I was just going through my morning routine.  Breakfast, coffee, getting the kids organised, catching up on my RSS feeds, when I came across a link to an interesting article on Leigh Blackall’s blog.

I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly read through the article yet – please forgive any misconceptions. 

The article discusses the possible future integration of Second Life with Google Earth and the potential implications of this.  The new virtual world would be called Second Earth.  Pretty interesting reading for anyone interested in virtual worlds, or the future of the internet. 

I’ve had a look at Second Life previously, and have considered if it could be used in massage therapy teaching.  While practical teaching via second life is obviously ridiculous, I could see that teaching and practice of some assessment techniques (e.g. range of motion, postural analysis) could be performed via this medium.  I think clinical reasoning is best taught through a series of simulated experiences, and the level of realism that Second Life supports would make this environment a good option, however having said that I don’t personally have the resources to put into the development of this kind of resource at this time in my life.  The other obvious issue is that in order for students to learn via second life they would need to learn how to control their avatar within the environment, which is not a completely trivial task, and I imagine could be quite overwhelming for some of our students.

Revisting Second Earth for a minute, at present I can’t see any obvious advantage to me over the Second Life environment, but it’s always good to keep your eye on the ball.