Educational Uses of Second Life


PLEASE NOTE: this resource is no longer updated. It is here for archival purposes only.


The unique qualities of a 3D virtual worlds can provide opportunities for rich sensory immersive experiences, authentic contexts and activities for experiential learning, simulation and role-play, modelling of complex scenarios, a platform for data visualisation and opportunities for collaboration and co-creation that can not be easily experienced using other platforms.

Second Life is completely user-generated 3D environment that comes with relatively easy-to-use building and scripting tools that anyone can learn. This makes it an ideal platform for engaging students in creating their own learning activities, experiences and environments, and not just be passive consumers of learning.

About this Resource

This is an overview of some of ways Second Life can be used, and in some cases, has been used for educational purposes. See Further Resources at the bottom of this page for links to more examples and other resources.

We have interpreted the term 'education' very liberally, since, like in real life, learning can occur when 'education' isn't deliberately happening. We see all of Second Life itself as a learning environment. Also, many of the projects listed are not educational projects per se... but point to ways that Second Life can be used in education.

Categories Index

Distance and Flexible Education

Second Life provides an excellent platform for flexible delivery and online education. Students and facilitators can come together in-world to share information and resources via slides, audio and video, engaging in discussions, presentations, group projects and explorations.

berkman.jpgCyber One: Law in the Court of Public Opinion

Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society presents a course on the creation and delivery of persuasive argument in the new integrated media space constituted by the Internet and other new technologies. The course uses Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs and extension students meet in Second Life on Berkman Island (SLurl).

The class has held mock trials in-world, including one based on the real life situation of Josh Wolf who was jailed for refusing to turn over videotapes he recorded during a street demonstration. (Watch a YouTube video about the mock trial).

Watch the course introduction on the YouTube video - Harvard Extension School in Second Life, or a tour of the Harvard Extension School in Second Life on or get more information on the website - CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion.

middletown.jpgSecond Life Writing: ENG104 at Ball State University

Sarah Robbins (Intellagirl Tully in Second Life) of Ball State University used Second Life to teach an English class focussed on writing for academic research in 2006. The course was a hybrid course with at least half of the class time spent online, based at Middletown (SLurl), which is sponsored by Ball State's Center for Media Design Educational Environments. Visitors were welcome to observe the class.

English 104 applied the fundamentals of rhetoric to the research process, introducing students to methods of research. The many communities of Second Life provided students with rich opportunites for observation, research and interaction with other cultures, as well as many interview subjects for use in their writing.

Read more in the article Ball State students immersed in virtual world to study cultures or on the class website ENG104 in Second Life.

Presentations, Panels and Discussions

Second Life's ability to create a sense of presence, shared space and shared experience makes it ideal for presentations, panels and discussions. Presenters can show slides and videos and stream their voices into the world.

nmc2.jpgNew Media Consortium (NMC) Campus

The New Media Consortium (NMC) Campus (SLurl) is the largest educational prescence in Second Life and supports events, classes, demonstrations, art exhibitions and learning experiences.

The NMC Campus has hosted a number of speakers including Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, who talked about The Pedagogy of Civic Participation; Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture, who talked about participatory culture and Daniel Reed, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, who gave presentation on Computing the Future: The 3-D Net (PDF).

Additionally, the NMC have hosted a number of real life conference session and associated events in Second Life, using streaming technologies to broadcast real life proceedings in-world. These have included the NYLC National Service-Learning Conference (with the support of Global Kids), the TCC Online Conference, HASTAC's (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) Integration conference and the EDUCAUSE Focus Session on Immersive Learning Environments.

NMC Teacher Buzz: The NMC also supports Teacher Buzz, a series of regular, informal discussion sessions for practicing teachers using Second Life, and those interested in developing strategies for using Second Life in teaching and learning. Recent Teacher Buzz sessions have included Digital Storytelling in Second Life, Composing Second Life and Immersion in Virtual Morocco. Read transcripts of Teacher Buzz sessions on the NMC Wiki or reports on Teacher Buzz activities via the NMC Campus Blog.

(Note: To visit the NMC Campus you will need to join the NMC Campus Guests Group in Second Life. This will allow you to teleport to their sim. See the Second Life Knowledge Base for further information on joining Groups.)

infiniteminds2.jpg'The Infinite Mind' in Second Life - Through the Looking Glass

The Infinite Mind is a US-based weekly public radio program which covers a range of topics including the art and science of the human mind and spirit, behaviour and mental health. In October 2006, they produced and broadcast the first ever real life radio shows from a virtual world.

Titled Through the Looking Glass, the 4 part series included radio/in-world presentations on Virtual Communities, Virtual Culture, Virtual Music and The Transmission of Experience. Each of the shows were taped (in-part) in Second Life in front of a live virtual audience at the Infinite Minds' Virtual Broadcasting Center (SLurl), which includes functioning recording studios, listening and screening rooms and an amphitheater where broadcasts were taped.

Watch John Maeda in Second Life with The Infinite Mind (Part 1), watch The Infinite Mind & Suzanne Vega, or watch a video of author Kurt Vonnegut's appearance.

darfur3.jpgCrisis in Darfur with Mia Farrow and Guests

An in-world briefing on the genocide in Darfur organised by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum held in front of a virtual replica of the museum which included a dramatic exhibit of photographs depicting the genocide emergency in Darfur.

Speakers included Mia Farrow - actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, John Heffernan - Director of the Genocide Prevention Initiative for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience, Ronan Farrow - human rights activist and freelance journalist, Ron Haviv - award-winning photojournalist and the moderator, Bill Lichtenstein - president of Lichtenstein Creative Media.

Watch a Google Video of the event or read more about it here - Live from Second Life: Crisis in Darfur with Mia Farrow and Guests.

info2.jpgInfoisland: Second Life Library Presentations and Discussion Groups

The Alliance Second Life Library project is exploring the use of virtual worlds to promote and provide online library services. They have established InfoIsland (SLurl) and support a range of events, discussions, displays and presentations.

For further information on InfoIsland and in the Second Life Library Project see the Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums section below.

Recent presentations, panels and discussions include:

YALSA Teen Tech Week Panel Discussion in Second Life: The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) held Teen Tech Week in March 2007, a celebration aimed at getting teens to use their libraries for the different technologies that are offered there. As part of the celebrations, YALSA invited libraries to setup computers with access to the Second Life Teen Grid for young people to use, and also held a number of panel discussions in Second Life on a range of topics including Connecting Schools and Libraries with Teens and Technology, Game Design, Publishing and Technology and Using Videography With Teens. Listen to MP3 recordings of some of the panel sesssions.

ALA Washington's Second Life Program: The ALA (American Library Association) Washington's invited Virtual Virtual Legend aka David Lankes from Syracuse University presented a paper titled Participatory Networks: Libraries as Conversations to over 60 librarians at InfoIsland in February 2007. Watch a video of the Virtual Legend's appearance in Second Life or access the transcript of the event for further information.

Researching American Revolutionary War Military Records: Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG, a professional genealogical and historical researcher gave a presentation on Researching American Revolutionary Military War Records at the Open Air Auditorium on InfoIsland in November 2006. The presentation was followed by an openhouse session at the InfoIsland Geneology Research Centre.

