Robert J. Rothfarb and Paul Doherty, Exploratorium, USA
Brick-and-mortar interactive science centers offer fun and educational experiences for visitors of every age. But in a virtual world, many of the constraints of the real world can be overcome, offering experiences that transcend reality. Exploratorium staff members have created just such a space in the massively multi-user, three-dimensional world of Second Life. In the virtual museum called the 'Splo, we’ve been experimenting with the social, contextual, and educational possibilities of a world in which people can fly through the solar system, scan their own bodies, and change gravity so they can bounce off walls. In mixed-reality events which combine live media programs with the virtual world, visitors can watch a solar eclipse while sitting next to someone on the other side of the earth. What does this mean for other museums interested in creating their own virtual environments? In this paper, we share our own experiences, and offer some thoughts and recommendations.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
This paper was presented at the conference "Museums and the Web 2007", and is a fascinating look at how one museum is using Second Life. San Francisco's Exploratorium has created "Splo", a virtual museum in Second Life. The paper details several of their exhibits that could only be done in Second Life.
NASA, NOAA and the National Institute of Health already have established themselves in Second Life, and feature some impressive simulations. This article from News Blaze, describes how government agencies are using Second Life.
U.S. Government Presence Grows in Second Life Online World
Agencies use virtual reality environment for education, outreach
Since early 2007, more than 6 million virtual residents of the online world called Second Life have had new neighbors - a handful of U.S. government agencies that are exploring possibilities for education, collaboration and outreach in the popular real-time multiverse.
The campus has been in construction for several months; now it is officially open. This posting from The Chronicle's Wired Campus Blog has a link to YouTube video that is one of the best short presentations I seen so far on what educators are doing in Second Life.
Never mind that the celebration will exist only digitally. San Jose State University's School of Library and Information Science will put on a big show for the May 16 opening of its campus in Second Life, an online virtual world. (the rest)