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Destination guide

This version was saved 6 years, 12 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by gerhilde.meissl-egghart@chello.at
on April 25, 2014 at 12:33:09 pm

A small guide on using destinations



Basic rules


Knowing where to take ones students to (and what can be done there) makes a bit portion of what a teacher who uses virtual worlds has to know.

Unfortunately virtual worlds change a lot quicker than the real world does. A place (often called island or sim) which you have used yesterday might look completely different today - or even does not exist anymore.

Rule 1: Regulaly check out the place you use.


All places belong to somebody.

As you wouldn't want a stranger just to walk into your front garden in real life, it is good etiquette to ask owners for permission. Most owners are happy to see their islands being used by others (many islands are explicitly dedicated to education!). Communicating with the owners (telling them what you use it for and why and maybe giving feedback) might prevent surprises and contribute to improve the usability of the island.

Be careful with publishing pictures of "foreign" islands. Make sure you have the permission of the owner!

Rule 2: If you use "foreign" islands frequently, establish communication with the owners.



Where to go?


There is a huge variety of islands in the virtual universe.


Take a look at Second Life's official destination guide and have a look at the long list of categories:



For teaching, some of the most interesting categories are:


  • "Real Life": from London to Paris, from Australia to Norway - many islands rebuild places that exist in real life. These can be used in various ways, e.g.
    • language learning: go to the country where the language is spoken and learn about it;
    • getting to know each other: let each member of the group introduce his/her country of origin


  • Historical: rebuilding historical places is also very much "en vogue": From Berlin1920 to ancient Rome, from victorian England to Edo-period Japan. Many of those islands are role-play environments, which means that visitors need to dress and behave accordingly. How can they be used for teaching?
    • history (obviously): research the historical period, pick your character and join the role-play (if it is a role-play sim)
    • language learning: learn about the history of the country


  • Science / Museums:  Many islands are dedicated to science learning: from Genom-island to the Palomar Observatory, from Jet Psopulsion Lab (by NASA) to deep see diving by visiting Abyss Observatory.
    • science teaching (obviously), but again
    • language learning (e.g. ask your students to give a guided tour on an island of their interest)



General learning tasks


Activities that can be done nicely on most islands:


  • scavanger hunt: check out the place and prepare some question for your students; if possible, include non-playing characters, who play a role (e.g. the bartender)
  • guided tour: ask students to prepare a guided tour to their favorite island
  • research: ask students to check out the background of the island: what does it represent - and why?
  • meeting the island's natives: check out which group of people uses certain islands and what event are offered. In many cases it is an interesting task to join such events and talk to the island's natives



Destinations in Second Life


These are some of our favorite destinations.




For more, check out the official destination guide (see above) or some of the following lists:





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