Friday, 14 March 2008

Cheaper Second Life hosting for UK academics

One of the "older" (in relative terms!) areas in Second Life is the Education UK Island. What's it for? " Their website says:

"Education UK island is a not for profit educational island constructed in Second Life to provide a ‘safe’ location for U.K. virtual education."

...and who are they? Their website continues:

"We are purely a group of UK educationalists who have worked in UK education at practioner, manager and policy levels for a substantial number of years, who have come together and bought an island and the accompanying resources out of our own money. We are not in receipt of any funding for this."


And they host an impressive list of of colleges, universities, and other outfits who have developed stuff. These include:

  • School of Health and Social Care, University of Bournemouth

  • JISC Regional Support Centres

  • Derby University

  • South West Grid for Learning

  • Staffordshire University

  • City College Norwich

  • JISCMail

  • Association for Physical Education

  • Scottish Further Education Unit

  • Mid Cheshire College

  • King George V 6th Form College

  • Plymouth University

  • Hull University

  • University of the West of England

  • Literature Alive

  • Teachers TV

  • Myerscough College

  • Barking College

  • Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Leeds University


That's quite a lot to be getting on with, so it's worth spending a good few hours there. The afternoon and mid-evenings seem to be best, as that's when there's often various developers busy building stuff, or people holding meetings. If the flying or walking around is too much effort, there's a railway so you can sit on the train as it chugs around the island :-)

Education UK isn't the only place that provides third-party accommodation in Second Life for academics. For example, the Eduserv Foundation, who fund this research, host several on their pseudo-exotic Eduserv Island, such as the Centre for Information Literacy Research from Sheffield University. However, Education UK who are doing this pretty solely as a lo-cost route for academics, have by far the largest concentration of UK universities and colleges on one plot.


As well as their website, there's also a central office and further information about them within the island itself. 

To fly into, for example, the Plymouth University area on Education Island, go to (you'll need the SL viewer installed on your PC first):
...and from there fly up and have a spin around.

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