Book Discussions on InfoIsland: InfoIsland reguarly hosts book discussions in Second Life, with residents able to meet, sometimes with authors, in Second Life to discuss a range of works. Recent discussions include Waiting for the Other Gumshoe to Drop - series discussions on classic detective mysteries and discussion of a range of novels including Steven King’s The Stand, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell.

Training and Skills Development

The Second Life platform allows for the development of a range of strategies and spaces for training and skills development. Users can access a range of training options in Second Life - both useful in the virtual worl and in real life!

thomsonnetg.jpgThomson Netg Training

Thomson Netg (SLurl) offers training in Cisco and Microsoft Certification, business development, sales and customer service skills.

The company uses Second Life to run live classes, to provide mentorship and to offer on-demand training with individualised media and streamed audio and video presentations or podcasts. They use the unique qualities of the a shared 3D space to allow students to interact with technology demonstrations and to enact elaborate role plays.

Watch a YouTube video - A tour of Thomson NETg in Second Life or read more on Second Life | Success Stories.

sailing.jpgLearning to Sail in Second Life

Second Life has numerous sailing clubs where residents can learn to sail including the Sanchon Sailing Centre (SLurl) and the Nantucket Yacht Club (SLurl).

As this article - Sailors take skills learned in Second Life to Real Life - reports, residents have learned sailing skills and principles in Second Life and transferred them into real life sailing skills.

Watch a YouTube video Sailing in Second Life or visit the Second Life Sailing Federation website.

Self-paced Tutorials

The in-built building and scripting tools in Second Life allow for the creation of sophisticated self-paced tutorials, allowing residents to learn both real world and Second Life skills.

ohio.jpgOhio University Second Life Campus Learning Kiosks

Multiple "Learning Kiosks" at the "Learning Center" (SLurl) provide a scalable method for building modularized learning with a variety of support resources and media. Each kiosk will hold unique learning content for blended or stand-alone learning experiences. A prototype learning experience is currently available in the learning center as part of the blend for students in John Stinson's "Managing in the Innovation Age" course.

This promotional video on YouTube for the Ohio University Second Life Campus features the learning kiosks.

More on the work of Ohio University's Vital Lab - Second Life Development - VITAL Lab

orientationisland.jpgSecond Life Tutorials

The self-paced tutorials below are Second Life specific, but they show how self-paced tutorials can be set up for other subject areas as well.

Orientation Island Public: Orientation Island (SLurl) offers self-paced tutorials on the basics of Second Life, such as how to move around, how to change you appearance and how to communicate.

The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives Building Tutorials: The Ivory Tower (SLurl) provides in-world, self-guided, self-paced, visual tutorials of the Second Life building tools. Second Life residents are able to work through this detailed virtual tutorial at their own pace, developing the skills they need when they need them. It is a great spot to get a crash course in building or to brush up on building skills.

Texture Tutorials by Robin (Sojourner) Wood: Robin (Sojourner) Wood's comprehensive, self-paced, in-world Texture Tutorials (SLurl) teach how to texture objects and avatars in Second Life.

Clive Pro's LSL Scripting Tutorial: Linden Scripting Language (LSL) is the programming language used to control the behavior of objects in Second Life. Clive Pro of Bromley College, UK, has created an interactive, self-directed scripting tutorial (SLurl) that not only teaches LSL, but introduces learners to some of the concepts of programming.

The Particle Laboratory: Second Life's particle system enables residents to create burning fires, glistening waterfalls, vapor trails on jet fighters, tracers on bullets, explosions, fireworks, billowing smoke, rainbows, the occasional macabre spurt of blood and much more. The Particle Laboratory (SLurl) provides in-depth explanations, tips, and suggestions on how to create particles, and a demonstration for all particle control settings.

Displays and Exhibits

Second Life residents are creating displays and exhibits on a broad range of subject areas. Using images, text and multimedia they are able to create dynamic, interactive displays and exhbits which avatars can move in and interact with.

spaceport.jpgThe International Spaceflight Museum

The International Spaceflight Museum hosts exhibits and events about real-world spacecraft, rockets, and space travel at their two islands in Second Life - Spaceport Alpha (SLurl) and Spaceport Bravo (SLurl). Exhibits on Spaceport Alph include the The Rocket Ring, Second Life Planetarium , a Telescope Training Game , a model space shuttle, a re-creation of the Apollo 11 moon landing site , a space station and planet exhibits; whilst Spaceport Bravo hosts detailed exhibits of the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), the Space Shuttle, new rockets and a full-size version of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

The International Spaceflight Museum also hosts regular events including lectures and demonstrations and streaming video of rocket launches.

Watch a Virtualbridges tour of The Rocket Ring at YouTube - The Rocket Ring - Intl's Spaceflight Museum or get more information at the International Spaceflight Museum website .

exploratorium.jpgExploratorium's Sploland and Splo Museum

The Exploratorium - the museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco has created an interactive science museum in Second Life which allows residents to explore art and science whilst having fun. They have established two locations - their original Splo Museum at Midnight City (SLurl) and a dedicated Island, Sploland (SLurl).

The Splo Museum spaces house more than 100 exhbits including optical illusions and perception exhibits (SLurl), a 3D map of the nearest stars (SLurl), the Pie Ride (SLurl) and a Distorted Room (SLurl). Residents can also ride Halley's Comet as it makes it's way around the sun, or ride one of the other planets in the Splo Solar System at the Orbital Experience (SLurl).

Watch a video tour of Sploland, read the paper: Creating Museum Content and Community in Second Life or find out more on the Exploratorium's Virtual Worlds website.

alzheimers.jpgRemember Me - Alzheimer's Exhibit on InfoIsland

Remember Me (SLurl) is an exhibition of a series of photographs by Canadian photographer Cathie Coward that gives visitors a sense of what it's like to be part of the Alzheimer's community. It was created in Second Life by the Alzheimer's Association of Ontario and supported by the Second Life Library 2.0 project, and is housed at the Info Island Exhibit and Displays building.

The exhibit includes a podcast station where visitors can listen to the 'Talk for Memories' podcast, an information point that includes links to additional web-based information and a link to 'Coffee and Prayer,' a video documentary about Alzheimer's disease. Visitors can also walk through 'Head Space,' a life-sized, multi-coloured brain scan sculpture, engage in kinetic poetry or practice their recall with the Memory Board game.

Read a report on the launch of the exhibit or watch a GoogleVideo - Media Walkthrough of ASO Exhibit in Second Life.

Immersive Exhibits

Immersive Exhbits in Second Life allow residents to engage in, experience and respond to information in context, allowing for a deeper understanding of places, situations or circumstances.

heartmurmur.jpgThe Heart Murmur Sim

The Heart Murmur Simulation (SLur) by Jeremy Kemp was built as a proof of concept experiment that provides a cardiac training space where participants visit six patients, listen to their heart rhythms and make a diagnosis.

To access the sound files participants 'wear' a Heart Sim Badge and move through the diagnosis rooms, interacting with the 'patients' to identify the sounds of a healthy heart.

Watch a YouTube video - Second Life - Heart Murmur Sim or read a blog post Heart Murmur Sim, Assessment of Learning in SL- Interview with a Man in a Surgical Mask.

hallucinations.jpgUC Davis' Virtual Hallucinations

The UC Davis Virtual Hallucinations facility in Second Life (SLurl) is designed to give visitors a better understanding of schizophrenia by simulating the experience of the visual and aural hallucinations associated with schizophrenia based on interviews with real schizophrenics.

It can be used to train medical students, nursing students and hospital staff and give the caregivers and loved ones of patients a better understanding of the world sufferers live in.

For further information read UC Davis Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences' Virtual hallucinations project overview, a blog post on the project or Education About Hallucinations Using an Internet Virtual Reality System: A Qualitative Survey; or listen to a podcast - Psychiatry and Second Life.

Roleplays and Simulations

Second Life allows students to undertake a range of role-plays and simulations, practicing real life skills in a virtual space or exploring situations that they could not undertake safely or easily in the real world.

gipps.jpgGippsTAFE's Paluma Resort Project

Undertaken in 2006, the GippsTAFE Victoria's (Australia)'Virtual Worlds – Real Learning!' project explored how Second Life could be used to achieve real life learning outcomes. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students completed their 'Work Related Skills' unit by 'becoming' the staff at Paluma Bay Resort, a virtual holiday resort students and staff built in Second Life.

The project culminated in 'tourists' from across Victoria, Australia and oversees visiting the resort and undertaking activities coordinated and managed by the 'staff' - the VCAL students.

For further information read an article on the project - Can Vocational Education Learning Outcomes be Achieved in SL?, or watch videos from the Project Report including the Project Overview video, or a video on the Benefits and Outcomes of the project.

goldrush2.jpgGold Rush

Gold Rush! is a simulation game based on the California Gold Rush experience. It is conducted in the 3-D virtual reality platform of Second Life, which allows the players to interactively "change" the structure and outcome of the game.

By using this interactive platform, students are able to stake claims, claim jump, experience risks and rewards, create entrepreneurial businesses and develop social relationships.

Read more on the Gold Rush website.

hydro.jpgHydro Hijinks Diplomacy Game

The diplomacy game Hydro Hijinks is a class project from Montgomery College designed to promote discussion about international water issues and to educate players from around the world about sources of international conflict over water rights.

The project was awarded second place in the University of Southern California’s (USC) Reinventing Public Policy Through Games competition in 2006.

Watch a walkthrough video on YouTube - Hydro Hijinks Version 2.

play2train.jpgPlay2Train - Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program

Play2Train is the Second Life component of the Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program designed to train emergency personnel for emergency preparedness. The virtual environment is a disaster simulator spreads over two islands, with one island dedicated to a virtual town and the other a virtual hospital. It comes complete with hospitals, helicopters, fire trucks and restaurants which can blow up at a moment's notice.

Visit the Play to Train website, watch a video - Emergency Preparedness Training in Secondlife, listen to Who's on Second? Podcast - Episode Nine - The Island Where Anything Can Go Wrong or visit the Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program's blog.

ucdavis.jpgUC Davis Medical Center's Emergency Workers Simulation-based Training

Entrepreneur Kimberly Rufer-Bach and her consulting group 'The Magicians' worked with staff from the University of California-Davis's Health Informatics Program to develop a virtual training environment in the Second Life, which was funded by the Center for Disease Control.

The goal of the project was to prepare, train and aid emergency workers in a simulated setting before they are called on to help in a real-world crisis.To achieve this, more than 80 detailed objects based on photos of the actual objects and locations were created for use in simulations which included the deployment of emergency medical clinics, which would distribute antibiotics in case of biological attack.

View the CNET video - Saving lives in the virtual world - CNET

seton.jpg Managing Virtual Teams - Industrial and Organizational Psychology in Second Life

In 2006, Students studying Industrial and Organisational Psychology at Seton Hall University used Second Life to explore the process of building and managing virtual teams by roleplaying as employees of a virtual public relations firm. The course included presentations from experts on virtual team management, a number of scaffolded activities in Second Life including a structured scavenger hunt.

Read the post - Supporting Virtual Teams in Second Life: Seton Hall NMC presentation or view a presentation slideshow - Supporting Virtual Teams Using Second Life.

Data Visualisations and Simulations

Advanced scripting and building tools built into the Second Life platform allow for the development of complex data visualisations and simulations.

noaa.jpgNational Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceoanographic and Atmospheric Adminsitration's (NOAA) Island (SLurl) features a real-time visualisation of the US weather, a tsunami simulation , a ride through a hurricane and a simulation showing the effect of melting glaciers on the ocean level. The island is designed as a space to promote scientific discussion on climate issues and allows residents to experience the environment in ways they couldn't in the real world.

Watch a YouTube video - NOAA's Virtual Island or a Tsunami Simulation, view a pictorial tour - Jeff Barr’s Blog » Second Life Tour: The NOAA/ESRL Virtual Island or visit the NOAA website - NOAA/ESRL's Virtual Education Demonstration for more information.

seifert2.jpgSeifert Surface’s Mathematical Sculptures

Seifert Surface (Henry Segerman in RL) generates mathematical sculptures illustrating mathematical concepts such as knots, ruled surfaces, fractals, and Serpinksi Triangles. Each sculpture comes with an explanatory notecard, which details the mathematical concepts and inspiration behind each work.

The sculptures can be viewed on the roof of the NMC Campus Welcome Center (SLurl) or at Seifert's Sculpture Garden at the Future Sim (SLurl)

For more information visit Henry Segerman's Second Life website, read an article on 'Hyperformalism in Second Life' or read an article on 'Math in Second Life'.

biddulph.jpgMatt Biddulph's Cellular Visualisations

Matt Biddulph was recently contracted by the scientific journal to render gigantic island-sized bacteria so that scientists can walk around on their own cellular models.

In this video of Matt Biddulph at the Google Open Source Code Jam he discusses ideas for using Second Life for the visualisation of scientific data and other practical applications of the 3D environment to science.

Read more at - Second Life - The Invasion of the Bacteria and Building Bacteria in Second Life at +K.

s&p.jpgS&P 500 Visualized in Second Life

Created by Leon Atkinson on Clear Ink Island (SLurl), the S&P 500 display is an immersive, 3D, real-time representation of the S&P 500 - Standard and Poor's world-renowned index of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy.

The display includes a field of blocks, each representing a different stock. Each block grows or strinks in height according to the market value. As values go down, the column turns red. As values go up, the column turns green. Blue columns haven't changed in price.

For more information read S&P500 Visualized in Second Life.

wimbledon.jpgIBM's Real-time Display of Tennis Tournaments

Commencing in October 2006, IBM have been working on a proof of concept for tracking real world data of actual tennis matches in Second Life. Matches from the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon have been displayed in Second Life, using data which has traditionally been used to feed the tournament websites.

Most recently, IBM have created a mini-Wimbledon 2007 in Second Life, which includes includes an RSS weather feed globe, a data-tracking tennis court that appears to reproduces each shot, a tennis shop where residents can get free tennis clothing and merchandise and a range of videos and information about Wimbledon and IBM. Residents can visit virtual Wimbledon on IBM 7 (SLurl).

For further information read the article (with videos) SMH: MashUp: Tennis in Second Life, watch a YouTube video - IBM Second Life Australian Open, read the article More Tennis in Second Life - Roland Garros, read the blog post Wimbledon in Second Life or watch a YouTube video - Wimbledon 2007 in Second Life.

genome.jpgGenome Island

Developed by Professor Mary Anne Clark aka Max Chatnoir, a Professor at Texas Wesleyan University, Genome Island (SLurl) is focussed on using Second Life to teach genetics. Using the building and scripting tools in Second Life, she has created laboratories where students can take part in virtual experiments that produce analyzable data. The Island is also designed as a place where students and other residents can meet and talk with professional geneticists. The Island includes a range of interesting areas, including:
  • the Abbey of Saint Thomas in Mendel's Garden (SLurl) which is focussed on the laws of inheritance, which were discovered by Johann Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century
  • the Tower (SLurl), which includes a Genes are DNA (Hershey-Chase) Experiment, DNA Models, a virtual DNA Sequencer, a model of the human chromosome and also includes quizes, notecards and links to additional information
  • the Terrace (SLurl) - which houses a giant model of a Eukaryatoic Cell which residents can enter and interact with
  • the Gene Pool (SLurl) which is situated by a lovely virtual pond and includes a series of displays which illustrate Protein Synthesis.

Visit Professor Clark's Class pages for more information on her courses in Second Life, read SLNN - Swimming in the Gene Pool, or read an Interview about the genetic revolution of Second Life. Dr. Clark also produces music based on protein sequences, which she has presented in Second Life.

Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums

Second Life currently hosts a range of Libraries, Art Galleries and Museums where residents can engage in events, discussions, and displays on a wide range of topics.

For further information on Museum Content in Second Life see: Archives & Museum Informatics: Museums and the Web 2007: Papers: Rothfarb and Doherty, Creating Museum Content and Community in Second Life.

library.jpgSecond Life Library 2.0 Project

The Second Life Library 2.0 project is supported by Alliance Library System and Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL) and currently co-ordinates 14 islands or sims dedicated to libraries, museums and education in Second Life. The project is aiming to extend the traditional programs currently offered online to librarians and library users into 3D virtual worlds, and supports a range of programs and Institutions in exploring these concepts in Second Life. The Second Life Library Project supports a number of spaces and projects including:

  • InfoIsland (Slurl): the main Second Life Library space provides a portal to the various spaces and projects going on within the Second Life Library archipeligo.
  • InfoIsland 2 (SLurl): is generally dedicated to hosting exhibits and displays.
  • HealthInfo Island (SLurl): is focussd on mapping existing health information services and support groups operating in Second Life and to provide support and resources for those projects.
  • Cybrary City (SLurl) and Cybrary City 2 (SLurl): Supported by Alliance Systems and Tallis, the Cybrary Islands are dedicated to to providing a space for participating libraries from around the world to showcase their local resources in Second Life.

For further information visit the Second Life Library 2.0 Blog or the InfoIsland Myspace, watch Rik Riel's Skating Tour of InfoIsland on YouTube, read the article Enjoying Your First Life? Why Not Add a Second? Developing Library Services in Second Life or visit the Second Life Library Worksite. Additionally, see the:Panels and Discussions section above.

eye4you.jpgEye4You Alliance Island in Teen Second Life

The Eye4You Alliance project aims to offer library services to teens on the Second Life Teen Grid, and provides a virtual space for teens to come together to engage in streamed audio and video of authors, politicians, or other teen related speakers; to participate in classes taught by teens and adults; to engage in book discussions, walk-throughs of book or movie scenes; to create and view machinima, art displays, music and drama performance; and to participate in social activities such as contests, parties and dancing.

The Eye4You Project also aim to provide opportunities for other youth serving organisations to explore uses of Second Life.

For further information visit the Eye4You Alliance Blog, read the Eye4You Alliance MySpace or view the article Teen Library in Second Life.

ars.jpgArs Virtua's Gallery and Artist's Residency

Sponsored by the Cadre Laboratory for New Media, Ars Virtua (Slurl) is a new media center and gallery located in Second Life. Since it does not physically exist artists are not limited by physics, material budgets, building codes or landlords.

Ars Virtua aims to host twelve exhibitions per year, with the support of one full-time curator. However, the gallery is also supported by guest curators and the Ars Virtual Artist in Residence program which provides a stipend, exhibition space and mentorship to four artists per year.

For further information, visit the Ars Virtua website, or read a blog post about Kliger Dinkin - Ars Virtua's first artist-in-residence.

osmosa.jpgOpen-Source Museum of Open-Source Art (OSMOSA)

Created by a group of students from Brown University, the OSMOSA Museum was an Open Source Museum of Open Source Art - eg. a museum that was entirely in the public domain.

Anyone could add, modify, or remove art from OSMOSA. Additionally, anyone could add, modify, or remove elements of the OSMOSA building. The project creators' goal is to re-imagine definitions of art, artist, curator, museum, culture, and open source.

For further information visit the OSMOSA Wiki, visit the OSMOSA Blog, read the blog post OSMOSA - opening night for an open source museum... or read the blog post Open-Source Museum Opens in Second Life.

Historical Re-creations and Re-enactments, Living and Immersive Archeology

The Second Life platform allows for the creation of amazing, immersive environments based on historical places and events. These environments can be used for a range of learning activities including role-plays, action learning and research and historical study.

roma.jpgRoma - Ancient Rome

Don a toga and learn about living in ancient Rome on the Roma sim (SLurl) created by Torin Golding as you visit the Roman Forum (Fori Romani) and Senate, the Roman Baths, Caligula's Palace, a gladiator's arena, the chariot races, The Temple of Zeus, a giant legion fortress and the open marketplace. Displays and notecards give background information on the structures and on the lifestyles and politics of its inhabitants.

Watch the A tour of Roma: virtual ancient Rome build on Blip.TV, read Jo Kay's photo tour - Learning at Virtual Roma or read a review at Real World Places in Second Life #13: Ancient Rome.

caledon.jpgThe Independent State of Caledon

The Independent State of Caledon (SLurl) is a 19th Century steampunk themed estate owned by Second Life resident Desmond Shang. Generally, period clothing and behavior are encouraged and welcomed, but not required. The welcome notecard which residents receive on arrival at Caledon states 'the Independent State of Caledon is a 19th century themed nation-state...a small, windswept forested country at a temperate latitude. Wild creatures, country estate life, sights and sounds that were common well over 100 years ago are the hallmark of the land. 19th century period clothing, politeness, and activities are smiled upon, but 'just being yourself' is more than good enough.

The government of Caledon is described as 'an expansionist monarchy, supported by a strong aristocracy (i.e., residents)'. It can sometimes described as a micronation, and currently spans more than 15 different sims and is supported by about 250 residents.

To find out more, read a blog post - The Independant State of Caledon, read about the Independent State of Caledon on the SL History Wiki, read the Slatenite article - Caledon: Genteel Manners in a 19th Century "Steampunk" Victorian World, read about the history of this community via the Caledon Community forums or watch My Home in Caledon on Youtube.

cds.jpgConfederation of Democratic Simulators - Neufreistadt and Colonia Nova

The Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS) is the over-arching government and administrative body that manages the Neufreistadt (SLurl) and Colonia Nova regions. The focus of the project is on enabling ownership of high-quality public, private, and open-space land; creating a themed community of public and private builds; and implementing democratic forms of self government within Second Life.

