Online conferencing and learning in other worlds

I've just come across an interesting post from Rowin Young of CETIS about using World of Warcraft (WoW) for online conferencing. It is an interesting idea and follows on from work looking at using virtual worlds in an education context (for example see the video Rowin points out about the use of WoW, or check out a recent article in Escalate news by Sian Bayne and Fiona Littleton about the use of Virtual worlds (specifically Second Life) in Education).

It's great to see these innovative approaches being investigated (a recent Elearning Alliance event to discuss the use of Second Life held at Edinburgh University demonstrated the high level of interest), but beyond the draw of "intrigue" as Hamish Macleod (Ed University) put it, the added value - if any - still needs to be assessed in more depth. Further discussion of the possibilities of Second Life, and some reflections from the team at Edinburgh can also be found in this recent Guardian article, and current uses on the Second Life in Education wiki (which I came across thanks to ScotFEICT).

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