Since its launch in 2003, Second Life has been gathering momentum across the globe. Although not yet as popular in Australia as in other countries, it is a fascinating Web 2.0 application.
Developed by Linden Research, Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its Residents (users). Echoing the "real world", in Second Life, you can own land (islands), trade goods and services, engage with the artistic community and participate in educational activities.
Residents are represented in Second Life by avatars which are human in appearance but may be of either sex and have a wide variety of humanoid of other forms. Avatars communicate through two main methods of text communication: local chat and "instant messaging" (IM).
Some interesting facts about Second Life:
- There are 9,112,551 residents (as at 27/8/07).
- 9,195 islands were added during July 2007.
- The currency of Second Life, the Linden Dollar, can be converted to US dollars at several Linden Dollar exchanges (sparking the interest of various Taxation Departments and Internal Revenue Services across the globe).
- The Maldives was the first country to open an embassy in Second Life.
Many international universities and libraries have bought islands in Second Life. The way these universities and libraries use the land is unique (check discovery resources below). Some use it as a marketing tool, others use it as a new way for people to attend university in the virtual world. Deakin University has bought an island on Second Life, but it is just that, an island. It is currently in an experimental stage. Only restricted users are allowed onto the island and there are no buildings, no classes taking place and no virtual campus life apparent.
For more information on Second Life, go to:
- What is Second Life? http://secondlife.com/whatis
- Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_life
- Info Island - Second Life's library
- Ohio State University Second Life campus
- Introduction to Second Life
- Second Life Apple Store
- Murdoch University on Second Life
- SimTeach - Second Life Education Wiki
- SimTeach - University and Private Islands in Second Life
- SimTeach - Institutions and Organisations in Second Life
View some of the videos and articles under the Discovery Resources link. Write on your blog page about the following:
- Second Life trends in education.
- How can your own university library use Second Life?
- Is this the future of learning at a University level?