Thursday, February 08, 2007

Virtual interactive worlds for tweens and teens

Preteen or tween (ages 13 and under)....
Nickelodeon (the children's television network) has just released on the website a virtual world for tweens called "nickTropolis." After the success of SecondLife virtual world for adults there have been many websites for young teens (tweens) that have shown up on the Internet.....Disney is also releasing a virtual world on its website.

nickTropolis is an online world where tweens can create their own avatars (a virtual graphical body that is used to interact online in real time), interact through their avatars with other online tweens in real time. The site is a gaming playground for tweens, online video, tweens can furnish their own rooms and interact with online Nickelodeon characters.

Teens (ages 13 and over).... is an interactive world very, very similar to SecondLife but for young teens. More advanced and "adult like" than nickTropolis. allows its user community of digital avatars to: play (games), shop (in the digital stores or auctions), explore (the There island), chat (real time with other avatars in the There bars or clubs), create your own There dream home or fashion line and attend all of the online events within the There world.

Teen/tween Consumerism
The marketing community knows that the youth of today are their adult consumers of tomorrow. They have realized that this group of youth are more IT saavy than the previous generation. These tweens/teens have more disposable income and are also very, very comfortable communicating within a digital world.

Note: both websites have free membership and have a section for parents in regards to online safety. nickTropolis reports it has netsafe measures put in place that needs communication from the parent/caregiver.

Question: How does/will this impact how we educate and communicate with this group of students? Is it important as educators to be are aware of the trends that impact our students lives outside of the classroom?

........Real universities already have digital universities in the virtual world SecondLife........

No comments: