Second Life, Educators, & Virtual Worlds

I’ve recently had the opportunity to help a faculty member and her course with Second Life. As a result, I’ve decided to take the opportunity to compile some resources that might be helpful for folks looking to get started using Second Life as an educational tool. There are plenty of educational resources in the way of educational communities, best practices, and sims already created for Second Life. The next several posts will serve as compilation of great educational resources and educational sims worth exploring.

For those people new to Second Life, it might serve to introduce the idea that Second Life (SL) is a virtual world.

What is a virtual world? That depends on who you ask. Virtual worlds are basically computer-generated 3-D environments in which participants are represented with “avatars” that they create. Avatars can have virtual analogs of traits and objects from the physical world–although this is definitely not a fast rule.

Examples of virtual worlds can range from 3-D online games, such as the SIMs and Warcraft, to non-game communities such as There, Active Worlds, Second Life, Croquet (an open source platform), and many, many others. There are other exciting virtual communities on the horizon, such as Uni-verse and Live Place (a cinematic-quality 3-D virtual space in development by the people who brought us Myspace).

For those interested in reading further, a great “state of virtual worlds” article can be found in the 2007 New Media Center Horizon Report @

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