Georgia Tech Librarian, Prof To Loan Land in Second Life

Georgia Tech librarian Brian Matthews has teamed up with GT computer science professor Blaire MacIntyre to develop a space in the Second Life virtual world from which students could "check out" land parcels in order "to hang out, explore, and learn the basics of the software."

"Our [rationale] is that if there is an interest, let's say 20 students or more, then we'll work toward purchasing an island for them," wrote Matthews in his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian. "The idea is still in the very early stages, but ideally we're following this basic principal: just as [students] can [check out] a book, they can also [check out] a plot of virtual land. In this framework it becomes a discovery experience."

The two academics want to develop the space as a resource for students to burnish their digital design skills and as a place to use just as a creative outlet. "The premise is that since so many of our students use digital design tools for class work, they can also benefit from exposure to Second Life," Matthews wrote.

"Maybe SL isn't sustainable long-term, that's fine, we can just move to another virtual environment. My personal feeling about technology is that everything you learn can be applied elsewhere, therefore the more you know the better."

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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