Mediating the Tensions of Online Learning with Second Life

September 7, 2008

The future of education will be shaped by innovative online communication tools that will change both the context and the nature of the relationships that influence education. In this article, Nancy Evans, Thalia M. Mulvihill, and Nancy J. Brooks explore the educational possibilities of Second Life, a three-dimensional virtual online environment. The authors posit that a multiuser virtual enviroment such as Second Life offers a valuable medium for enhancing and enriching online education because it meets human needs for belonging, esteem, and self-actualization; complements users’ motivations for engaging with technology; and aids in building relationships and personal connections in an online environment, thereby offering transformative learning and teaching opportunities.

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