E-Learning and Instructional Support (ELIS)
E-Learning and Instructional Support (ELIS) Address

Introduction to Second Life

Second Life is a virtual three-dimensional world where people meet by means of an avatar. Educators and their students have an increasing presence in Second Life, holding virtual classes and participating in interactive events, such as simulations, role-playing, and 3-D webquests.


OU SL island


Videos about Second Life

Sample videos that show some of the Second Life possibilities for moving, communicating, building, and creating an identity.

1) Create your Second Life account:

  • Get a free Second Life Account
  • This process will create your Second Life avatar. Write down it's first and last name and password. You will need to verify this through the email address you give.
  • Download the Second Life software This is needed to login to Second Life. Login here with the first and last name of your avatar and it's password. After login, you will arrive at Orientation Island. You will need to finish that in order to transport to other areas.
  • Transport to the Oakland University Island
    a. First join the Oakland University group. Login to Second Life. Click Search on the bottom of your screen. Click the Groups tab and in the Find box, enter: Oakland U Public Member. Check "include mature" checkbox. Click Search and then on the right hand side of the screen, click Join.
    b. Transport by clicking on Map at the bottom of your screen. On the right side of the screen, enter Oakland University into the Search area and click Search. Downbelow, click Transport.
  • Second Life Education FAQ

Note that you have several avatar choices, but changing avatars is not easy unless you use a different email. You do not need a premium account, which will cost you money.

Complete the Orientation Island sequence, that will take an hour or two. When you finish, you will be transported to a crowded welcome area. From there, you are free to roam the whole wide Second Life world, using the Search and Transport buttons.

It doesn't matter what you do or where you go, just practice flying, walking, talking, interacting with objects. The more time you spend in-world, the more comfortable you will be.

WARNING! There are many places in Second Life that are not work appropriate. This kind of material should only appear in "Mature" areas, labeled at the top of the screen. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you can always hit ctrl-shift-H to take you back to your "home" location or choose a new location on the Map and transport there. You shouldn't have many problems if you stick to educational sites, but there are many other types of sites as well. Those under 18 years of age are not allowed on the main servers (grid), but have their own TeenGrid.

Happy Exploring !

2) Get connected with the educational community:

One of the best things about Second Life is the networking. If you're looking for other education professionals who are dedicated to exploring the cutting edge of teaching with technology, then Second Life is the place for you.

The first stop for any educator is the SL Education Listserv. Very prolific, but archived on the web for searching and threading. Also extremely friendly to new members, so don't be shy!

Next, find out which institutions are already using Second Life.

3) Familiarize yourself with the research:

(Adapted from University of Cinncinati website by permission of Chris Collins.)