Sunday, 28 February 2010

Using Viewer 2 in Second Life: new opportunities for teachers and students

I've been experimenting with Second Life's new Viewer 2. It's a big advance on the previous viewer. The interface is easier to understand, having more in common with a Web browser, which should shorten the learning curve for newcomers to Second Life. But, most importantly, Viewer 2 opens up a host of new opportunities for teachers and students. It is now possible to set up a live Web page on any surface in Second Life - a flat screen, a cube or even a sphere. The user can interact with the Web page in the normal way, i.e. as one would using a standard Web browser. This means that Second Life can now incorporate a range of Web 2.0 tools, such as collaborative writing tools (e.g. Etherpad), Flickr, online PowerPoint presentations, etc. Video can be streamed in from almost any source, including YouTube and Teachers TV. This was not easy to do using the previous viewer - and I could not stream Teachers TV videos into Second Life, except by using a very cumbersome roundabout route. Now both teacher and student can embed Web pages or videos into Second Life without hassle.

Have a look at this blog thread in the EUROCALL/CALICO Virtual Worlds SIG Ning, which contains links to the Viewer 2 tutorials on YouTube and to Nergiz Kern's wiki, where she describes and demonstrates some of Viewer 2's capabilities:

Second Life launches its new Viewer 2

Keep an eye on Section 14.2.1 of Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT website. It's all about Second Life and continually updated.


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