Second Life

A little about the History of ETSU Second Life... If you want to skip the reading and go directly to ETSU Island, this link will take you there.  If you do not have an account sign up using the Orange SignUp Button in the upper right corner.

Mid-Summer 2007, The Office of eLearning, Division of Academic Technology with the assistance of the Office of Information Technology, purchased a virtual educational space, approximately 16 acres in size.  The island name is ETSU. At this time there are several working groups on the island one of which is called Buc Nation.  Members of Buc Nation have roles that allow for various levels of creation and building rights. 

The purpose of the ETSU Island is to promote education, increase communication, and market our beautiful University. Instructors and students will experience interaction in a virtual world.  Instructors can communicate and collaborate with other instructors from around the globe.  Academic Technology, the Office of E-Learning and Online Education will be happy to guide you to other locations in SL that are already being used in higher education.  We can help you identify appropriate uses for SL in your own courses

Anyone can create an innovative learning environment for students and faculty and we can help as needed. Explore new tools and techniques for information and scientific visualization. Design collaborative meeting spaces and interact with colleagues from across the globe. Whether you're thinking of enriching an existing curriculum or experimenting with completely new educational goals/tools, Second Life is a platform for innovation.

Future of Virtual Worlds and Education

Virtual 3-D Worlds can be used as a small part of a bigger picture called eLearning and Online Education.  Just as the use of Wimba, Connect, Wikis, Blogs and Content Management Systems have a place, so do Virtual Environments.  3-D environments have improved with the ability for anyone to build objects, managers/instructors can use an object to display media such as PowerPoints and web pages easily. Voice has become standard format and it works as well as Skype.  The ability to work as a team builds cohesion and strengthens the class or team. 

Along with increased uses of virtual environments come increased cost.  Especially for those using commercial environments such as Second Life.  Therefore, here comes the OpenSim Grid.  OpenSim Grids can be protected behind firewalls, can be managed, can be kept private and/or secure.  The following are the most popular for those in education and business at this time.  These can range from free to a few dollars a month. 

Forty large social grids are being tracked.  They are only a small percentage of the grids currently running on the OpenSim platform. For example, OpenSim hosting provider ReactionGrid alone is hosting more than 100 grids for its customers. Thousands more are operated by other hosting providers, non-profits like Media Grid, or others are being run behind the corporate or campus firewall by in-house technology departments.

The full table of the 78 public grids that were active as of October 2010, with grid addresses,  is located here: October OpenSim Grid Statistics.

October Region Counts

Article taken from Hypergrid Business -
URL to article:

The plan is for more educational venues to use opensim - open source and Avatars will be able to grid hop from one institution grid to another just like jumping from one web page to another.  Standby, the best is yet to come and ATS will be keeping you informed.