This sub-section has explored the literature surrounding the use of Second Life in education. It has looked at the evolution of virtual worlds and Second Life, the types of user interaction Second Life enables, affordance of Second Life, the pedagogies being used and the barriers and issues that affect the use of Second Life with students.
Web 2.0, Learning
The so called ‘digital natives’ concept posited by Prensky in 2001 may well have been the catalyst to changes for some in rethinking learning and teaching in the digital era. While the ‘digital native’ idea has been well received by most, there appears, however, to be two schools of thought. There are some who agree with the term and assumptions underpinning the collective use of the term ‘digital natives’. And there are some who argue the validity of the term and question the underpinning assumptions and lack of rigorous research to approve it. There is no doubt that today’s generation is in touch with the latest tools and technology and the impact it has had on all our lives in some way or the other. However the digital divide still exists, the divide between ‘have and have not’, the divide between ‘know how’ and ‘know not’ and at a very basic but critical level the gap between ‘can afford’ and ‘cannot afford’.
From the history of some technologies developed that revolutionised our lives such as electricity, we can learn a few things:
How do we
Pedagogies in use
In this section an overview of our assumptions and beliefs that underpin how learning happens is presented. The development of our understanding of how learning best occurs has influenced the development of contemporary learning theories, frameworks and models. It is evident in the literature that there is a progressive move away from the ‘knowledge and skill’ model to approaches aimed at the overall development of the learner, with an increasing emphasis on the context where learning occurs.
The learner and
Bloom et al. set a platform for learning and teaching that is, to date, influential. Bloom et al. instigated an important transition from the focus of only knowledge and skill in education to the holistic development of a learner where learning was viewed as a transformational journey a learner goes through. Although the initial focus of Bloom’s taxonomy was on behavioural manifestation in the learner for judging outcome and success, it also implemented and stressed the importance of critical thinking and cognitive development of the learner (cognitive domain). The learner’s progression through the cognitive structure is underpinned by increasing learner involvement in the learning process – the learner has to construct its own understanding to be able to apply it in different contexts and situations. The three learning domains outlined by Bloom et al. emphasise the importance of the learner identity and the building and nurturing of this in the learning process (Fink, 2003; Siemens, 2006).