What kids learn in virtual worlds
By Stefanie Olsen
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
November 15, 2007 12:15 p.m. PST
Kids who are active members of virtual worlds are learning how to socialize, how to be technologically savvy, and how to be good little consumers.
That's according to a group of academics and researchers who met Wednesday evening at the University of Southern California to discuss the effects of virtual worlds on children today. Of course, virtual worlds are still so new that researchers haven't had much time to study their impact on kids. But the MacArthur Foundation, a sponsor of the panel discussion, has invested millions in research over the next several years to ask such questions.
Doug Thomas, associate professor at USC's Annenberg School of Communication, said during the panel that much of what's happening in virtual environments is informal learning. In many cases, kids are getting an early education with technology, learning how to be members of a citizenship and picking up skills that they'll need in the future workforce, Thomas said.
Read the rest of the story here.
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