Thursday, May 22, 2008

Teaching History in Virtual Worlds

As part of a project I'm working on, we've purchased an island in Second Life and will be launching it later this summer for educational use. As I've started to discuss this with colleagues, I've found there are many who don't quite get it or have difficulty seeing the value of using virtual worlds in education. Here's something that may help. I received an announcement regarding this upcoming conference - entitled "Stepping into History: Exploring the Past through Virtual Worlds." The conference will be held entirely in Second Life on June 10, 2008. "In-World" attendance is limited to 60 participants; others may attend a virtual classroom simulcast.

The cost is $45 USD per person. Registration is available at the website:

According to organizers:
The highly interactive experience will include "field trips" into historical locations that have been created in Second Life. We will explore 19th century America, where participants will meet Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln; Virtual Harlem, to hear live music from the Jazz Age/Harlem Renaissance; and Renaissance Island, for a Shakespearean play in a replica of London’s Globe Theatre. Everyone will discuss what they have experienced with simulation creators and other conference participants.

The conference will continue with a panel discussion with a variety of experts and a late afternoon photo workshop. The program concludes with a period ball at the Lincoln era White House.
Stepping into History in Virtual Worlds
What if instead of talking about history, we could experience it?

What if, instead of looking at photos or drawings of historical sites, we could walk into and through them?

What if, instead of reading the words of a Lincoln or a Ghandi, we could hear them speak?

The technology of virtual worlds is opening up a new universe of possibilities in promoting and teaching a love of history. The 'Stepping into History' conference is your chance to learn about, and experience for yourself, the power of virtual worlds at the service of history.

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