Walking in a vain

When we start about virtual worlds such as Second Life™ and the ways to use this environment for teaching, the possibilities are presumed endless. As far as I can see, only the first few steps are being taken now and as long as inspired people like Namro Orman are exploring the ways, the (near future) is promising.

Namro Orman, who is in daily life occupied being Coordinator of electronic Services of the Central Medical Library of the University Medical Center in Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands, has invited me to meet him at the Info Health Island in Second Life™ and to show me his latest idea.

In the loan is a huge red tube, bend in some places and as Namro asks me, I walk into the tube. The tube turns out to be a giant model of a human blood-vessel and after a few meters I am stopped by a door that is meant to figure a blood-valve. I have to answer two questions about “strokes” – A misfunctioning that includes the rapidly developing loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain.

When I have finally answered both questions correctly, which is not too easy for a medical nOOb like me, the blood-valve opens and lets me walk to the next. After passing three valves like these, a nice present awaits me! And, more important, I have learned a bit about strokes.
In case you would like to see me stumbling, watch the video here!

In this way, learning becomes enjoyable and very attractive. It gives many opportunities to use a vain like this in class, where the students can actually walk through a vessel, but also in other ‘parts’ of a human body and really see what it looks like. I can imagine, as also building in an environment like Second Life™ becomes more and more ‘like real’, the use of the Metaverse in teaching will become very valuable and we might have generations in our near future who will actually find it very common to learn within virtual worlds.

In case you would like to check out the place and do the strokes-quiz yourself, visit: Healthinfo Island (110, 152, 22) in Second Life™

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