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					“Second Life”
 Exploring Virtual Worlds for Social Work Education
    Dr. Bob Vernon, Indiana University School of Social Work
    Dr. Darlene Lynch, Ball State University Department of Social Work
    Dr. Paul Freddolino, Michigan State University School of Social Work
    Dr. Lorrie Greenhouse Gardella, St. Joseph College
    Ms. Susan Tenby, TechSoup.org

                                    Contact: http://hsmedia.biz
Today…
•   Just what IS “Second Life”
•   You and your “avatar”
•   Communications in “SL”
•   Potentials for Social Work Education
•   Implications and findings so far
•   How to function in a virtual world
•   Potential conversations
 Just what IS “Second Life”
People voluntarily create online virtual worlds...
Travel
Art/museums
Fantasy/role play
Nasties
Shopping
Sports
Theater
Worship
Agencies/Services
You and your “avatar”
You can change your avatar at will…
Control over
 Dress
 Gender
 Age
 Race
 Ethnicity
 Ability
 Species!
                  This is the same avatar!
You and your “avatar”
You can move your avatar at will…
 Gestures
 Walking
 Flying
 Teleporting


                 This becomes easy with practice.
Communications
With individuals, groups, and objects…
Chat/Typing
IM
Voice
Languages
Meetings
Groups
 You can record everything through copying and
   pasting text, taking pictures, and making movies…
Potentials for SW Education
 Diversity
 HBSE
 Justice and Risk
 Values and Ethics
 Research
 Policy and Services
 Field and Training
 Practice

                   There are potentials for all of
                     the eight EPAS curriculum areas!
Implications so far…
Adaptable to multiple teaching agendas
  micro-macro, generalist or concentrations, training, (?) field
Practice diversity
  local-global-virtual
Access issues
  connection, hardware, ADA
Liability & risk
  uncharted territory
The university
  local-global-virtual

 “How ya goina keep „em down on the farm…”
Functioning in a virtual world
• Remember what the Web was like in 1994?
   This is about as challenging!
• Be prepared for a belligerent learning curve
   with crummy documentation!
• Cut yourself some slack!
   Your students too!
• Get a mentor!
   Make friends with librarians, teckies, and gamers!
• Connect in both “SL” and “RL”
   peers, listservs, wikis, blogs, youtube!
Potential conversations
• Theoretical concepts
   Social and individual identity, neighborhoods, control
• Practice concepts
   Professional boundaries, self-awareness, professional use of self
• Research concepts
   Participant observation, reflective ethnography
• Degrees of abstraction
   The “medical textbook illustration” issue
• Implications for distance education
   Many distance education possibilities


      Second Life: http://www.secondlife.com

				
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posted:9/3/2009
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