Posted by: Randolph Hollingsworth | November 22, 2013

Using SecondLife in a History Class

Street Scene in 1920s Berlin in Second Life

Berlin 1920s Project in Second Life

Presented today at a History colloquium at UK on the use of educational technologies – showed the UKSL island starting with the Perennial Peace Garden and then teleported to the 1920s Berlin Project – Weimar Republic.

A great question came up: “How do you know that any of this is any good, historically?” I replied quickly that this is part of the puzzle, asking students to observe critically and research what looks right or could be biased in its design. However, I fear I should have taken longer to respond – and to ask how the historian himself would have answered his own question. I believe this is a much larger question for us all to keep talking with each other about… the problematical nature of what we ask our students to interact with during their educational studies.  Do we present the required readings as part of a problem to solve or do we say, trust us, this is good stuff for you to consume without questioning its sources or biases.

I didn’t get a chance to go to these other places, but they are worth exploring for possible sites of study and/or roleplay in a history class:

Tudor Rose – cathedral and houses in Elizabethan England
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rosemont/99/194/23

Machu Picchu, curated by the University of San Martin de Porres, Peru
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/USMP%203D/168/51/22

Notre Dame Cathedral
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Oasis/3/129/18

Afghanistan Museum
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Trillia/84/23/990

Azuchi – roleplay medieval Japanese warrior culture
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Azuchi/87/160/61

Temple of Isis  – Linden Historical Site,
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Iris/201/122/30

Ummah of Noor: “a live painting to display Islam and the Muslim life. Everyone is welcomed to take part in the painting 🙂 Hijab Peace Mosque Dome of the Rock  classes and events
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Oases/73/112/28

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