Neufreistadt (SLurl) is a medieval Bavarian themed region and is modelled after a real life Bavarian city with a surrounding valley. It was the first region in the CDS. There are many intersting spaces worth visiting at Neufreistadt including: the Neufreistadt Museum of Contemporary Art which aims to support the culture of the CDS community, the Schloss (Castle) which includes a grand ballroom and the Kirche (Church) which is a community space used for many purposes including weekly discussions on religion and philosophy.

Colonia Nova opened in October 2006 and is a a Roman themed region. It includes a range of interesting Roman themed venus including the Thermae (Roman Bath) and the Amphitheatre. Within the city walls, a number of plots are available for rent to Second Life residents, arranged into separate classes, including stalls (strictly commercial land) and "insulae", which are a mix of commercial and residential plots meant to represent the dwellings where the lower classes would reside.

For further information visit the Confederation of Democratic Simulators website, read the Confederation of Democratic Simulators entry on the SL Wiki, read the article Neufreistadt gets the new legal system approvedor view images of Neufreistadt's 6th Term Opening Session on Flickr. You can also visit the Neufreistadt website or the Official Blog of Colonia Nova, read the article Colonia Nova: Civilization on the frontiers of Second Life, or read the blog post - Museum of Contemporary Art at Neufreistadt.

See also:

steampunk.jpgThe Steampunk Project

The Steampunk Project is an ambitious teaching and learning adventure created by Megan Conklin at Elon University where students answer important questions about science and technology by participating in a historical game set in 19th-century England. The project is now at version 7, with extensive teacher and student resources available via the Steampunk Project website.

For further information visit the Teaching about Cyberculture wiki page which includes resources for the "Imagining Technology: Computers and Contemporary Culture"course or read Megan Conklin's Metaverse Blog.

isis.jpgTemple of Isis

Created by Second Life resident Aura Lily, the Temple of Isis (SLurl) is an immersive replica of the real life Temple of Isis of Ancient Egypt. Using maps drawn by one of Napoleon's artist engineers, she's also working on an accurate recreation of temples and buildings on the Island of Philae.

The temple includes a range of Egyptian wares that are for sale, as well as the throne room, the upper temple which contains Egyptian artifacts, statues and detailed hieroglyphs and a secret mummies tomb.

For further information view Pathfinder Linden's flickr photo set - Temple of Isis - the architecture and culture of Ancient Egypt or read the blog post Visit with Aura Lily.

Computer Studies

aesthetic.jpgAesthetic Computing Class

As part of Dr. Paul Fishwick's Aesthetic Computing class at the University of Florida students had to create some part of a computer program and represent it in 3D with user interaction. The original programming language could have been anything from Linden Scripting Language (LSL) to Java, Python or Lisp. The projects were done within Second Life and included Simple Arithmetic Machines, Finite State Machines, a Perceptron, a Turing Machine and Cellular Automata.

Five final projects were selected for exhibition and are on display at Aesthetic Island (SLurl).

View images in the Aesthetic Computing Automata Event Gallery and read more in the articles Second Life spawns virtual Gator Nation, 3-D virtual life invades class and At UF, distance learning moves off the planet.

edboost.jpgEdBoost Second Life Experiment

After hearing about Teen Second Life from their students, the team at EdBoost Education, a nonprofit tutoring and academic support organization in Los Angeles were the first group to participate in the Campus Second Life program on the Teen Grid. They are trialling the use of Second Life to teach Computer programming as part of their after-school learning centre program.

Led by facilitators Tiplife Eggplant and Hector Something, students use the building and scripting tools that are include in the Second Life platform to develop basic computer and programming skills - building interactive objects, vehicles and gadgets, and animations and gestures.

Visit the EdBoost Blog, read an interview with the faciliators - A Visit to Campus: Teen Second Life or view Hector Something's Blog - Programming in Second Life which includes a number of worksheets used in the EdBoost Project.

Artificial Intelligence Projects

The built in scripting tools allow users of Second Life to explore a range of Artificial Intelligence concepts.

turing.jpgA Working Turing Machine

Created by Dr. Kenneth G. Schweller and his students, and displayed at the SL Computer History Museum (SLurl) and in Dr Schweller's classroom on Buena Vista University Island in Second Life (SLurl), the Turing Machine is a working model which has been setup to allow visitors to learn about this important concept in computation and computability.

The Turing Machine is setup to provide a demo of the concept, with signs and notecards to illustrate the concept and provide visitors with further information. Visitors can also write and run their own programs, by creating a notecard which includes text that follows the format of the programs on display.

For further information visit Dr Schweller's website.

Artificial Life Projects

svarga.jpgIsland of Svarga

Laukosargas Svarog's Island of Svarga (SLurl) is a fully-functional artificial ecology system. Everything - including plants, flowers, bugs and birds - is actually growing and replicating by itself, complete with a simulated weather system. Visitors who return will find the space changes with time, offering some interesting educational opportunities for teachers of environmental science, biology, and ecology.

View Intolerable Ginsberg's Svarga Photo Album or Pathfinder Linden's screenshots or read this overview - New World Notes: GOD GAME.

Ant Harvesting Simulation

Created by Tectonic Nabob for a class on Simulation of Biology... ants are programmed to seek out and find food and then recruit other ants to gather the food and return it to the nest.

Watch the YouTube video - Ants in Second Life or read more in the article - New World Notes: Ant Farm.

Multimedia and Games Design


Tringo, a cross between Tetris and Bingo, was invented in Second Life by Nathan Keir (aka Kermitt Quirk). The game became so popular that it has been licensed for Nintendo's Game Boy advance and for desktop PCs. There is also a British TV show to be modelled on the game.

Athough not an educational project this event is worth noting here because Keir was able to achieve this because Linden Lab lets residents keep all intellectual property rights to anything they create in Second Life.

Read more in the article It's all systems go-go for Tringo.

Art and Music Projects

In one sense, all of Second Life is one big arts project, as all of the content is user-generated. However, there are plenty of examples of original artworks, both in galleries and in the "open", from scans of paintings and drawings from the real world to 3D dynamic and interactive sculptures and installations that make use of the unique 3D qualities and building tools of the Second Life platform.

ddm.jpgThe DDM Collective - in Second Life

Based at the Leeds College of Art and Design and coordinated by Second Life resident and educator Angrybeth Shortbread, the Collective are the students of the Design for Digital Media Degree. As part of their course, students are engaging in investigations, explorations and exploitations within Second Life. Additionally, the DDM Collective are undertaking an ongoing staff research project into the pedagogical value of Second life.

The Collective's Island includes several different spaces for student and teachers to work and collaborate in including 'The Studio' which is used as the public meet and greet section of the Collective village, 'The Cinema' which is used to show students' moving image work and 'The Meta-Lab' which is AngryBeth's personal office and studio.

For further information visit the DDM Collective's Island (SLurl) or read the DDM Collective Blog.

imaging.jpgImaging Place by John Craig Freeman, Emerson College

John Craig Freeman (a.k.a. JC Fremont in Second Life), a university professor from Emerson College in Massachusetts, has created a sim in SL based on a virtual reality art project he created in real life.

"Imaging Place," is an art project using a computer program that combines both video and three-dimensional technologies. The program simulates moves and allows a user to interact with the environment.

Get the SLurls for exhibit locations from the Imaging Place in Second Life website, or read the article Emerson College professor creates documentary-style build in SL.

port.jpgThe Port (Swedish Art Wiki)

The Port (SLurl) is an international community of over 50 artists exploring art in virtual spaces. It includes Synthy-Go-Round (SLurl) - an immersive interactive sound installation by AngryBeth Shortbread.

Watch the YouTube video - Synthy-Go-Round or read the article - The Port, Artist's Community in Second Life

Sound Sculptures on Marni Island

Real-time spatialised sound sculptures by Adam Ramona and Mashup Islander. Article - The Greatest Sound Sculptures in the Metaverse


Literature, Composition and Creative Writing

The British Literature Classroom

The British Literature classroom (SLurl) is located in a mansion on the Knightsbridge Sim, which is designed to represent real world London - all of the houses are modeled after houses in real life. By clicking on paintings and furniture in the mansion's three floors students receive course material, including syllabi, assignments, activities and a selection of study texts. The classroom was developed by Beth Ritter-Guth (SL name - Desideria Stockton), Instructor of English, at Lehigh Carbon Community College to teach Brit Lit classes. This resource is open to any person to use.

Tales of Intrepid Travellers Exploring the Independent State of Caledon

Avatars creatively describing/documenting their journeys through Second Life in character... including Proceedings of the Royal Society, The Adventures of Natacha Chernov, explorerjusty and Frontier's Horizon.

Writing and Composition Classes in Second Life

Others Projects include:

  • Suffugium, Nexus Prime, Intermundia
  • (mentioned on SLED)

Theatre and Performance Art

Second Life offers the ability to create a range of performances and theatrical events. Easy to customise avatars, and the ability to make elaborate sets and props quickly and cheaply makes it an appealing platform to some performance artists.

kidsconnect2.jpgKids Connect - Collaborative performance and storytelling in Second Life

The Kids Connect project supports a series of collaborative performance and storytelling workshops for young people, which introduce them to theatrical and digital technologies for storytelling and performance. This allows them to develop skills in creating multimedia presentations through which they can tell stories about their lives.

The workshops culminate in an original performance by young people in distributed locations, with participants using the skills they have gained in the workshops to create a performance that occurs both live in theaters and online simultaneously in Second Life. The pilot for this project included young people from New York and Amsterdam and explored New York’s dutch heritage and the connection between historical and contemporary culture in New York and Amsterdam. The students from each location collaborated to build a hybrid virtual city in which their performance occured.

The Kid's Connect project illustrates how Teen Second Life can allow kids can connect with kids in other countries and construct a connected performance while learning about other cultures.

Visit the Kid's Connect Website or the Kid's Connect Wiki, or view the Kid's Connect Flickr Stream.

'From the Shadows' at the New Globe Theatre

'From the Shadows', an original play written by Enjah Mysterio and directed by Osprey Thereian was performed at the New Globe Theatre (SLurl) on August 24th, 2006.

Watch this YouTube video - Performing a Play in Second Life or read more in this article - Slate Magazine - All the (Virtual) Worlds a Stage.

The Tramps Theatre Troupe

The Tramps Theatre Troupe (SLurl) plans to cast, rehearse, and perform full-length plays completely in Second Life. Their first venture, in rehearsal as of early 2007, is William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Read about it in this article - Slate Magazine - Shakespeare Comes To Second Life.

Second Front Performance Art Group

Read the article - Slate Magazine - Gaza Stripped.

Photostories and Photo Scenarios

Built in camera tools allow users to shoot virtual photographs in Second Life, which can be save and used in a range of ways including photo stories and photoscenarios. This strategy can be used to engage students in digital storytelling, and recording and reflecting their work in Second Life. It can also be used to create engaging multimedia resources which can be used in teaching and learning.

Photostory - Musashi Motorsports Drive Around the (SL) World 2006

Created by fashion design student Giuseppe Nelva aka Shiryu Musashi in Second Life, the Musashi Motorsports Drive Around provides a good example of using Second Life to create interesting and engaging photostories. Commencing in July 20006, Shiryu started a one man gumball rally where he’s attempting to drive around the entire Second Life world.

To check out the Musashi Motorsports Drive Around the (SL) World read the latest episode - Musashi Motorsports Drive Around the (SL)World 2006, Leg 5.

hairdressing.jpgPhoto Scenario - Jack's Hair Creations in Second Life

Created by Second Life resident jokay Wollongong for the TAFE NSW Hairdressing program, Second Life has been used to establish a virtual hairdressing salon - Jack's Hair Creations (SLurl), which is being used to create detailed photo scenarios which wil be used as part of a media-rich learning resource.

Using Second Life's building tools, a detailed hairdressing salon has been created as the setting for a collection of virtual photographs which illustrate interactions in a workplace between co-workers and with clients. These images will be used in a learning resource which incorporates video, text and images and is designed specifically to engage young people.

For further information view images of the Virtual Hairdressing Salon, the characters used, and a range of salon scenario images.


machinima.jpg Machinima (muh-sheen-eh-mah) is a genre and a set of filmmaking techniques which combines the use of 3D video-games and virtual worlds, with real-world filmmaking techniques to create animated films. By combining the techniques of filmmaking, animation production and the technology of real-time 3D environments like Second Life, Machinima makes for a very cost- and time-efficient way to produce films, with a large amount of creative control.

The Second Life platform offers great tools for creating machinima, including the ability to build customised sets and stages for the action to take place, customisable avatars to play any character imaginable, and scripting and building tools to create interactions, gestures, props and effects.
Using machinima techniques in Second Life offers some fantastic opportunities for students to explore the production of multimedia by making their own films. The low-costs associated with undertaking these tasks, plus the suite of tools available on the platform allow students to create their own content quickly and easily, whilst learning a range of skills including writing scripts, storytelling, storyboarding, film editng and production, team management etc.

This could be used as a way of recording students research within Second Life, as a tool for responding to texts, issues or events, as an engaging form of digital storytelling or as a process for learning about digital media production technqiues. It also offers the opportunity to engage students in learning whilst playing their favourite games.

Some examples of machinima being used in education include:
  • Australian Film, Television and Radio School students are using Second Life to create film (or Machinima), allowing them to explore and develop skills in creating scripts and storyboards, capturing and editing footage, recording audio and embedding soundeffects and voiceovers and publishing and promoting their works. Watch a video about the project on the ABC's 'The Good Game' for more information.
  • Cyber-Casebook: Dred Scott v. Sandford. Charles Nesson from the Harvard Law School's CyberLaw project in Second Life came up with the idea of producing a reenactment of the Dred Scott trial in Second Life. It illustrates the pedagogical potentials of interactive media and its ability to inspire engage students. The intention is that this new method for creating learning resources could eventually replace traditional casebook learning for legal students. However, this technique could be used in a wide range of subject areas where case studies are traditionally used. //View the Dred Scott v. Sandford Machinima on Youtube.//
  • The Global Kids project incorporates a range of activities including students making machinima - not only to record their work in Second Life, but also to make videos which comment on their world and the issues they are facing. One example of Global Kids use of machinima is a collection of five public service announcements which were made by teens who were taking part in the Global Kids After School program. Each group picked a topic and developed a short film to explore the issues. These were the first videos created by the students, to learn the basic of creating machinima around social issues. Their final project will focus on child soldiers.Watch the Global Kids Public Service Announcements on YouTube.

