Interactive Science Museums in Second Life

Eloise Pasteur
E. Pasteur|03.10.08

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Interactive Science Museums in Second Life
As easy as PiI have a bit of an admission to make: I dislike museums. It's a weakness in a teacher, since they are often incredibly good resources for learning materials. But, in my opinion, they are, all too often, stale, dull places presenting information passively and failing to engage their users. The exception to this, and places in which I have spent happy hours from Life in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to Otago Museum, Dunedin, are the interactive science museums: the grand-daddy of them all being the Exploratorium in San Francisco. This isn't completely rambling: interactive museums are immersive, engaging learning experiences, and do the weird and wild from time to time. Surely Second Life would be a wonderful place for them to establish a presence, since so many educators are doing immersive education and the weird and wild in Second Life?

If you decide to search, don't go to the Exploratorium sim, as I did, go to it's neighbour Sploland instead: the Exploratorium sim looks like a workshop, whilst Sploland is a fully fledged exhibit. (Exploratium is open and is interesting too mind you, but it's not a fully-fledged exhibition/interactive experience and there's a fair bit of plywood around.) If you like this sort of thing, or are just curious, it's a great way to spend an hour or two. If, like me, you have bad memories of more traditional museums, there are moves afoot to shake things up there. The rather wonderful Museum 2.0 blog is one I love reading, and might be of interest to you as an educators or someone that wishes museums were better as well as the museum professionals.
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