interests can meet and be together and share information. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Second Life is a user‐created online virtual world, which is a place where people with shared interests can meet and be together and share information. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether Second Life communities foster and nurture social capital, whether social capital within Second Life is related to social capital outside the virtual world, whether some characteristics affect the likelihood of users having social capital, and whether some existing measure of social capital can be modified and used to study social capital in Second Life.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a statistical analysis of data gathered in a web survey of a convenience sample (n= 67) of Second Life residents. The social capital measure used was based on Bullen and Onyx.

Findings

Second Life is an environment that fosters the emergence of social capital. Residents who consider themselves producers have higher levels of social capital than those who consider themselves non‐producers. Having social capital within Second Life is unrelated to having social capital outside the virtual world. The consistency of the instrument proved to be excellent for measuring social capital within Second Life and good outside the virtual world.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample size and the composition of the research population limit the ability to generalise the findings.

Practical implications

Second Life is a potent environment for community building and collective action. However, communities and collective action within Second Life cannot be based on social activity outside the virtual world.

Originality/value

The present study is the first systematic investigation of social capital in Second Life.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2007

Esther Grassian and Rhonda B. Trueman

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of issues related to library involvement in a popular virtual world, the massively multiplayer online role‐playing game…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of issues related to library involvement in a popular virtual world, the massively multiplayer online role‐playing game (MMORG) Second Life.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with librarians participating in Second Life expand on the rationale for participating in this 3‐D virtual world as well as various uses of Second Life and other new technologies for all types of libraries and librarians.

Findings

Benefits to both libraries and librarians from participating in a virtual world like Second Life include opportunities for collaboration, creativity, learning, and global networking with other librarians, educators, and technologists.

Originality/value

Virtual worlds are new to most libraries, librarians, and administrators. This interview will be of interest and value to all those interested in extending their reach in reference, collections, and information literacy by pushing out to new technological frontiers and exploring and taking risks in virtual areas where users are going.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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