Learning in a virtual environment


Second Life is a 3-D virtual world that is almost entirely built and owned by its residents.  Sophisticated tools allow users to develop personalised 'avatars' in which to explore and create a virtual space in which to live.  In order to enhance the user experience, objects can be created, traded, bought and sold.  Increasingly, educators are using virtual worlds, like Second Life, to explore the potential of collaborative online learning within the curriculum and to enhance out-of-hours provision.


This year, the South East Grid for Learning (SEGfL) is working in partnership with the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Berkshire Branch, to build a virtual island for educational purposes. Students aged between 13 and 18, together with supporting adults, will work together on a range of self-directed and collaboratively developed initiatives. Some of these may link directly to the curriculum, whilst the personal interests of the participants will drive others.

Some of the learning experiences that will be available:


  • be involved in the 'terra-forming' of the island
  • build personal spaces
  • learn through online teaching/training workshops
  • collaboratively explore real-world issues
  • attend and contribute to online conferences and debates
  • showcase work - real-world and virtual
  • practise using languages other than English
  • develop programming skills using a powerful in-built scripting language
  • set-up and manage an in-world business
  • interact with virtual projections of experts from different career disciplines
  • create, explore or partake in virtual simulations and role-plays
  • make machinima (videos) of second life activity for different purposes/audiences

If you are interested in finding out more we can send you an information pack. Please email us at office@segfl.org.uk