So I’ve just finished reading Rheingold’s article as well as watching his vlog posts. And I guess what i’ve come away with is that I don’t get it. To a certain extent, I see the benefit of interaction and communication with others in the world beyond, but what I don’t get is the use of all these different sites to do so.I’ve always thought that I understood technology. As a matter of fact, I still believe that I generally understand technology and can work my way around various aspects of computers, internet, etc. As I stated in my previous post, my incessant internet browsing usually finds me clicking around facebook, cnn.com, postgazette.com, among other sites. web based communities such as message boards, news sites, blogs, etc provide a great source for getting information. with the internet i now have hundreds of times more resources available to me now than I did ten years ago. What I guess I’m struggling with is the whole Second Life section. I really don’t get it. I understand that the tech is really cool that you can build your own house, office, neighborhood, but where is the learning value. Is it that the digital native generation doesn’t see a difference between the virtual reality of 2nd life and our own world? How should we benefit from this alternate plane of existence as educators? In the workplace, maybe it can be used in role playing. wow. as I’m typing this, I am working this whole thing out in my head and alot seems more clear. (not going to erase and rewrite the blog because i’m sure after I go back and read over what I’ve typed I (and you, the reader) will subsequently be able to see how the chipmunk on the wheel in my brain is beginning to resolve this issue for me.) I’ve always said that role playing is an awful awful tactic to use in workplace learning. if we use something like second life (which, i’m still not 100% clear how it works)…but if we use an alternate reality game for training and workplace education, we can eliminate some of the anxiety role playing causes in training sessions. remove the face to face stress and perhaps we can come up with better learning environments.but back to the negative I go…isn’t human interaction what it’s all about? isn’t that part of the whole “why are we here” question? and how do we make it fair for existing older workers who either don’t understand the technology sufficiently enough to utilize it and benefit from it in training or they simply don’t care enough about new ways of learning to want to immerse themselves in the technology?more questions than answers i’m afraid.
In a “A Slice of Life in My Virtual Community”, Howard Rheingold asks the following question about the future: “will there be an open market, in which newcomers like Apple or Microsoft can become industry leaders?”
I think there is an answer to that question right now in the present. With the emergence of Web 2.0 tools and social networks, the future is now and the future is open source. The leading social network in the U.S., Facebook, just recently produced a SDK (software development kit) package and opened up their software to developers around the world. Facebook has made it possible to create applications that can be used as part of their network. Small businesses can now become part of the social network market. Businesses can create applications for the Facebook platform and then sell them to Facebook. They can also retain rights for applications and run advertisements on their application pages. If you would like to learn more about this new facebook feature, watch Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, explain it in detail (Click here). Having a programming background myself, I am interested in trying my hand in developing a few Facebook applications. Who knows, I may even make some money. Which in turn begs the question… who will be the first millionaire in Facebook applications?
Another open source online community has already produced its first millionaire in Anshe Chung. What is truly amazing is that Chung started out in SecondLife with an initial investment of $9.95! For some more information about SecondLife, click on the Anshe Chung link above or watch the online office space that Rheingold set up at http://vlog.rheingold.com/