CNN Enters Second Life


I talked about educational uses of Second Life yesterday.  Well, let me expand on this topic one more day.  Second Life is not only used by colleges and universities to provide their students with an online 3-D virtual reality world, it is also used by many corporations to provide online training, orientations, and other activities.  On November 12, 2007, CNN open an I-Report hub in Second Life.  CNN asks its real-life audience to submit their own SL I-Reports (user-generated content submitted from cell phones, computers, cameras and other equipment for broadcast and online reports) about events occurring within the virtual world.  By having a presence in Second Life, CNN hopes to learn about virtual worlds and understand what news is most interesting and valuable to their residents. It will be interesting to see how successful is the CNN’s I-Report hub in Second Life and the impact of these types of activities in journalism education.


About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
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6 Responses to CNN Enters Second Life

  1. Kemiaya Jackson says:

    I believe Second Life will be very important in the near future.It may help children might have more knowledge of 3D in the virtual world. This activitie might become very important businesses and other companies since it can provide orientations. I know plenty of jobs that require orientations and they are very long and boring. This new project will definitely help the younger generation. The world will become so high in technology if you can submit news and other information from your cell phone. This impact will have a major impact on journalism in today’s society.

  2. Shenetta Booth says:

    Technology, Technology, Technology, How far is it going to take us? If it has taken us to mars and back with space stations and satellite technology, then it can take us to virtual reality. Technology can take us deep in the ocean using robots that have ocean thermal conversion technology. Technology can take us and pinpoint our homes and geographical motions with remote sensing and geographical information systems. Technology can allow students to study from home with distance education and e-learning through the use of the internet. What more could there be? There are a whole lot of technology solutions.

    I am very excited to learn about Second Life and will do my research paper on this topic. Of course, I am new to it, but I think its going to be well worth the research. I like virtual reality and all that it can offer us. I mean, what could be better than to create a virtual world and then invite who you want to be in that world with you. It’s like creating a cartoon and making things happen the way you want to. It’s not scripted and it’s definitely not “real world environment”, unless you want it to be.  I can’t wait to start my research on Second Life, as a matter of fact, I am starting now. I have already created a world for me, but I am lonely. LOL.

    Would this be beneficial for schools? Yes it would be, definitely. Why? Second Life can offer so much to students. Say for instance a teacher wants the student to learn virtual reality. What would be a better way? There is no better way but to teach them how to use Second Life. The teacher can also use Second Life to keep the student engaged and occupied with something different. Plus, the teacher can keep with the “Digital Natives”.

  3. Lou Ellen says:

    Now, I am amazed. I was blown away by the tremendous amount of educational resources that can be used at Second Life, but CNN has stepped up and brought technology and virtual worlds to an entire new level. Your virtual self can now make his/her own news. You can also speak with CNN reporters or visit the amphitheatre for events. Again, the possibilities just seem endless. I really like the idea of orientations or online training being done in the virtual world. Companies would no longer have to send employees to a central location for an orientation or training seminar. Employees can meet virtually and accomplish the same thing in the virtual world as in the real world at a sit down conference. And think about the options that CNN has opened for media. Broadcastings of both video and radio are now available, and the average virtual Joe can get involved. Meaning this can open up educational options in journalism and broadcast media. Before long (if it hasn’t already), advertising will be another avenue the media can enjoy. We all know that advertising makes the media world go round, but will it have that same effect on media in Second Life? Will real advertisers see this as an avenue they must explore? And public relations? Will there eventually be somebody who handles the PR for certain Second Life virtual events? With all of these possibilities opening up, practice does make perfect… and what a perfect opportunity to practice and explore real-life career options.

  4. Amy Thornton says:

    I’m still not completely sold on the idea of living in a virtual world. I love emerging technologies and am for anything that could enhance the quality of education, but if I were teaching a class I think it is much more important to encourage my students to explore and experience in the real world as opposed to the virtual world. I realize Second Life and other technologies like it are new and exciting, but I think that it will be a while before it becomes a commonality in education. In higher education, I think it will take many years to sell this type of technology to faculty. We have some faculty who still don’t buy into using Web pages as a supplement to their course, so I don’t think that integrating a virtual world into their classroom is going to be an easy sell. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for bringing new and better worlds to our students and this can fill some gaps where there is not money or time to explore things in the real world, for example, other countries and cultures.

    At this point, I kind of see virtual worlds as more of a recreational activity, kind of like playing video games, but I am seeing more and more examples of it being used in education. I know that a lot of organizations are purchasing land and starting communities though. I think the CNN iReport idea is a really cool idea. They incorporate these into their live newscasts on TV as well.

  5. Farid says:

    Second life is a three-dimensional virtual community created entirely by its membership. Members assume an identity and take up residence in Second Life, creating a customized avatar or personage to represent themselves. The avatar moves about in the virtual world using mouse control and intuitive keyboard buttons.

    Second Life’s virtual world also includes sound; wind in the swaying trees, babbling brooks, audible conversation, and built-in chat and instant messaging. Residents buy property, start businesses, game with other residents, create objects, join clubs, attend classes, or just hang out. The rendering of Second Life is remarkable, making it an instant guilty pleasure.

  6. Roslyn Warren says:

    Wow….I’m not sure I’m ready for this one. Second life sorta reminds me of the Sims. My husband and I enjoy playing this game at least once a month on a weekend. We stayed up late trying to clean our virtual house, pay the bills, make extra money, create neighbors, and go to work because it gives us a break from our normal responsibilities. I think its clever to try to create a virtual world for educational use, but I’m not sure how practical it is??? This will take time to create these Second Life worlds right? CNN has a lot of resources on their hands and its another way to engage their audience. We’re talking about individual educators who have trouble keep up with students and discipline issues.. I’m not totally shooting it down because I have not actually experimented in the program. But, I hope there is a support team that can create these worlds for educators (such as an Instructional Design team).

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