CyberOne: Law in the court of public opinion – Week 1

After reading Seely Brown and Adler (2008), Minds on fire: open education, the long tail and learning 2.0. from the innovative projects he mentioned; 

Terra Incognita,
Digital Study Hall,
CyberOne: Law in the court of public opinion
Faulkes Telescope project,
Hands on universe,
Bugscope project
The Decameron Web

For a personal relationship I have with the Law, my father was a lawyer and I remember having long discussions about the law as kid, adding to the mix a simple idea about creating a course to teach lay people the difference between Law & Justice and in a more concrete application to provide tools of what to do in front of a problem which it may involve the justice system (Being harassed, falsely accused, accident in a car, etc.), I chose the CyberOne: Law in the court of public opinion, just to see what a renowned university like Harvard is doing with technology.

To get to know better about the project I read the paper «The Case for Education in Virtual Worlds» (Neeson, Rebecca; Nesson, Charles, 2008) cited on Seely Brown and Adler paper.

The interesting points from this reading were,

How Harvard jumped into a very expensive and unproven technology of the time and also got some very high end media coverage.
From the onset of this paper I notice the lack of research on the tensions between distance and face to face education and very few references and a very subjective views.
The main problem is they did not constrain the problem to educational purposes but rather attempt to recreate life in a virtual world and se what we can learn from here.

I did not find any continuation of this particular program.
It faded away although there is a digital footprint in the shape of a blog: http://blogs.harvard.edu/cyberone/

Doing a research in the Library I found three papers and a book of how to set up SL,

1) The the book A practical Guide to using Second Life, (https://www-dawsonera-com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/abstract/9780335242153) is maybe the best approach to understand from their fiercest advocates the niceties of the program which in combination with found the tool itself, a very accessible OER where you can sign on for free and play along, https://secondlife.com/ anyone can have a go at what it is.

On a more academic note and with a more specific focus I found the “Second Life adoption in education: A motivational model based on Uses and Gratifications theory”(M. Dolores Gallego a, Salvador Bueno a, *, Jan Noyes; 2016) is the most relevant with regards to learning and innovation as the paper “analyse the motivation of Second Life users with regard to e-learning; and … propose a model that explains and predicts the adoption of Second Life in this context.”

The other two are of the more specific nature,
“Cognitive, social and teaching presence in a virtual world and a text chat” Traphagan, T. W. et al. (2010)
Interaction and space in the virtual world of Second Life. Berger, M., Jucker, A. H. and Locher, M. A. (2016)
This a technology that should be present in the mind of e-learning professionals but we have to consider its implementation can be tricky, it has a deceitful attraction that can easily digress from educational purpose to a mere shiny effect. I am not sure this technology is a good idea of creating a course to teach lay people the difference between Law & Justice I had in mind, but it was good to research about it.

Stay tuned!
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Berger, M., Jucker, A. H. and Locher, M. A. (2016) ‘Interaction and space in the virtual world of Second Life’, Journal of Pragmatics. Elsevier B.V, 101(C), pp. 83–100. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2016.05.009.

Traphagan, T. W. et al. (2010) ‘Cognitive, social and teaching presence in a virtual world and a text chat’, Computers & Education. Elsevier Ltd, 55(3), pp. 923–936. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.04.003.

Savin-Baden, Maggi (2010) A practical guide to using Second Life in higher education. Open University Press.