A Library Exhibit

Thornburg (2009) defined a disruptive technology as a technology that does the same job as an existing technology; that ultimately makes the original technology obsolete by the disruptive technology’s introduction. Rosedale (2008) explained that Second Life has the potential to replace the traditional Internet. He used an example of shopping for an item on a website but not being able to talk to other people who are also shopping for the same item. Anderson (2006) explained that being able to meet face to face online allows for better learning online. Wallace (2006) claimed that Second Life was a disruptive technology. Wong (2006) reported that education was thriving in second life even though there were plenty of distractions. Another way Second Life is a disruptive technology is when it is compared to traditional online learning through online course shells such as Blackboard. Second Life is a more effective way to interact with a class than, for example, Classlive whose online chat feature and white board can be cumbersome and slow.

It is hard to predict how long Second Life has before it will be replaced because Second Life keeps reinventing itself. In the last year, Second Life has added full real time audio capabilities. Second Life may be replaced by a fully interactive virtual world that utilizes MIT’s sixth sense technology; but that is years away in development.

The social benefits of Second Life in education are the abilities to socially interact with other students and teachers in real time. Students can learn in a social environment in Second Life. Powerpoint presentations and movies can be embedded in Second Life and with real time audio, students can receive immediate feedback from their instructors. The biggest problem with Second Life is the fact that my classes have students between the ages of 16 and19 which cross over from Second Life, which is only available to over 18 year olds and the younger version, which is only available to under 18 year olds. There are also many sites on Second Life which are unacceptable for high school students. Additionally, personal islands which protect students from undesireable elements, are not cost effective for schools.


Anderson, T. (2006). An Educator discovers his SecondLife. Retrieved from http://terrya.edublogs.org/2006/07/17/an-educator-discovers-his-secondlife/

Rosedale, P. (2008). Second Life [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/the_inspiration_of_second_life.html.

Thornburg, D. D. (2009). Disruptive Technologies. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Wallace, M. (2006). Mitch Kapor on the Power of Second Life. 3pointD.com. Retrieved from http://www.3pointd.com/20060820/mitch-kapor-on-the-power-of-second-life/

Wong, G (2006) Educators explore ‘Second Life’ online. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/11/13/second.life.university/index.html