This is what college must look like down the rabbit hole. On Saturday, the New Media Consortium hosted an lecture by Howard Rheingold - in Second Life.
For those of you who have better things to do with your time, Second Life is a "3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents" (1,097,244 members as of today). Think of it as a proto-Matrix, without Mr. Smith.
Mr. Rheingold was speaking (mp3) on the "Pedagogy of Participation," arguing that changes in informational and communications technology produce new forms of civic engagement, and this co-evolution generates new expectations (over time) about what is effective participation.
Even though I doubt Congress will be holding virtual floor debates anytime soon, it struck me as an interesting innovation, and an interesting talk. Weird, but interesting.