When I first heard that Second Life was ending their educator discount program, I knew that there would eventually be some talk about schools leaving. I just didn’t think it would come so swiftly and decisively. Apparently, there was even a session discussing which alternative to move to at Educause this week (Academics Discuss Mass Migration From Second Life).
I find it funny that people keep referring to the discount as “generous.” Look, Second Life has always been cool but overpriced. Even the half off discount was a stretch for most educational institutions. At least half of the institutions that I knew of that considered going in to Second Life didn’t because even with half-off there was no way they could budget it.
The corporate world already turned its back on land in Second Life. The gaming sector never cared. Individuals mostly couldn’t afford it, since it was really set-up for corporations. The government sector never has any extra money for innovation. The only group that had interest and at least a bit of money was the educational sector. And some have said that was the only thing keeping Linden Labs afloat.
Nice knowin’ ya, Second Life. Say “hi” to Google Wave, Jaiku, Lively, and Netscape in the virtual after world…
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.