Doug Johnson of Blue Skunk comes away impressed from a virtual conference he attended on the educational potential of Second Life. However, he acknowledges educators'—and his own—doubts about the simulation program’s place in the classroom:
Many educators seem to have a reticence about Second Life as a teaching tool, even those folks I would otherwise consider visionaries in other ways. Yes, Second Life has an "adult" side to it. Yes, it is crash prone, slow and unreliable. Yes, there is a steep learning curve to creating content for it.
Yes, it sounds just like the WWW of about 10-12 years ago. (Doesn't anyone else remember Mosaic and three minute page re-draws?)
I am also convinced that many of us can't quite reconcile "fun" and "useful." Every time I've gone into Second Life I've really had fun and I wonder if anything this enjoyable can possibly be good for a person. It's my inner Puritan.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.