Second Life Wiki
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Second Life Icon

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INTRODUCTION Second Life is oftentimes referred to as a game, but this description does not fit the set definition. It does not have scoring, winners and losers, competition, levels, points, odds or many other characteristics of games (Kramer, 2000). Second Life is a 3-D virtual world, also called a Multi-User Virtual Environment, entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown exponentially and today is inhabited by nearly 7,000,000 people from around the globe. There are shopping malls, events, homes, lands of different types, and best of all, participants can contribute content, buildings, and other digital creations. Second Life provides near unlimited freedom to its online denizens. Second Life is populated by avatars: virtual representations of SL members. If you want to hang out with your friends in a garden or castle, you can. If you want to go shopping or fight dragons, you can. If you want to start a business, create a game or build a skyscraper you can. The choice is up to the player. In true constructivist fashion, this virtual world is whatever you make it, and your experience is what you want to get out of it. The users are free to explore the environment while also critically reflecting on it. J.P. Gee, describes this as being a multimodal principal. “Meaning and knowledge are built up though various modalities (images, texts, symbols, interactions, abstract designs, sounds, etc), not just words “ (2004, p. 210). If you want to hang out with your friends in a garden or castle, you can. If you want to go shopping or fight dragons, you can. If you want to start a business, create a game or build a skyscraper you can. The choice is up to the player.
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skyscraper



Introduction to Second Life Slideshow
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is unique about Second Life? The unique characteristics of a 3D virtual worlds can provide opportunities for authentic learning, collaboration and co-creation activities, sensory immersion, role-playing, modeling of scenarios, and other social networking opportunities that allow people to connect with others whom have similar interests.
According to Tapscott and Williams (Wikipedia, 2006), players participate in the creation of products in an active and ongoing way. “The consumer actually co-innovates and co-produces the products they consume.” In that way, Second Life is like other Web 2.0 technologies; users are the developers, society members, producers and entrepreneurs of their own programming. Robert Hof in an article in Business Weekly (May 1, 2006) goes so far as describing Second Life as “The unholy offspring of the movie The Matrix, the social networking site MySpace.com,and the online marketplace eBay.com.”

Despite its prominence, Second Life has notable competitors, including IMVU, There, Active Worlds, Kaneva,vPMR,Whyville and Club Penguin.
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Elisa's Avatar
Did it replace or enhance something else used for teaching and learning?
Second Life provides a flexible environment for educators interested in distance learning, computer supported cooperative work, simulation, new media studies, and corporate training (Second Life, 2007). Students and educators can work together in Second Life from anywhere in the world as part of a globally networked virtual classroom environment. Using Second Life as a supplement to traditional classroom environments also provides new opportunities for enriching an existing curriculum.


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Second Life Classroom

How does it work for today's learners - the Milennials, digital natives?
According to Rob Salkowitz in the book, Generation Blend: Managing Across the Technology Age Gap (2008), millennials are sociable, confident, have a belief in collective action, are good at multitasking and are technologically savvy. You would think that a generation of people raised on the proverbial virtual teat would be flocking to an environment like Second Life. However, according to the demographics, Second Life is in many ways an adult (Generation X/Boomer+) environment. The website, http://www.kzero.co.uk/blog/?p=961{{says only 24% of the users of Second life are under 25 years of age, with the majority being 25-34 (Generation X).
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A member of the SL educator listserv stated that, “Young people raised with video games often get bored in SL because there's "nothing to do." They expect a scripted game with a quest, and with obstacles to overcome. The idea of shopping, dancing, sitting around and talking with friends seems too much like real life to them. The older generations seem more comfortable with the idea of free will and with self-motivated learning. It's an interesting paradox .... the younger people may take more easily to the technology in many ways, but the older ones tend to spend more time in SL.”
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Teen Grid on Second Life
Teen Second Life - The teen grid is for people who are 13 to 17 years old. It does not allow adults in, other than teachers who must go through a detailed background check, and then only to work with students in very specific areas in the Teen Grid.
http://teen.secondlife.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_Second_Life
Ohio University VITAL Lab Second Life projects A number of Second Life projects for high schools and middle schools.
Kids Connect Island - A series of workshops for people on the Teen Grid that teaches them to connect and work together via performance, storytelling and collaboration by both theatrical and digital means.
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Chatting with friends
Blogs
Here is a list of Second Life Weblogs that help the user explore the virtual world. They include helpful resources, news, gossip and insights from devoted bloggers all over the Second Life universe.

Blog on SL - http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com
Milton Broome - Simon Bignell's (University of Derby, UK) avatar Milton Broome on 'Virtual Psychology' in Second Life.
Reuters Second Life Blog – SL news
SLEDucating - SLEDucating is a collective of individuals blogging their research and insights concerning Secondlife. Also supports a text to speech podcast.
SLED Blogs - a list of blogs created by educators and trainers using Second Life.
New World Notes - this is the blog about Second Life by "embedded journalist" Hamlet Linden.
NPSL: Nonprofits in Second Life - Your one-stop source for blog posts and news from the world of non-profit organizations making a difference in Second Life.
Official Second Life Blog – The official blog for second life

Second Life InsiderSL news and gossip

Second Life Herald - this is a good blog on issues and interesting happenings within Second Life.

