Education in Virtual Worlds

Folk High School in SL

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After spending a few weeks following activities in Transition Time I started the new year with a virtual walk round the island. It was night, cold and dark in real life, so I set the time of the day to midday and didn't need a coat because it is always summer in Transition Time. The walk started in the café, from there I went to the beach and round to the old buildings where the Folk High School is located. The buildings are going to be removed in the near future and a modern school is going to replace the old one.

 The Folk High School is something similar to  "evening classes for adults"  in England. But the Folk High School is more than that in Denmark because it is not only a school where adults can learn knitting, cooking, foreign languages or dancing in the evening. They have events and talks. Classes not only take place in the evenings in real life and for some courses the buildings are used as a kind of boarding school. The Folkehøjskole dates back to 1844, it is a Danish idea, Christen Kold, who was a follower of Gruntvig, is regarded as the founder of the Folk High School.

Nowadays many countries have a Folk High School, like Germany, France, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the USA and Nigeria. In many countries there is almost one school in every city. The schools and their work differ from country to country, but the main idea is to offer non- academic courses to everybody, no matter what  background or age people have. The school is sometimes also called "The People‘s University" In Germany the Volkshochschule charges a very small fee for courses because they are subsidized. They also have a department in some cities where young people get a second chance to finish secondary school. The school also has an impressive virtual Folk High School in SL. The Danish virtual Folk High School reaches disabled or elderly who can't leave their homes or hospitals. If people from other (less fortunate) countries speak the language, they can attend classes here. Shift workers also profit from the virtual school. Seeing how it all develops will be very interesting. And this is just one of the many things Transition Time has to offer.

 When I finished exploring the building I waked up to a green part where avatars can practice Tai-Chi, after taking a few pictures I continued my Sunday walk. My next stop was the bump car corner, I spent a few minutes driving before walking back in direction to the café. Before leaving, I entered the cinema and watched a really interesting film called  "Min Avatar Og Mig" (My avatar and me) while I  watched, I thought of the many people wondering what they could do on a cold and rainy day at home. Wouldn't it be marvellous to bring students, who live in different time zones, into this cinema and be able to watch a film together and discuss it afterwards sitting in the café outside with view of the sea? Going for a short holiday of two hours was not only relaxing, it turned out to be very inspiring. There are many things to write about Transition Time, so I will need another couple of months in Denmark. You will find out more about the film in my next article.