Over the past 15 years, thousands of students have logged into Second Life to extend their education beyond the classroom and into the virtual world. While Second Life continues to expand with new features and enhancements, many virtual world education offerings are also evolving to include more engaging and exciting lessons bringing students from different locations together in fun, shared learning environments.
This evolution of virtual world education is the subject of the latest edition of “The Drax Files,” which returns after a brief hiatus with a new super-sized episode that spotlights the latest edtech work of Chant Newall Development Group, LLC (CNDG).
Pictured: CNDG CEO William Prensky meets with Pearson’s Dolly Womack and another attendee at a recent STEM Conference.
For over a decade, CNDG has worked closely with Florida State University and the University of Central Florida on exciting Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) that cover multiple disciplines including biology, chemistry, economics and environmental science. These efforts have been developed in partnership with education giant Pearson to create the “textbook of the future” using unique virtual world learning modules that include compelling social 3D virtual experiences and games.
“What differentiates what we do from many other iterations of distance learning is that we are virtual worlds learning,” says CNDG CEO William (Bill) Prensky. “Students begin to sense that they are present to each other.”
He adds, “The sense of presence in the environment is real. The live networked interaction between teaching assistants and students is vital to maintaining that sense of presence. So, it creates a community of teachers as well as a community of learners. It empowers them and it energizes them.”
Pictured: CNDG promotes a learning module developed in Second Life at a recent conference.
You can see some of CNDG’s work and hear from its executives and university faculty in the latest episode of “The Drax Files” below.
Want to check out an example of CNDG’s work for yourself? For a limited time, CNDG has opened up a free preview of its “Ice Core” module in Second Life (as featured in “The Drax Files” video). In this exclusive experience, which was developed for an environmental science course taught by Professor William Landing at Florida State University, participants take a helicopter to a drill site to begin an exciting scientific expedition in Antarctica. Adventurers will learn how scientists live and work in this frigid environment as they collect and analyze ice cores that provide clues into Earth's climate history.
Second Life community members can check it out now at the Destination below.