This was a big week for learning about teaching in virtual worlds! I attended a lecture in Second Life by Dr. Peter Miller (Avatar: Graham Mills), from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool on the topic of “Immersive Learning in Microbiology in Virtual Worlds.” He provided examples of virtual laboratories in Second Life and OpenSim that are used to teach laboratory skills to students. The examples included a simulated microbiology laboratory created by Aalto University in Finland, a virtual genetics laboratory created by the University of Leicester in Second Life, and the BIO-ZONE in OpenSim. I visited the Virtual Genetics Laboratory where I had to wear a HUD (Head-Up Display?). The HUD provided me with relevant information and instructions on how to use the lab. I quickly learned that I know nothing about genetic but I did get to wear a lab coat! Here’s the link (SLURL) for Media Zoo where the lab is located http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Media%20Zoo/71/188/32
Again I am pondering how to use what I am learning for teaching in my subject areas. I definitely see the benefit of virtual laboratories – especially for online courses. However, I still wonder how I might use virtual worlds to teach my students about human resource management and HR.
Here's a snapshot of me (SHIPPY) at the Genetics Lab!