These presentations form part of a double workshop given alongside Margarita Perez-Garcia at the recent 6th Open Classroom Conference held in Stockholm from October 24th to 26th 2007. The title for this particularly lively session was “Second Life beyond the hype: taking real world education into virtual spaces, a recipe for failure?”. Audience participation was high and the discussions that precipitated from each of these position pieces provided valuable insight into how and where educators see the current state of play with regards to using MUVEs (such as Second Life) in educational contexts. As with all emerging technologies, the understandings elaborated during the one and half hours stemmed as much from reflections on technology i.e. metaverses in use, as from the design principles that lie behind many 'narrative free' virtual world offerings. In light of this, much of the session concentrated on pragmatics, taking apart the current rhetoric on MUVEs that seems to promise a 'do anything', 'be anything' alternative reality.
Presentation 1: Virtual vanity: sex, shopping and reputation in Second Life
Presentation 2: MUVEs: technical state-of-play and their future potentialities
Further details of the workshop and other resources can be found on the newly launched Prism(lab) site.