Are Virtual Worlds Still Going or on Life Support?

One of the biggest problems I have with Google doing anything new is that the whole world goes Google Gaga. Of course, the same happens when Apple releases anything new. While I love G+ and iPads just like any other good EduGeek, I want to still hear about all of the other things that are going on in EdTech circles.

Like those things called virtual worlds. Anyone remember them?

I can’t seem to find much movement or news on the Second Life front, especially sine they decided to cut off the education discount. Did anyone manage to create a good iPhone/iPad app for Second Life? One that actually feels like the desktop browser and not some text-based role-playing game from the 80s?

Encouraging news is that the Sloodle project seems to be still moving forward – releasing projects that work with OpenSIM as well as Second Life. ┬áBut what else is happening out there in the virtual worlds… um… world?

The front page of Second Life now makes me feel like it is “eHarmony 2200” back from the future to show us what romance will look like in 200 years. So I am a little scared to log in myself and see…

Well, that and I think the island I left my avatar on fell victim to a budgetary axe a while back. So no telling what I will see when I log in.

Learning Management Systems Go 3-D With Sloodle

The EduGeeks (all two of us for now) were discussing the Blog Tags sidebar last night. Katrina had noticed that the tags were all the same size. I looked in to it and found that each tag will grow in size depending on the number of times they are used. The more popular ones will be larger. So, my prediction is that the “Second Life” tag will be huge before too long. We all seem to be really excited about Second Life. All two of us, that is.

One fairly new project that I am really excited about takes the popular open-source learning management system Moodle and mixes it with the interactive social environment of Second Life. This program is called Sloodle (naturally). The goal of this project is to have a seamless integration between the two programs.

There are many ideas that they have for this. One is to connect the text chat function in Second Life to the database of Moodle so that the chats are archived for those that can’t make it. A side benefit of this is that people who can’t run Second Life on their machines can participate in the chat through the old fashioned method – in their browser. That’s so 2006….

There are several ideas being thrown around. One is a quiz block that you sit on in SL and answer questions for your Moodle exam. One that we may end up using here at the journal allows an avatar in Second Life to post an entry to their blog in Moodle (Moodle is the program that this site is running on). Jeremy Kemp recently posted a video on YouTube that demonstrates this function. Pretty interesting stuff: