In April 2007 I began participating in the Second Life ® virtual world. It started as an investigation to see what all the fuss was about. Since then I have greatly enjoyed and benefited from the discussions I have had with the diverse educators I have met. I participated in many organizations within SL; the Discovery Educator Network, ISTE and was active in developing Lighthouse Learning Island. Lighthouse Learning was a collaborative effort by four K12 school districts to provide teachers professional development on a wide range of educational topics, as well as, investigate the use of SL to facilitate student learning. Lighthouse closed its doors the summer of 2010 as grant funds dried up.
There is a tremendous amount of information available on the Second Life world and education, the resource list found here is very incomplete and just a starting point. I also created a guide to help introduce educators to the Second Life experience, there are earlier versions around but the current version is shown below.
The Second Life main grid was once for those 18 and over, the teen grid was for those 13 - 18 years of age. There were some active educational projects taking place on the teen grid. In January 2011, the teen grid closed and the minimum age on the main grid lowered to 16.
The Knowledge Base at the Second Life web site has lots of information to help you get started in exploring the Second Life experience.
This video is a basic Introduction to the Second Life world and this one offers a business perspective.
Second Life is not the only virtual world, here is a list of other virtual online worlds fromTechSoup.
This is a fun little video on Second Life, What would if be like if people act like avatars?
This website is a collecting point for Second Life Tutorials.
Doug Johnson's plan for an afternoon in SL. A good guide to get you started.
A Second Life for Educators T.H.E. Journal.
Joykaydia is the premier resource on education and the Second Life virtual world. If you only visit one location this is your destination.
ISTE has a created a venue for presentations, discussions and collaboration. ISTE host events for educators working in Second Life to share their experiences. The Thursday night social (6pm SLT) is a great way to meet people and participate in focused discussions on education.
Sloodle, Moodle for Second Life, has many resources that facilitate learning and instruction with in SL.
Simteach is another good resource that provides the Second Life Education Wiki.
The Annotated Bibliography of Second Life Educational Online Resources is also a great place to begin your exploration of Second Life.
Kevin Jarrett has a presentation on Second Life in Education. Kevin has also created K12 Online ConferencePresentation on Exploring Secondlife.
Motivating Online Learners
50 Tips and Tricks to Create a Learning Environment in Second Life