My colleague and university Web pro Jim Parker is teaching a class this semester on virtual communities. His experience yesterday, described below, illustrated marvelously that yes, virtual communities are becoming integral to learning on campus and that students are interested in discussing and learning about these topics in non-virtual (formally known as real world) communities, too.
Yesterday was the 2nd day of class. When I came into the class one student informed me that she wanted to sit in the class to see if she wanted to take it or not. I said I had no problem with her doing so. Maybe 15 minutes in class she asked me if there was room in the class for even more people. I didn’t really understand but said yes. While class was going on, she went online and registered for the class.
Now for the cool part. Not only had she registered for the class but she had either IM’ed or text messaged a friend of hers and told them to sign up for the class. Before the class was over, the other student had registered and came to class. I was just amazed. Welcome to the world of web 2.0 or whatever.