Machinima can also be made with a range of other virtual worlds and gaming engines including:, Quake, Halo, Rome: Total War, Company of Heroes, Anachronox, World of Warcraft, Half-Life, F.E.A.R. and The Sims.

For further information visit Second Life, read the Machinima FAQ on the Academy of Machinima Arts and Sciences website, view a collection of machimima videos made by residents in Second Life, read the wikipedia article on machinima, or read the article 'I was a teenage machinima maker' on

Treasure Hunts and Quests

SDSU Second Life Pioneers

SDSU Second Life Pioneers (SLurl) is San Diego State University's adaptation to a 3D virtual environment of a WebQuest called Meet the Immigrants. The activity is designed to give students a better understanding of experiences of various immigrant populations throughout United States history. Students choose a immigrant character type they are going to research, undertake independent internet research on their chosen group, then discuss their findings in class. For an added experiential element students can don an avatar representing their chosen group.

Darkwood Trail

The Darkwood Trail (starting point SLurl) is a scavenger hunt introducing the player to many regions of Second Life while teaching SL basics, such as when and how to walk and fly, along with providing helpful tips on themes such as, building, scripting, vehicles, clothes, nightlife, poses and animations, pets and land. The player picks up lots of freebies along the way.

The Pot Healer Adventure - Numbakulla Island Project

The Pot Healer Adventure (SLurl) is an immersive game of exploration and puzzles. "Arriving in Numbakulla, an explorer finds that fate and a shipwreck has cast them ashore in a land of mystery."

More information at Game SLave, Second Life Games Wiki : Pot Healers Mystery.

Virtual Tourism, Cultural Immersion and Cultural Exchange

PacificRim Exchange - Virtual Exchange Program

Stan Trevena, the Director of Technology for Modesto City Schools in Modesto, California (USA), is building a learning environment consisting of several islands on Teen Second Life for a virtual exchange program between his students and those from Kyoto Gakuen High School, Japan. The idea is that future exchange students will interact prior to their exchanges, sharing their interests and their cultures, getting to know each other a bit, and maybe learn a little of their host country’s language before their exchange.

You can watch a video created for the CoSN K12 International Symposium (39MB wmv) that gives an overview of the project and highlights a student collaborative building exercise, or you can read more in the articles The Modesto Bee and Virtual Reality and Student Exchange, Without the Jet Lag or on the PacificRim Exchange blog's 'About' page.

morocco.jpgVirtual Morocco

Virtual Morocco (SLurl), created by students of the Johnson and Wales University, aims to provide an immersive experience that educates visitors about Moroccan culture while enticing them to think about Morocco as a travel destination.

A red "Info Fez" HUD can be worn that triggers chat messages explaining what you see as you explore the virtual Casablanca, such as the outdoor market and a mosque.

Read more in NMC Campus Observer and Immersion in Virtual Morocco.

Galveston Isle in Second Life

A small-scale replica of Galveston Island (SLurl) in Texas from the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau where visitors can learn about the island and it's history by taking guided virtual tours and by viewing Galveston Island tourism videos in the multimedia-rich Visitor Information Center.

Read more at GALVESTON.COM: Galveston Island to Debut In Second Life.

Dublin in SL

Dublin in SL was designed to give a sense of the real Dublin. It boasts the best Irish Bar in virtual reality - the Blarney Stone - which is home to various social events, live DJ music and live music concerts.

View videos of Dublin in SL or visit the Dublin in SL website.

Language Teaching and Practice, and Language Immersion

As well as being used by language teachers - including ESL/TESOL - to run language classes, Second Life also provides opportunities to interact with native speakers of target languages. - Be virtually fluent in no time

Students of LanguageLab will send their avatars to the school's 120-acre island, where a full city has been created. Student avatars might meet their teachers for role-playing activities in one of the lavish, realistically detailed hotels, bars, nightclubs, office parks, or stores. Scheduled classes meet for 50 minutes several times a week. Students might meet classmates to play a game, such as the football-field-sized Scrabble game, or socialize out on the virtual town. They can also sign up for special events, such as a murder mystery staged in the hotel or a class on the language of wine at the wine bar.

Read more in the articles Language school to open in SL or A Boon to Second Life Language Schools, or visit the website.

Holoteaching at English Village

English Village founded by Fire Centaur - an ESL teacher in real life - is an immersive 3D simulation for language learners and teachers across the globe. It's a place where language teachers can come together to create community and collaborate as they explore the possibilities of teaching languages in Second Life. By providing classrooms and teaching tools the English Village provides an easy entry to the world of teaching in Second Life for language teachers.

A central feature of the English Village are holodecks which provide a huge range of different scenes that can be swapped at the click of a button and can be used for roleplays. The scenes include a restaurant, a bus stop, a hospital scene, a shopping center, a post office and a doctors office.

Read more on the English Village website or the English Village in Second Life blog.

Language Apartment at Glidden Campus

Dayton Elseth is a student of Bryan Carter (aka Bryan Mnemonic) - an assistant professor of literature at Central Missouri State University. Dayton has created an interactive language apartment (SLurl) designed to introduce the German language. Objects within the apartment are labelled with their German names. Clicking on an object plays the vocalised name and presents a notecard with more information about the words, including the plural version where applicable, and examples of the word in a sentence (in both English and German).

Social Science and Anthropological Research

Field Research in Second Life

Dr Ed Lamoureux (aka Professor Beliveau), of Bradley University, has taught a course titled "Field Research in Second Life" using Second Life as an arena to learn ethnographic field research methods. Students used qualitative research methods to explore communities of practice in Second Life. Each student in the class chose a different Second Life community to research by observation or by conducting interviews.

Check the Syllabus materials, read the Students' blogs with research notes and final papers, read a review of the class by Dr Lamoureux or watch a Quicktime movie about the class.

New World Notes: KING FOR A DAY

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, residents are encouraged to enter Second Life as an avatar of a different race.
Read more in this article - New World Notes: King for a Day

Awareness/Consciousness Raising and Fund Raising

globalkids.jpgGlobal Kids' Digital Media Initiative

The Global Kids project, based in New York and supported by the MacArthur Foundation, is foccused on raising young people's awareness on a range of issues including human rights, the rights of the child, the environment and respecting difference. The project uses a number of techniques to engage participants, including activities within Second Life.

Global Kids was the first island established by a not-for-profit organisation on the on the Second Life Teen, and hosts interactive, experiential programs for teens from around the world including leadership programs, major events which allow teens to communicate and interact with world leaders and experts in a range of fields, and creative projects exploring topics such as the issue of child sex trafficking and the holocaust.

The Global Kids Space on the Main Grid seeks to promote and share the work of the Global Kids team, and also hosts a range of discussions and presentations on related topics.

Second Life Teens Against Child Sex Trafficking

Teens on the Teen Grid completed an interactive maze built by the campers from the Camp Global Kids project which was designed to educate about the issue. Afterwards, many sent in pictures of themselves wearing 'Slavery Still Exists' t-shirts that they won by completing the maze as a show of solidarity - Flickr Slideshow

For further information visit the Global Kids Initiatives Website, watch the official Global Kids Promotional Video - "The Global Kids Experience"
or the videos Global Kids Teen Second Life Anniversary Party and Camp Global Kids in Teen Second Life, Summer 06 on YouTube. You can also read blog posts by teens involved in the project.

