With weekly, even daily, news about Second Life, we decided to try it officially and, with the help of Jaime Casado from Telefónica, we decided to have an official meeting with students from the Master of Management in Telecom and Digital Business to discuss the approach to how SL can be used in education. Specifically how it can be used in business education. It is not something that you can decide or envision immediately.
The potential is enormous, but also the current limitations. Starting with how difficult it is to control the different in-world stuff you need to control only to have an avatar and move around. It is difficult at least for those that are not from the playstation generation. That is, most of the customers of executive education for an average business school. Just the same group that is eager to know what is this entire buzz about.
Also the interaction (mainly chat by now, voice is coming slowly), is effective for those used to the tool as their principal way of communication. You really see the difference. I cannot follow the conversations, though I use chat for work, not at that level.
We will have more meetings, and they will probably get better and better. I will leave you notes on how they improve. The first note to remember is that the platform can fail, so you need a plan B. The second is that group control is very important, and though you see the avatars, it is also useful to have some sort of connection with the real world (list of people, with their photo, and the avatar)… probably old-fashioned, but I think we also need links to the world, as in any virtual platform.