Teaching and Learning in Second Life: Exemplary Sites

Below are hot links to sites in Second Life. To access the sites, you need to have a Second Life account, and you need to have the Second Life client software installed on your computer. To get a free Second Life account, just visit http://SecondLife.com. If you are new to Second Life, make sure to start with the links in the first section to help you learn to move and function in Second Life. Many adults find parts of Second Life to be unsettling or disturbing; the sites below are intended to direct you to positive experiences. Have fun while you learn!

Tutorials on Getting Started in Second Life

  • Video Tutorials of how to use the new Second Life 2.0 Client program.
    You may want to view the first tutorial, then save the rest for later. Keep in mind that all older tutorials and videos show a slightly different interface. Viewing the first intro video here should help to orient you to the changes with out too much confusion.
  • Web-based explanation of Second Life 2.0 Client (a text version of the videos above.)
  • SciLands Orientation Island is a short tutorial
    ... to help you learn necessary Second Life skills. Just follow the yellow path and read the directions on each signpost and billboard you see. At the end are links to a variety of mostly scientific & education sites in Second Life.
  • St. Leo University's Introductory Tutorials This may be THE BEST site to learn about Second Life basics. A clever combination of text and video tutorials guide you through the basics. When you complete the tutorials, you visit the upstairs center for coffee and free stuff. When you leave, you're teleported to more free stuff and a giant sandbox where you can try out your new building knowledge. There are also changing rooms for trying on new clothes and adjusting your appearance.

Exemplary Education Sites

  • EduIsland Archipelago is a series of regions filled with sites and interactive exhibits from educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The link will place you in front of an interactive directory of projects that will teleport you directly to a site of your interest.
  • ISTE Island Archipelago is a series of islands composed of educational technology instutions. The link will place you in front of the teleport directory at ISTE Headquarters
  • Pharmtopia West's Interactive Lab Tutorials Several universities in the US, UK, and Australia have collaborated to create a series of islands devoted to pharmacy education. The link takes you to the base of a sequence of lab tutorials. Read the info, view part of the movie on the white screen, and try the first lab tutorial (first lab module up the spiral ramp). It is dedicated to visitors only. Be prepared to see an outstanding model of a 3D immersive tutorial environment.

Social Studies, Literature, and the Arts Curriculum-related Sites

Science and Math Curriculum-related Sites

  • NOAA's Earth Science Research Laboratory Island
    Ride a weather balloon, experience a tsunami, watch a glacier melt!
  • Genome Island
    Two things not to miss: enter and FIND YOUR WAY out of the giant human cell. And check out the Tower labs for one of the best scaffolded learning activities in Second Life!
  • Nanotechnology Island
  • The Ocean Abyss Observatory
    Ride an elevator or submersible to underwater research stations from shallow to abyssal depths, check out the sea life and the scientific research equipment and vehicles. (5 min. DEEP underwater tour). Can you find the underwater self-service bar?

Examples and Tutorials on Building in Second Life

  • The Making of Suzanne Vegas' Second Life Guitar This is a 2-minute classic machinima by talented Second Life artist Robbie Dingo demonstrating both the art and craft of building in Second Life.
  • Watching the WorldWatch as Robbie Dingo builds an entire Second Life island inspired by Van Gogh's The Starry Night (3 min).
  • The Ivory Tower Library of Primitives is a comprehensive system of tutorials on multiple levels of the Tower. Follow the green arrows to proceed through the skill levels. There are several sandboxes to try your new skills.
  • Little Blue Sandbox is a double sim with large sandbox areas suitable for trying building techniques of large structures. It's an active place where you would be comfortable building. Remember to delete your unwanted trials and to take anything you want to keep in your inventory.
  • Magical Mystery's Learning Center Classes on building, scripting, and terraforming. Some beginner classes are free. An advanced site!
  • Scaling Photos and Movies on a Prim. This short web page with video tutorial shows one of the fine points of showing high-quality photos, posters, and videos in Second Life.

Examples & Tutorials for Machinima in Second Life
(hint: you'll need a way to capture the video)

Resources for Scripting in Second Life

  • The College of Scripting has over 800 resources to help you learn. While there are beginning movement and building tutorials, the site excels at guiding you through level after level of scripting using the Lindenscript programming language. Lots of examples and even books you can buy with a few linden dollars. Probably the best scripting site in Second Life!

Exemplary Sites for Beauty, Fun, and other Special Features in Second Life

Academic References for Second Life and Other Virtual Worlds

Teen Second Life


We're confronted by insurmountable opportunity!
-- Pogo (Walt Kelly)

About SecondArcade

Description: Second Life is the best known and most developed example of an immersive 3D learning environment. It is the closest any 3D environment has come to the Metaverse as described by T in his novel Snow Crash. Hundreds of educational institutions already offer classes in Second Life, and many businesses are also experimenting with how to best use 3D virtual worlds. A Teen Second Life supports middle and high school efforts to explore 3D virtual learning

This page contains direct links (Second Life URLs or SLURLs) to sites in Second Life that exemplify teaching and learning in a virtual space. Many of the "teaching" sites are actually learning environments in which the "teaching act" is really the process of the design of the site. Much of the learning is self directed and asynchronous. Some of the sites have tightly-sequenced learning activities, and others are quite the opposite. The only way to understand them is to experience them firsthand. That is the purpose of this page.

portrait of avatar
"Wayne Warrigal," my Second Life avatar ~photo by sgarrigan


Mont St. Michel
Mont St. Michel in Second Life
~photo by sgarrigan

balloon on VUE Island
Balloon Tour on VUE Island
~photo by sgarrigan

Philip Rosedale portraits
Philip Rosedale, Second Life Founder
~photo from TED.com