How many virtual worlds
are out there?
Here is a short review of some of
the most popular Role Playing
Games (RPG’s) and how they can
be used for educational purposes.
WWW.HANDIPOINTS.COM- and personal management. Task and chores lists to be followed and completed online
Possible lessons: Verbs, counting, commands, feedback, management, and lessons on the time.
WWW.LOLASLAND.COM– Girls (8-12) will enjoy Lola guiding them through her world, and help you build your!
Possible lessons: Apply descriptions, steps to the process, colors, shapes, parts of the house, parts of the body, greetings, introductions.
WWW.VIZWOZ.COM– Great engagement game for ESL/EFL. Create characters and avatars, invite friends, and challenge characters for “money.”
Possible lessons: Descriptions of self, items of clothing, parts of the worlds, LingTECHlingo (command vocabulary), and introductions/greetings. It is also FREE!
WWW.WHIRLED.COM– Pronounced “world” for “whirled” it is an avatar-based RPG where you “start off as a piece of tofu” and then move on to make a world of your own.
Possible lessons: Commands, parts of the house, greetings and salutations, descriptions of self, computer basic terminology, colors, shapes, sizes, and names of odd objects not taught in textbooks.
www.smallworlds.com-Similar to Second Life, Smallworlds will allow students to RP and create avatars as well. I find smallworlds.com to be a bit easier to follow than Second Life.
Possible lessons: Commands, parts of the house, greetings and salutations, descriptions of self, computer basic terminology, colors, shapes, sizes, and names of odd objects not taught in textbooks, basic dialogue, “what do you like?”, sports, hobbies, and urban terms.
www.ourworld.com– This RPG looks like a manga or anime virtual world where dialogue can be added on speech bubbles. It has upgradable options for challenges, and (like Second Life and Smallworld) it is based on 2D avatars.
www.cartoondollemporium.com– A dress up game for tweens (and adults young at heart) this game is a great opportunity to keep focus through sustained attention while directly targeting vocabulary for dressing up, parts of the face, grooming, and much more!
www.clubpenguin.com – This avatar-based site saves you the trouble of having to “dress up” too much as all the characters are, well, penguins. I know this is definately kid-approve, since I have found myself kindly asking small users to QUIT or ELSE. 🙂
Possible lessons: Commands, parts of the house, greetings and salutations, descriptions of self, computer basic terminology, basic dialogue, sports, hobbies and animal names.
www.whyville.com– Whyville is directed towards the 8-12 (Middle school, Upper Elem) population. It is a game which, like Second Life, has received reviews and research-based reasons why it is educational.
Possible lessons: Application of LingTECHlingo, parts of the body, greetings and salutations, descriptions of self, computer basic terminology, basic dialogue, sports, hobbies, and common expressions.
www.woogiworld.com– This is another tween social network based out of a 2D platform, and it is free. The good thing about Woogi is that you can play instantly. Similarly to the reviewed sites, you can learn dialogue, invite friends, and practice basic vocabulary in English.
Reference help desk:
CLICK HERE FOR AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY ON Recent Research in Virtual Worlds and Computer-based learning for education.
Research Articles on using SECOND LIFE in the classroom
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