Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

Students in Second Life: Suffern Middle School Case Study

Kevin Jarrett recently moderated a discussion surrounding a middle school’s successful integration into SL that was based on a podcast by Peggy Sheehy.

Suffern Middle School serves around 1,200 students in Suffern, NY. But it is also the first middle school in the nation to have a learning presence in SL, called “Ramapo Islands,” with an associated blog.

Jarrett writes about the high quality of the SL experience for the students in SL:

“What’s amazing though is that you can hear the kids themselves talk about the things Peggy mentions in her podcast, the power of the medium to captivate them, to utterly obliterate the social and emotional barriers that dominate life in a middle school.”

But he also writes of the struggles to implement virtual learning in public school environments, citing Suffern as a great example where all the planning elements have come together successfully:

There is no question in my mind that Suffern teachers have realized this too, and to their credit, have embraced SL as a tool across the curriculum. Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Health & Physical Education, the Arts, they are all on Ramapo, thanks to Peggy’s vision and the support of an incredible administration and equally incredible Superintendent, Dr. Robert McNaughton.


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