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Title: Second life and academia : reframing the debate between supporters and critics
Authors: Herold, DK 
Issue Date: May-2012
Source: Journal of virtual worlds research, May 2012, v. 5, no. 1, p.1-22
Abstract: The introduction of new ICTs in education is usually discussed in terms of the many benefits new technologies offer, or of the negative impact they might have on the lives of their users. Focusing on the introduction of the 3D online world "Second Life" into higher education, this article shows how such discourses lead to an impasse between the advocates and the critics of new ICTs in education. To break the impasse, and to understand the impact of Second Life, or other ICTs, on education, requires a far more differentiated approach than the discourses around Second Life have shown so far. Based on the experiences of the author in creating a virtual campus for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Second Life, the article advocates a shift in focus from the discussion of powerful ICTs and their impact on largely passive users, to the study of active individuals, and the ways in which they integrate new ICTs into their pre-existing social and technological practices.
Keywords: Second life
Higher education
Individual practices
Publisher: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Radio, TV & Film
Journal: Journal of virtual worlds research 
ISSN: 1941-8477
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License <>.
The JVWR is an academic journal. As such, it is dedicated to the open exchange of information. For this reason, JVWR is freely available to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal or articles in this journal may be distributed for research or educational purposes only free of charge and without permission. However, the JVWR does not grant permission for use of any content in advertisements or advertising supplements or in any manner that would imply an endorsement of any product or service. All uses beyond research or educational purposes require the written permission of the JVWR. Authors who publish in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research will release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution No Derivative Works 3.0 United States (cc-by-nd) license. The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is funded by its sponsors and contributions from readers.
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