Although adults are unable to visit the Teen Grid, you can find out more about Global Kids at their Info Space on the Main Grid (SLurl).

Save the Children's Yak Shack

Save The Children, in collaboration with Aimee Weber Studios has embarked on a unique fundraising experiment in Second Life. They've sponsored a Yak building contest where the winning Yak is available for sale for L$1000. All proceeds collected from virtual Yak sales are then donated to the real life Yak fund. Virtual Yaks can be purchased from the Yak Shak in Midnight City (SLurl).

Camp Darfur

Support and Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Second Life has also been used to help abused children redevelop socialising skills; adults with cerebral palsy to allow them to share personal interactions without prejudice. Article - Is this a real life, is this just fantasy?.

Brigadoon - a Self-Help Environment for Sufferers of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

Brigadoon is a sim set up as a self-help supportive environment for sufferers of autism and Asperger's syndrome to try out the social interactions that are difficult in the real world. It was founded by John Lester (who now works with Linden Lab as ‘Pathfinder Linden’) as part of the BrainTalk Communities project.

For further information visit the Brigadoon Blog or read the Guardian article Autism community forges virtual haven

Simon Stevens (aka Simon Walsh)

Disability consultant and Second Life resident Simon Walsh has cerebral palsy in real life and has organized the creation of a nightclub in Second Life called "Wheelies" which features events featuring live DJs. In Simon's own words, "Wheelies aims to make guests feel comfortable about disability as well as dancing and just plain having a good time."

Watch an interview with Simon by the Canadian News network on YouTube or view pictures of Wheelies on Flickr.

Politics, Governance, Civics and the Law

Because Second Life has a real population it provides an opportunity to explore various forms of governance and community-building and to engage in political action, such as protests and electioneering, without many of the risks associated with taking action in the real world.

Care's Election Campaign for the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS)

The CARE party is putting forward candidates in the upcoming Representative Assembly elections in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators (CDS) as discusssed in this article - A Real First.

Their campaign video on YouTube - Because We CARE - January 2007 RA Elections.


Website - RootsCampSL.

Avatars against the War

This Google video - Avatars against the War: a Second Life Demonstration for Peace - shows a demonstration held in-world at a virtual Capitol Hill by more than 120 avatars from all over the US and seven countries in support of the national march for peace in Washington, DC which was held on January 27th, 2007.

More info at RootsCamp - J27 events for peace in Second Life and lotusmedia 2.0 » Avatars Against the War and a Flickr slideshow of the event - Avatars Against the War.

Business, Commerce, Financial, Economy Practice and Modelling

Second Life has a real economy and currency exchange making it possible to experiment with running businesses and engaging in economics modelling in a low-risk environment.

Digital Entertainment and Society Class

Dioselin Gonzalez - Lecturer of Digital Entertainment Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, taught a class in 2006 in which students used Second Life to design a commercial game and its business model, and implement and test a demo of this game.

In 2007 students developed Second Pets (SLurl), an alternate reality game (and social experiment) to educate people about organ donation issues.

Read more on the class website.

Real Estate Practice

Real estate agents and developers... Anshe Chung - Real Estate...

The Concept of Virtual Property in a First Year Property Law Course

Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a visiting assistant professor at Seattle University School of Law, uses Second Life to teach about the concept of virtual property in a First Year Property Law course. The course covers topics such as: Adverse Possession; Real Estate versus Chattel in SL; IP Issues: Trademarks, Patents, Right of Publicity, and Copyrights in SL; Public Spaces, Zoning and Nuisances; Nightlife and Gambling; SL Economy and the Nature of Work and Prostitution and the Sex Industry in Second Life.

Follow along with the project documentation (in the form of screencasts) on the project blog - Fizzy's Second Life or read an article explaining the project - Terra Nova: Using Second Life and the Concept of Virtual Property in a First Year Property Law Course.

Product Design, Prototyping, User-testing and Market Research

Sears Virtual Showroom

Although not an educational product itself, major retailer Sears points to a possible use of SL for product showcasing and interior design with a virtual showroom (SLurl) in which customers can trial new kitchen layouts and see how new appliances will look in those layouts, design layouts for entertainment systems and home theatres, and organise a garage by customizing storage products. Eventually, avatars will be able to type in precise room dimensions and see how their design ideas and the new products look in their own spaces.

Read more in the articles IBM Brings Sears to Second Life at CES and Prototype "Sears Virtual Home" to Open on IBM Island in Second Life.

Interior Design

GippsTAFE Interior Decorating Project

GippsTAFE Victoria's (Australia) 'Virtual Worlds – Real Learning!' project explored how Second Life can be used to achieve real learning outcomes. Interior Decorating students undertook their 'interpret and respond to a client brief' through Second Life. Each student was allocated a client who owned a house in Second Life. Each client providing a design brief for re-decorating a room in their house. The only interaction between student and client was within Second Life.

For further information read the article VirtualWorlds - Interior Design.

Architectural Design and Modelling

Second Life can be used to create fly-throughs of houses for sale, prototype architectural designs, checking out hotels and other accommodation before you book. Check out the facilities at a university you are thinking of attending (including the dorm rooms if you are thinking of living on campus).

Virtual Architectual Design Class

Montana State University's Creative Research Lab, directed by architect Terry Beaubois (Tab Scott in Second Life), in collaboration with the School of Architecture utilized Second Life to teach architecture classes and investigate novel methods for the design of a sustainable community for the West Oakland revitalization project. The student team worked both remotely and locally and met and worked both in person and in Second Life.

Watch the YouTube video - First Life Second Life: Virtual Architectual Design (also on mefeedia). Note: a film student made the video and a music student composed the original music.

Collaborative Architecture

YouTube videos - Architecture in Second Life Machinima and on the Double.
Second Life and Google Earth are transforming the idea of architectural collaboration.

Virtual Suburbia: Little House on the Sandbox

Virtual Suburbia: Little House on the Sandbox



Production of Architecture - Unreal Central Perspective

A course by Tor Lindstrand and Palle Torsson - "This course examines the history, theory and practice of representation and the production of architecture. We will see that projective systems have affected our understanding of space through the evolution of media such as painting, photography, film and computer generated imagery. With the aid of 3D tools bundled into an pervasive on-line platform called Second Life we will formulate limitations and possibilities for the production of architecture."

Production of Architecture: Unreal Central Perspective

Starwoods Aloft Hotel

Starwood is previewing it's Aloft Hotel...
(search virtual aloft on youtube)

Urban Planning and Design

Rapid Protyping a Real-life Site Plan

Josh Eikenberry (Lordfly Digeridoo in Second Life) had to design a real-life site plan for Ypsilanti, Michigan for his urban planning class at Eastern Michigan University. Due to "massive procrastination" he found himself with only a week to complete the project, so decided the fastest way would be to use Second Life.

Watch the 'Second Life speedbuild' video on

Landing Lights Park 3-D Wiki

The Landing Lights Park 3-D Wiki (SLurl), designed by Hiro Pendragon, was designed to collect community feedback for the multi-million-dollar redesign of a public park in Queens, New York. Residents can prototype park layouts by positioning pre-made objects like trees, swingsets and pathways. The new configuration of the park can then be saved, shared, edited and later reloaded into the model.

Read more in the article on - The Unexpected Third Dimension.

Further Resources