Second Life Future SalonLinks, current issues discussed, special guests, etc.

Terra Nova - this is a general group blog about gaming, especially MMOs and virtual worlds. They have some education-oriented content, and significant participation from the social sciences.

Research on Second Life - Current information, good overview specifically about doing business in second life.
Teen Second Life After-School Club -
[[http://tsl.northfield.groupfusion.net/%3C/span%3E%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://tsl.northfield.groupfusion.net/<span]] style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Arial','sans-serif'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-size: 13.0pt">



But is Second Life a Game, SIM, or Both?
Second Life is oftentimes referred to as a game, but this description does not fit the set definition. It does not have scoring, winners and losers, competition, levels, points, odds or many other characteristics of games (Kramer, 2000).
All simulations necessarily simplify aspects of whatever they simulate. That is their value. They have an explanatory function rather than a duplication of function (Kimball, 2008). Typically the designer constructs them to help users focus on aspects that are, for whatever reason, felt to be important or fun. The designer wants the user to gloss and experience or get to the point of something in as few steps as possible. Games are often made elaborate to enhance the pleasure of exploring them, while puzzles are often made so to disguise the solution.



Second Life and Community
The history of Second Life is described in quite thoroughly in the Official Second Life guide, Rymaszweski et al. (2007). Second Life was designed to imitate the real world – it gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams and interests. Incorporating elements of Web 2.0, community formation tools such as MySpace and wikis, is responsible for creating a community that harness the power of the collective intelligence (O’Reilly, 2004; Robbins & Bell, 2008). In addition, Davenport suggests (2000) the possibility of recording collaboratively acted stories using built-in machinima (SL video production) also contributes to its appeal.
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community

Discuss what you are concerned might not work or needs to be addressed and why.
Giving away to much information about yourself on Second Life can open to stalkers and other potential low-lifes. It is important to keep personal things, like email and address private so as not to put yourself up to possible "first life" trouble.
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Resources

Second Life Official Site - http://www.secondlife.com
Second Life Video: Ohio State University - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFuNFRie8wAEducational Uses of Second Life - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOFU9oUF2HA&feature=relatedSecond Life Newspaper - [[http://sl-newspaper.com/%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://sl-newspaper.com/<span]]
Literature Alive! Second Life Project -
Second Life Educators (SLED) mailing list – [[https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|https://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educators<span]]
SimTeach – http://www.simteach.com – educational efforts in SL
Linden Lab’s official explanation of how SL economy functions and is maintained – [[http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/08/14/the-second-life-economy/%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://blog.secondlife.com/2007/08/14/the-second-life-economy/<span]]
Second Life Insider - http://www.secondlifeinsider.com
Second Life Universe - http://www.sluniverse.com - Third Party Community Site - Forums, Knowledge Base, etc.
Kevin Jarret's Voicethread about SL - http://voicethread.com/#q.b8878

Second Life Locations
There are thousands of interesting and educational locations to visit in the Second Life Universe. Here are the coordinates of a few of the more popular ones.

-International Space Museum [[http://slispaceflightmuseum.org/drupal/%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slispaceflightmuseum.org/drupal/<span]]
-Orientation Island - [[http://slurl.com/secondlife/Orientation%20Island%20Public/97/155%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slurl.com/secondlife/Orientation%20Island%20Public/97/155<span]]
-UC Davis' Virtual Hallucinations (James Linden) - [[http://slurl.com/secondlife/sedig/27/45/22/%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slurl.com/secondlife/sedig/27/45/22/<span]]
-Virtual Starry Night (Coordinates: Luctesa (75,1,81,23)) – Recreations of Van Gogh Landscapes in 3-D forms that you can walk around in.
-Paris 1900 – (Coordinates: Paris 1900 (9, 171,16)) – Complete with a scale model of the Eiffel Tower
-Info Island – (Coordinates: Info Island (97, 128, 33) – Several libraries, includes a teaching tool repository.
-The Sistine Chapel (Vassar Island) - [[http://slurl.com/secondlife/vassar/165/91/24%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slurl.com/secondlife/vassar/165/91/24<span]]
-New Media Consortium – (Coordinates: NMC (128, 128, 0) – The powerhouse for education in SL
-Massachusetts Institute of Technology – (Coordinates: MIT (44, 230, 31)
-Ohio University w/o Borders – (Coordinates: Ohio University (45, 92, 25)
-Heart Murmur SIM (medical assessment experiment) - [[http://slurl.com/secondlife/waterhead/130/37%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slurl.com/secondlife/waterhead/130/37<span]]
-Virtual Casablanca, Morocco – (Coordinates: Casablanca (123,88, 26))
-UC Davis' Virtual Hallucinations - [[http://slurl.com/secondlife/sedig/27/45/22/%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://slurl.com/secondlife/sedig/27/45/22/<span]]
-Escapade Zoo and Safari Park – (Coordinates: 170, 81, 25)
-SL Louvre Museum - (Coordinates: Tompson (153,97, 100))
-Lisbon Opera House - (Coordinates: Lanercost)
-The Great Wall of SL - (Coordinates: Athetis)
-Camp Darfur, Genocide Intervention Network - (Coordinates: Better World (176,245,21))
-EdTech Island - (Coordinates: EdTech (100,133,25))

