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What’s in a name?

MUVE (multi-user virtual environment), IVW (immersive virtual world), 3-d virtual environment – these and others are descriptors for environments like Second Life.  Just musing as to whether it actually makes any difference which label is used in terms of expectations of the environment.  Need to think some more about that.

One of the metaphors I’ve been playing with is a comparison with teaching letters to some people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties.  The letter on a sheet of paper or board may be pretty meaningless.  By making the letter – and experiencing it in different ways – the letter might be learned and understood. Perhaps tracing it in sand, or creating it  in clay or playdough, or building it with artifacts.  Experiencing the letter through other senses may help – singing, eating a cake or sweet in the form of the letter, using sponge shapes of the letter in the bath…

Does the 3-d, immersive nature of a virtual environment like Second Life provide an opportunity to experience learning in a multi-dimensional way making some forms of knowledge acquisition more meaningful than in a traditional classroom setting?

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