Second Life

Do you like the life you are living?  No?!  Try Second Life.  Second Life is a virtual and networked world where anything is possible.  Real people are able to join Second Life where they are able to live out their virtual lives together.  Users unhappy with the way they look can take on a character that looks like their ideal self.  People are able to build their virtual homes the way they want.  If you do not like your current weather, you are able to virtually move to another environment.  Second Life is the perfect (or un-perfect) world, exactly the way you want it to be.  Rosedale (2008) noted that a virtual environment is ideal for the creativity process because of the reduced costs in creating things.

Dr. Thornburg noted that a disruptive technology is a new technology, which is like an old technology, but it is enhanced and a replacement of the old technology (Laureate Education, 2008).  Second Life is that type of disruptive technology.  Well, what is the old technology being replaced?  Life itself.  The user is able to build anything anywhere in the name of creativity and exploration.



Surrogates, starting Bruce Willis, pitched the idea of people living safely at homes while a perfect robotic representation perused the world, which is similar in idea to Second Life.  Surrogates is a movie of people living in a utopian world behind a sensory system that is attached to robots.  Unlike Second Life, the movie is limited to laws of physics whereas Second Life allows people the freedom to defy physics.  View the trailer of Surrogates.

In terms of education, Rosedale (2008) noted that a virtual world allows people to communicate through 3D pictures.  Pictures are more memorable than using words (Rosedale, 2008).  Learning material can be presented in words and with pictures where the users are free to explore the content like a virtual fieldtrip.  Second Life also has the potential to replace fieldtrips for schools.  Instead of visiting a museum, students can attend it virtually and a their own pacing.

Are you a Second Life user?  Leave a comment, tell us how and why you use it!


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008).Emerging and future technology: Disruptive technologies. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Rosedale, P. (2008). Philip Rosedale on Second Life [Video]. Retrieved from


6 thoughts on “Second Life

  1. Hello Sanjay,
    Second Life is an amazing way that technology has created for people to communicate in a different way. This new form of communication uses text and images for people to engage in social networking. I think many of the science fiction movies explain the diversity of the communication type. I could really get use to communicating this way, instead of using traditional forms.

    • Have you seen the movie Surrogates? Could you imagine waking up, attaching yourself to a machine, and carrying out the rest of your day in a virtual simulator where everything is perfect? I think we are heading there with our technology. Good bye human world. Hello virtual world!

  2. I have used virtual realities to help teach communication skills to the children I teach. It’s easier for children to communicate in a virtual world, because in a virtual world the person on the other end is not threatening. However, children also learn how communicating through writing can be difficult and I use that to teach them illustrative writing skills.

  3. Hi Sanjay,

    yes, technologies tend to be replaced with some of the features from the obsolete technologies. This is why many technologies are named Rhymes of the Past. However, technologies are replaced because adopters are always looking for new ways to implement current technologies. In this way technologies are sustainable as time moves on…


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  4. I’m not sure about replacing field trips, but having the ability to take trips that I would never be able to would be nice. Living in central Missouri I could never take my 3rd graders to Washington D.C., but through the virtual world we would explore the Smithsonian Institute from our classroom.

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