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This guide is aimed at those who are wanting to use Second Life for teaching in further and higher education. It provides in-depth descriptions of all aspects of the immersive world for both direct use and facilitating others’ use.

Getting started with Second Life

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Second Life is a free 3D multi-user virtual world developed by Linden Labs in 2003, and is inhabited by millions of residents across the world. It is used as a platform for education by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries and government entities, with over one hundred regions used for educational purposes. This guide is aimed at those who are wanting to use Second Life for teaching in further and higher education. It provides in-depth descriptions of all aspects of the immersive world for both direct useand facilitating others’ use.

Welcome to the Getting Started in Second Life guide!

The guide has been written by representatives from several projects from within JISC’s recent Users and Innovation programme, which gave project teams the opportunity to work in emergent technology spaces that at the time were the domain of very few in higher education. These included multi user virtual environments such as Second Life.

Through a structured community and careful brokering of connections both in the UK and internationally, a group of projects came together that looked at these then only potential learning spaces and tried to make sense of them for an already busy higher education market. Their results and outputs far exceeded those laid down in their project plans, and are a testament to not only the projects’ own hard work, but the help and input of a wide range of other U&I projects whose staff volunteered their time to user test and participate ‘in world’ with events and exercises.

Through the life of the Second Life projects information was gathered and analysed and, perhaps unsurprisingly, one area stood out as needing support more than any other - getting started. This then gave weight to the argument for a JISC Introductory guide to Second Life. And here it is: aimed at staff who are looking to connect through a virtual world to learning and research activities, this guide should be the first step in any proposed use of Second Life for learning and teaching, providing a step by step approach and a range of guidance in the key areas and issues.

Lawrie Phipps
Programme Manager, Users and Innovation Programme

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Summary
Author
Maggi Savin-Bade, Cathy Tombs, Dave White, Terry Poulton, Sheetal Kavia & Luke Woodham
Publication Date
3 August 2009
Publication Type
Programmes
Topic
Strategic Themes