Second Life, the Net Generation, E-book Readers and E-learning’s Market

Second Life

The BBC recently asked what has happened to Second Life, noting that media interest had ebbed away, and that that had affected some corporate investment because of a lack of publicity. Limitations on running SL on mobile devices were also not helping. They’re wrong, said Linden Labs, reporting a 23% increase in users over the last year, with 75,000 UK logins in October.

In its first virtual graduation ceremony the University of Edinburgh chose to use Second Life for certain students who couldn’t attend the traditional one. The degree: the Master’s in E-Learning.

Another ‘Second Life’ graduation took place at Bryant & Stratton College in the USA. You can view this graduation on YouTube here.

The Net Generation, Inhabitants and Visitors

I’ve mentioned before the research by Chris Jones and his team in the Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology; they investigated the net generation http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/netgeneration/ at the OU and in other higher education institutions. You may be interested too in a blog posting by David White at Oxford University on inhabitants and visitors.

E-book Readers

E-book readers continue to improve, it seems. Amazon announced an increase of 85% in Kindle battery life, plus native support for PDF format. Next summer’s Kindle will have audible menus and much bigger fonts, according to this Slashgear article.

The New York Times asked two novelists to try Kindles.  Joseph Finder liked “the convenience of being able to lug a huge pile of books in one slim device”. He found the screen readable but bemoaned the typography and lack of a decent index.  Lee Child thought there were advantages to having a consistent font.

E-learning’s Market

At a time when economic hardship looms, a Sheffield company has produced a report on the UK e-learning market in 2009.  The report suggests that the annual size of the UK e-learning industry is currently between £300m and £450m, with growth forecast at between 6.7% and 8% per annum.

David Hawkridge

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