Stepping into Second Life

Since I'm an adjunct faculty member at a couple of community colleges, I'm able to delete most of my e-mail with barely a glance.

But this one made my jaw drop!

Dear Educators:

Alliance Library System and LearningTimes are pleased to announce an
exciting conference featuring science and virtual worlds. On January
we are "Stepping Into Science" and taking the day to explore the possibilities of using virtual worlds to learn about and teach science.
The conference will be taking place entirely in Second Life and will
feature a keynote and panel discussion as well as small breakout
sessions, field trips and an opportunity participate in "Science
Friday", NPR's live broadcast from Second Life.

For more information and to register, click here:

Speakers and field trips will include:

- Troy McConaghy (Scientist and Educator who has been involved with
Second Life for over three years)
- Dr. George Djorgovski (Caltech and Meta Institute for Computational
Astrophysics (MICA))
- Joanna Scott (Writer for Nature and manages Second Nature on Second
- Adrienne J. Gauthier, M.Ed. (Instructional Technology Specialist,
Steward Observatory)
- Tony Crider (Elon University)

This online conference provides a great opportunity for anyone
interested in exploring the latest in science education using 3D,
immersive, virtual worlds.

It is ideal for anyone who might be at any stage of implementing
education projects using virtual worlds.

There will be many opportunities to ask questions and discuss ideas with
our speakers and guides as well as others attending the conference.

Those new to Second Life are encouraged to attend! We'll even be
offering Second Life orientations before the 30th so if you've been
meaning to check out Second Life, but haven't quite gotten around to it
this is a great and structured opportunity to learn about some fantastic
projects and also take Second Life for a spin.

The conference will be held live online in Second Life on January 30th.
The registration fee is $65 per person. (Group rates are available.)

For more information on the conference, please visit:

Warm regards,

Alliance Library System and LearningTimes

Wow! Where else can you attend a conference for $65?

If you've been wondering about Second Life, this looks like a good opportunity to take the plunge. I've done it and it's a little scary, but exciting, too. If you plan to go, you may wish to read this first, and don't worry, you'll have a good time.

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I've fiddled with SL a bit and so far I have the impression that it's mostly furries, Larpers, and fetishists having poseballs and competing to make the most obnoxious prims.

It sounds cool, though. How are they going to deal with the bandwidth/lag issue? Whenever there is a large concentration of avatars in one area, everything slows down. I'm looking forward to Metaplace; it ought to be interesting to see what kind of science-related things crop up there when it's released in alpha.

It's true, Second Life can be weird. Scientific poster sessions though, and meetings are surprisingly similar to real thing, with the exception that people dress more creatively.

Sorry, I should have provided a link to Metaplace. The actual homepage of Metaplace is much less informative.

Up here in Michigan, the University bought an island and is developing a teaching curriculum around it. So far it seems to mostly be stuff like music theory and Italian. It's run by one of the library's digital outreach staff. I don't remember her real name, but she goes by Perplexity Peccable in SL. Perhaps she'd have some good resources for you in your quest to digitize science and students alike?