Virtual Learning Technologies: A Second Life Perspective


Second Life as a mind training tool

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I experience and I understand

As a Second Life resident, I know what it’s like to  be immersed in an environment that allows you to interact with the features that give you a new way to think about things. For one thing, you are able to notice how much more you can create new sub modalities of thinking using the building blocks that allow you to represent what you are feeling and thinking.  For those that are not familiar with Second Life, I want to just give you a tour of the space that is known to what can only be described as the cyber force.  A force because it has the ability to change your mind in rich and powerful ways, penetrating the very fabric of what makes up your mind.

Making your mind up

The neurons which fire in directions for tasks that need to be done are focused on what they have been able to do.  But to generate new and inspiring connections we first have to create a new situation in which this can happen.  Second Life is the perfect place from which to explore how we can use our brains more creatively and therefore we are going to take a journey into a realm of 3D colour in which the many places of exploration can begin.

Let the games begin.

I am aware of the environment and I have all my senses working properly.  Those of sight, sound, feelings taste and smell.  I am in a world where my neurology doesn’t know how to react and therefore has to find new pathways in order to learn how to respond to this new environment, as there has been nothing to express it in such a way before.  The field of knowing is searching for ideas on how to  make use of its de-lineage in a way that transposes knowledge into meaning for the purpose of knowing what to do.  How do you say ‘Hello’? Where do I type this word?  Who is going to reply? Quest -ions ignite the forces that bring the answers forth, even if it means googleing it on the internet.  In fact, the field of knowledge is like one big google in that it brings up only what you need to know.  You put in a search criteria and the options appear on your screen.  In the same way, options appear in your memory in the form of ideas that come ‘out of the blue’.  Where did that come from? You might ask.  But what you might not have been aware of is that asking questions is the equivalent of putting in a google search suggesting that where you go for your information is the crucial part.

Where do we go from here?

Imagine a magic parlour, where you could create anything you wanted.  Where the lines of confusion about what’s possible begin to disintegrate into one of clarity and possibility.  The realm is now one of ideas and focus, a situation in which one can stride ahead in spite of what  they imagine is real.

The first thing to notice is the way in which you can be what you want.  There are many guises in the form of noticing what you need.  What states best represent how you want to view yourself?  What manner of being is in line with how you want to project yourself?  These are the first components that pertain to what you will focus on when deciding where to place your attention in the virtual world.  They will guide your actions and process’s in order to help you fulfil the being you want to achieve.  ‘Who do you want to be?” is the first question that necessarily provides you with a way to focus on who you want to become in the main.

As we speak we can find ways to express how we feel and notice how that makes us be a little more aware of what we are projecting.  In the same way, finding a being that represents what we want to convey can be just as revealing in how we find time to notice the states that show us the thought we want to convey in relation to what we want.  Your motives are clear when focusing on what you want.  However, what are your reasons for changing in the first place?  This is the issue that needs to be addressed when focussing on what will be your only way to go further into time and places that get known in other realms such as virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds represent a medium of communication that allows changes to occur quickly and immediately.  Want a new hair style?  Get one out of your inventory.  Want a new focus? Go to places ‘in world’ that show you new ways of living and being such as Japan, Iraq, Rome or Deli.  Your new experiences will help you understand how learning is acquired.

Those old familiar places

When we keep revisiting the same old places in our minds over and over again we realise that we have been here before.  In terms of learning, this represents memories from the past that stay with us even if we are not there in person.  So what’s different in terms of wanting to show how we can drum up new experiences, is that we often don’t know how to focus on ideas that will bring us useful experiences in time.  When we focus on ideas, they necessarily get processed via the senses through being in touch on some level with the source of its origin.

There’s no place like home!

In the movie, Dorothy wishes to go home; back from where she came from.  Finding herself in a strange place she experiences new things that teach her how to respond in a different way.  Lying in her bed she realises that she had been suffering from a fever and that she had been home all along.  The journey she had taken was soley in her mind, a beautiful technicolor dream that went far beyond what she could have thought about in her waking state.  Why was this important?  And why did it show her things that she needed to know in time?  What was it that led her down a mystical yellow brick road?

Every breath you take

When you breath you are representing to the world that you are a living breathing human being.  It suggests that you have lungs that function and the idea that breathing is good for you.  But what happens when you stop breathing for any length of time?  What actually happens is that you focus on the test of how you know you are not breathing.  Your chest stops rising, you no longer feel the air passing through your nose and mouth and you take it for granted that you know how to do it without thinking.  So what is it that keeps us breathing when we are asleep?  How do we know when to wake up etc?

The answer is blowing in the wind

The answer to all these questions is simple but only in that they are showing us ideas that complete our knowing in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. What do I mean by that?  I mean that by focussing on the mechanisms that help us to stay conscious we realise the path of new learnings that make for new understandings.  Why is this so?  This is so that you can change what you think in any given moment at the push of a virtual button – whooooooshhhhhhh and  a different landscape appears before your very eyes.  One, two, three and you’re there.  The amazing truth is that we do this in our minds every day as our thoughts flit from place to place in the realm of our very own virtual world known as the ‘imagination’.  Why do we run, laugh, live, hope, love?  The virtual world is not just a place to try on new outfits and hairstyles.  When used to its full potential, just like the mind, it’s a tool with which we can generate new neural pathways and thought processes that show us how to respond  more appropriately to new information that might someday become a reality.

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