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Field Notes from the Wild: Adults Learning in a Virtual World

Field Notes from the Wild: Adults Learning in a Virtual World
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Author(s): Suzanne Aurilio (San Diego State University, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 17
Source title: Adaptation, Resistance and Access to Instructional Technologies: Assessing Future Trends In Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Steven D'Agustino (Fordham University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-854-4.ch012


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This chapter takes a novel orientation to understanding adults as learners by arguing that the context rather than age of the learner is more indicative of their approaches to learning to use technologies. Drawing on data from a study of everyday avatars learning to build the online virtual world Second Life®, this chapter argues that learning through recreational activities such as these adults do in Second Life® is adult learning and a kind of 21st century learning that takes place in the wild of virtual worlds. In order to imagine ourselves, students and colleagues or corporate employees engaged by and in world-building, educators must view online technologies as rich social contexts rather than simply educational technologies. The roles of teachers, trainers or support personnel are as designers for learning. They create contexts where the learning objectives they have set can be achieved.

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