SLED is Second Life in Education
I attended the Saturday, April 6, 10 AM lecture in physics about the Higgs Boson presented by Professor Rob Knop aka Prospero Frobozz from Quest University Canada held at the SLT Exploratorium Sim. I first tried attending this lecture at 10 AM EST, but after logging on to SL I realized that the Exploratorium is located in San Francisco, CA. So I tried again at 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST. The lecture started right on time, 10AM PST. There were about 30 people who attended the lecture, which was completely transmitted by voice. Attendees were chatting throughout the lecture, but only the lecturer’s voice could be heard (most of the time, some times I could hear people eating chips) along with a full deck of PowerPoint like slides. It was quite amazing to see so many people attending a lecture in SL. I was an interesting experience, very similar to attending a lecture in person, with the added ability to chat with other attendees in SL. However, the negative to this experience was that I knew nothing about Higgs Boson or really anything the lecturer was talking about. While I did great in HS and college physics, this stuff was way beyond my comprehension. During the 1 hour lecture, I did find myself browsing the Internet mostly because I did not understand the content of the lecture.
I do think having lectures on various topics of interest in SL is a great way to get people interested in a topic together. For large lectures, using SL for large lectures seems to be ideal. I know other ways to communicate via the Internet are limited to the amount of people who can attend. Tools, like GoToMeeting, WebEX, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. limit the number of people who can attend a conference or lecture, while in SL it seems that an unlimited number of people could attend a conference or lecture. After attending this lecture, I see the possibilities of using SL as a way to connect people in education with others interested in a topic or experts in the field, like Prof. Rob Knop.