Art Students Take Second Life to Heart

The Kansas University Art Department now is offering its first blended media course, which flips back and forth from the real world to the virtual one by using Second Life as a place to meet and display art, according to the Lawrence Journal-World & News.

Stacey Fox, assistant professor of art, is leading the department’s convergent media initiative. She teaches portions of her digital animation and game creation class on Second Life, and other instructors are beginning to take advantage of the site, as well.

According to the newspaper, “Colleges across the nation are experiencing a paradigm shift: More and more schools are advancing education by offering classes inside virtual worlds, such as Second Life.”

One reason Second Life appeals to academics is its price. To develop classrooms inside Second Life, schools must buy an island, which costs $1,400 for a full year. Universities can then use the island to cut down on commuting costs and to reach out to students overseas, increasing campus enrollment.

“Compare all that to the cost of running just one physical building on the KU campus in Lawrence, and the cost savings are enormous,” Fox told the newspaper.

The Kansas University Art Department now is offering its first blended media course, which flips back and forth from the real world to the virtual one by using Second Life as a place to meet and display art, according to the Lawrence Journal-World & News.

Stacey Fox, assistant professor of art, is leading the department’s convergent media initiative. She teaches portions of her digital animation and game creation class on Second Life, and other instructors are beginning to take advantage of the site, as well.

According to the newspaper, “Colleges across the nation are experiencing a paradigm shift: More and more schools are advancing education by offering classes inside virtual worlds, such as Second Life.”

One reason Second Life appeals to academics is its price. To develop classrooms inside Second Life, schools must buy an island, which costs $1,400 for a full year. Universities can then use the island to cut down on commuting costs and to reach out to students overseas, increasing campus enrollment.

“Compare all that to the cost of running just one physical building on the KU campus in Lawrence, and the cost savings are enormous,” Fox told the newspaper.

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