Virtual Learning

EG: How has using Second Life enhanced your development as an instructor?

JCB: Second Life has really enhanced my relationship with students who choose to participate in projects. I got to know some students in a much better way than if I had not used the technology to teach my class. In fact, last term I was so impressed with one student’s proactive attitude toward her project and willingness to help her fellow students that I offered to write her a letter of recommendation. This was an academically good but quiet student in real life whose personality really shone through in the virtual environment.

EG: What does Second Life offer for those interested in chemistry, and the history and social studies of chemistry, who are not teachers or students?

JCB: Second Life has many exhibits related to science that are intended for a general audience. Although the exhibits themselves may be interesting and illuminating, perhaps a greater benefit is the likelihood of meeting others with similar interests at these locations.

Science Tourism

Check in with like-minded scientists, educators, and students around the world at these science-oriented locations in Second Life:

ACS Island: hosted by the American Chemical Society, offering virtual conferences, parties, poster sessions, and museum exhibits.
The Tech: the island hub of the Tech Museum of Innovation, inviting visitors to create exhibits for its online exhibition.
Dinosaurs Park: an experience based on the book Jurassic Park.
Second Nature: hosted by the Nature publishing group, featuring online interactive exhibits and networking opportunities for science-minded institutions, professionals, and educators.
Biomedicine Research Labs: hosted by the Sbarro Health Research Organization, including reproductions of real biomedical laboratories.
Chemistry Corner: an exhibit of chemistry displays on Drexel University Island.
Energy Paths: exhibits about energy sources and sustainability, hosted by Commonwealth Island, a free space for progressive organizations to share information.
Nanotechnology Island: Second Life’s hub for nanoscience and nanotechnology, sponsored by the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
Science Friday Island: home of Ira Flatow’s weekly National Public Radio broadcast.