Virtual Louvre Tour
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What you are concerned might not work or needs to be addressed and why.

According to Clark Aldrich, a leader in the field of gaming and simulations, there are 1
0 Missing Elements in SL:
[[http://clarkaldrich.blogspot.com/2007/05/top-ten-missing-features-of-second-life.html%3C/span%3E%3C/span%3E%3C/span|http://clarkaldrich.blogspot.com/2007/05/top-ten-missing-features-of-second-life.html</span]]>

There are a number of issues that need to be addressed when setting up/working in an educational environment in Second Life. Pornography, weapons, inappropriate actions and language, and generalized "griefing" of other residents. These things make people's experience uncomfortable and unproductive.

A weakness of Second Life (Multi-UserVirtual Environment) is that the environment can seem more important than reality – it can become an addiction. The concept of flow was developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., professor of human development at the University of Chicago, who describes flow as a state of complete absorption in something, to the point where one loses track of time (Nelson, 1995). Csikszentmihalyi first observed flow when studying artists; he then looked for and found it in dancers, athletes, scientists, musicians, and talented people in many other fields. Your online social network is available 24 hours a day to talk with. In M.U.V.Es, you can easily transform your identity into something completely alien to normalcy, where real life can be more challenging. Some people get absorbed by their on line game and neglect reality, because the on line game is more fun, more instantly result rewarding gratification, and less difficult to deal with.



Include some e xamples of education successes you've discovered.
-Literature Alive! - http://collegeenglish.wikispaces.com/literaturealive - Their mission is to distribute resources for the teaching of immersive literature on the teen and adult grids of Second Life.
-PacificRim Exchange (PacRimX)http://www.pacificrimx.wordpress.com – The goal of this project is to use SL to create a constant level of interaction between the students of schools in Modesto, CA and Kyoto Gakuen, Japan. Most of the projects focus on communication, creativity, culture sharing and cooperation.
-Global Kids - http://www.globalkids.org/?id=30 – Hosts interactive, experimental leadership programs for teens.
-Lighthouse Learning Island - [[http://nausetschools.org/lighthouselearning/A%3C/span%3E%3C/span%3E%3Cspan|http://nausetschools.org/lighthouselearning/A<span]] style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt; COLOR: #333333; FONT-FAMILY: 'Times New Roman','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN"> Second Life professional learning community by Kathy Schrock.
-Terra Incognito - http://deckamah.com/ - Action Learning in Second Life. Professional learning programs.
-Ramapo Island – http://ramapoislands.edublogs.org -The virtual presence for education at Suffern Middle School, Suffern, NY
-Eye4you Alliance Teen Library - http://stephenslighthouse.sirsidynix.com/archives/2007/06/teen_second_lif_1.html<span style="color: #000000"> -Island in Teen Second Life working to connect with teens with library services



Bibliography

Aldrich, C. (2005). Learning by doing: A guide to simulations, computer games, and pedagogy in e-learning. New York: John Wiley.

Aldrich, C. (2008). Clark Aldrich’s style guide for serious games and simulations. Retrieved May 6, 2008 from http://clarkaldrich.blogspot.com/search/label/Pedagogy%20and%20Coaching/search?updated-min=2005-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2008-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=1000

Au, W.J. (2008). The making of Second Life. New York: Harper Collins.

Carr, P. & Pond, G. (2007). The unofficial tourists’ guide to second life. New York: St. Martin's Griffin

Robbins, S. & Bell, M. (2008). Second Life for dummies. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.

Rymaszewski, M., Au. J.A., Wallace, M., Winters, C., Ondrejka C. & Batstone-Cunningham, B. (2007). Second Life, the official guide. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley.

Kramer, W. (2000). What is a game?, The Games Journal Online. from http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/WhatIsaGame.shtml</span>

Tapscott, D. & Williams, A. (2008) Wikinomics.
Portfolio Hardcover

v3image (2007). A beginner’s guide to Second Life. Las Vegas, NV: Archebooks

Gee, J.P. (2007) What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy

Davenport G.(2000, November). Your own virtual story world. Scientific American. pp. 61-64

Conklin, M (2007). 101 uses for second life in the college classroom.

Shea, L. (2007). What is MMORPG? BellaOnline.