Education in Virtual Worlds, Second Life

I’m a Genius! Teen Grid to Merge with Main Grid

So I woke up early this morning and for some reason decided I’d post about the Teen Grid and its imminent demise. Now, I don’t usually get much right, but a scant 5 hours after my post, Terrence Linden announced, well, that Teens would be ‘welcome’ on the Main Grid.

(I’m not given to gloating, or not visible gloating anyways, but I just kind of felt like it tonight, it’s really rainy out is the reason).

Tateru and Lalo noted in the comments to my last post that the Teens were always using the same “grid”, although I can’t help noticing that the Lab itself uses the same terminology that I did, regardless of the reality that it was all one big mess of servers:

It has been several weeks since we announced that Teen Second Life, our Second Life grid for 13- to 17-year-olds, will be closing at the end of this year, and that we would be admitting 16- and 17-year-olds to the main grid. Today, we are excited to tell you that we will be able to continue serving all of the educational and not-for-profit communities of the Teen Grid, including those that serve 13- to 15-year-olds, without an interruption in service.

I speculated this morning that if such a move were to happen, it would include a pin-to-estate type feature and that one of the benefits would be that teachers could move more freely between the teen areas and the adult ones. Terrence confirms this approach:

The 13- to 15-year-old students affiliated with these organizations will be unable to visit any regions except those of their hosting organization, and those accounts will not have the ability to search the Grid or to purchase items from the Marketplace. Unlike on Teen Second Life, adults that work with these students will now be a part of the broader Second Life experience, allowing them to bring rich educational content to their students. The ability to invite organization-approved guest speakers and other approved members of the community to safely interact these students will further enhance their learning experience. For more details, see the Teen Second Life transition wiki page.

I’m disappointed, however, that students won’t be able to sell on the Marketplace (or purchase from it). I really think there would be something enriching to allow kids to make and sell stuff.

Regardless, and as Tateru and Lalo pointed out – well, um, what exactly is the difference between this and what was there before? The big closure of the Teen Grid has ended with, well, a Teen Section of the Grid, and the ability for adults to move back-and-forth, but I’m not entirely sure how this will look any different to what was there before.


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