Thursday, December 6, 2007

22. Read about Second Life and how libraries are using it

Developed by Linden Research, Second Life is a 3D virtual world entirely built and owned by its users. Echoing the 'real world', in Second Life you can own land, 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.

Some interesting facts about Second Life
  • There are over 9.1 million residents (as of August 2007).
  • 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 around the world).
  • 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:
Resources

Watch the following video demonstrations on YouTube:
Other resources:
Your task

View some of the videos and articles under the Discovery Resources link. You may want to write about one of the following on your blog:
  • How can Swinburne university library use Second Life?
  • How does this relate to the future of learning in a university?
This task was originally written by Kat Clancy, Deakin University