Friday, January 23, 2009

Do Students Like "Technology X"???

Daniel Livingstone produces "Learning Games," the prolific blog that is currently the "Blog-o-the-Month" at ISTE Island's "Blogger's Hut," the little property my Second Life avatar (Scottmerrick Oh) manages for ISTE. A recent post of his, entitled "Do Students Like Technology X? Do they need to?" illustrates the incisive nature of his thought and regular "shareout."

In it, he cites Judy Robertson at Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh, UK, who has recently made comments on Virtual World Watch discussing the results of a survey she took of her first and second year computer programming students about their attitudes concerning Second Life. The students' opinions go some distance toward helping understand the puzzling demographic of Second Life, one which puts the average age (and the most active age group) of SL users somewhere around 41 (according to the most recent study I could find). Students reported reluctantly appreciating the value of the platform, but generally disliked it as a whole. Remember, these are 17-19 year-olds. In my personal experience, irl, I have an uphill battle to convince anyone younger than 40 to even look at Second Life, though I don't have access to many first year college students. What has been your own experience?

Linden Lab could do well to value comments and surveys like this in high regard, in addition to watching age averages as they seem to trend upward slowly. SL creator, Philip Rosedale, by the way, was born in September, 1968, which by my math puts him smack-dab in the user-average "playing field." Is this a koinkidink? I wonder...

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