Kids: Learning in Virtual Worlds
June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
Mind/Shift writer Audrey Watters knows that letting kids join the virtual world is a scary task for parents and teachers alike. In her latest piece, Watters acknowledges that there are many reason to distrust online communities (security and fear of cyberbullies/predators), but says that there are some redeeming qualities.
Virtual worlds are often dismissed as merely games and most do not claim to be educational websites. But there are plenty of informal learning opportunities for kids in these environments, particularly as these are often their first experiences with online communities. Participating in a virtual world can help kids learn how to communicate and behave online.
Watters also highlights the real-world benefits virtual communities have.
It’s this connection to community — again, on- and offline — that may be most one of the greatest benefits of virtual worlds. Despite fears about predators, virtual worlds do offer kids a place to experiment and expand socially. Virtual worlds give children an opportunity to participate in a large social environment, with people from all over the world, often unsupervised by their parents. That may sound scary to parents, but for kids, it can be very liberating.
What do you think of Watters views on the virtual world?
For more information, read the source here.