Second Life in Education

Teaching in the metaverse? Today's college coeds have never known life without the Internet or personal computers. Likewise, today's children are growing up in 3-D learning environments with programs like the Sims and Whyville. Understanding the changing needs and natures of students today, universities have begun to address the technological opportunities now available for both instruction and research not only via the World Wide Web, but through 3-D virtual worlds. The engaging, immersive and interactive nature of these worlds is creating great opportunities to investigate and identify their uses in academia. One recent study discovered and explored the virtual presence of 170 accredited educational institutions with either operative or reflective campuses in Second Life (Jennings and Collins, 2007). They found that the three most common links in the institution’s Second Life lands connected users to websites that showcase their Second Life projects, to their main website, and to recruit new students. Most of the institutions own land and are researching the utility and limitations of the 3-D virtual worlds.

Second Life Educator Resources

These are just a few of the links to the many resources available to educators and researchers interested in using Second Life in their work. While the links below take you to helpful web sites, you will also find that once you're in Second Life, there are hundreds of virtual campuses representing respected institutions across the globe, most with open access. Take a moment to fly across the Princeton, Harvard, or Stanford virtual campuses, just to name a few, and potentially plan on attending an open lecture there.