Recording (50min): http://lancelot.adobeconnect.com/p8ai3g9bk9l/
Masks and Immersion – added values
The use of Virtual Worlds in education is exciting and relatively new and is met with both enthusiasm and some resistance. If educators wish to introduce virtual worlds into education, I believe it is worthwhile to stop up for a moment and consider the added values that virtual worlds bring to education. The added value depends on the topic, and the educational level. Science and arts do not traditionally stem from the same learning theoretical background and therefore the added value of virtual worlds cannot be expected to be the same. The level of reflection or the taxonomy influences what the added value of using virtual worlds in education may be.
Critics of virtual worlds have voiced that hiding behind an anonymous mask (avatar) is alienating and that the lack of body language is a drawback for communication. The immersion into a second life, (an escape from reality) is also a concern among critics. In language education masks and immersion can be beneficial for learning and should not be seen as drawbacks but as adding value to education on all levels.
Inge Qunhua has and international background. She teaches English, Chinese, Cultural understanding and Communication. Inge is a sinologist and has just completed a master’s degree in ICT and Learning.
Inge has taught in Second Life ® (SL) since 2007. Apart from teaching she builds Virtual Learning Environments in SL, she is winner of the Danish Research Networks 2009 innovation prize for her work in SL.