I left this comment on the SLENZ blog in response to this post, and it is currently in their moderation queue. As an aside, do they seriously have comment moderation, on a comment with no links, in December of 2008? Seriously, throw in a Captcha, get Akismet, or get Mollom.
The text of my comment is below:
The argument that transformational change can occur in a closed system like Second Life rings hollow, given that they can close you down at their whim. If this was happening in an environment where you had real control over your data (like OpenCroquet or OSGrid or OpenSim) you might be on to something. But building courses in second life has a lot in common with attempting to build equity in a rented apartment (and yes, you get the middle class metaphor free of charge).
Also, re “the whole process of the creation of the SLENZ project has appeared to have been democratised, transparent and allowing input, albeit guided, from all.” — I love reading lines like this, because they describe what open source communities have been doing for years. Yet, somehow, when an academic notices it, or a technique gets applied to education, it becomes revolutionary and new. The same argument can be made about the similarity between MOOCS and open source communities.
While this was not included in the comment, I figured I'd include my favorite video that lays out some of the bigger issues with Second Life. It's an oldie, but goodie: