Technical Questions about SL for Education

Mark D. Wagner markdwagner at
Mon Oct 24 16:05:10 PDT 2005

Thank you to everyone that responded to my initial  question. This  
listserv is clearly going to be a great resource for all of us.

Here are some questions I have not been able to answer for our Grant  
committee. We are considering Second Life as a platform for game- 
based informal science education... we've considered simple "card"  
based games and scenarios more like what Chris Dede is doing with  
MUVEEs at - and  
we have considered focusing on particular grades, but if we use SL,  
these would be high school aged students, and high school level  
science content. I expect many more questions will come up, but this  
is a good place to start.

- I know there are ways to view web content in SL... could something  
like Vantage Learning's MyAccess writing assessment program by used  
in SL? What about flash or shockwave content?
- I know that games have been created in SL... but wonder how much  
control could we have over a reward structure in SL? Could we build  
in points or levels?
- I know that gravity is represented in SL, although we can fly...  
but to what extent might we be able to model other forces that might  
be useful for teaching science? (This is of course our main  
question... consider modeling acceleration, or aerodynamics, or  
polluted water... would these things be possible?)

- If we used a private island, could students move from the island to  
the Teen grid and back? Could we restrict an accounts to only the  
private island? (Despite the fact that we might be able to control  
content on the island, there are those on the committee who are  
worried about what else students might do with the accounts we  
arrange for them.)
- Also (for similar reasons) would there be ways to limit students'  
abilities to create on the island? (I think I know the answer to  
this, but it makes me cringe to ask it in any case.)
- With a private island, would it be possible to include younger  

- FInally, is it reasonable to expect that some teachers (and maybe  
even some students) might become content producers for this project?  
Would they be able to do the things asked above?

I apologize for the rough nature of these questions. Perhaps the best  
case scenario is that there are others on the list who might benefit  
from the answers. Also, if we decide to move forward I'm sure the  
questions will get more specific, and it seems we may indeed have a  
need for an SL scripting consultant. :)


On Oct 20, 2005, at 2:09 PM, Eloise Pasteur wrote:

> You can try me, I do some building, quite a bit of scripting, and  
> have 5 years experience working in popularisation of science. Not  
> so hot on the specifics of your curriculum though.
> Eloise.
> On 20 Oct 2005, at 22:07, Mark D. Wagner wrote:
>> Hi, all.
>> I for one am excited about the amount of traffic on this list and  
>> can't wait to dig into these messages after work.
>> In the meantime, I have a question to throw out as well...
>> I am a coordinator of educational technology at the Orange County  
>> Department of Education in California. (Yes, the OC.) We are  
>> working on an application for an NSF informal science education  
>> grant... and we plan to use a game to teach students science  
>> concepts outside of the school context. We are considering Second  
>> Life - a private island probably - but my knowledge of the user  
>> creation and scripting systems are limited. Is there any one at  
>> Linden, or on this list, I might be able to contact with specific  
>> questions related to our project?
>> -Mark
>> On Oct 20, 2005, at 11:43 AM, Pathfinder Linden wrote:
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