The first paragraph of the article gives you a peek at what is covered:
“The first day at a new school is never easy. You’ve bought new clothes for the occasion – although you’re not sure if the astronaut helmet matches the kilt. You watch your teacher hovering above the floor, waiting for the final stragglers to arrive. At last, your missing classmate appears on the roof, apologising for her tardiness: she was trapped in a cloud of bubbles. Welcome to school life – in Second Life.”
The article covers the Schome project that is led by the Open University to develop new education systems in both real and digital worlds.
“Schome – a portmanteau of ‘school’ and ‘home’ – was launched three years ago by Peter Twining, director of the centre for curriculum and teaching studies at the Open University. The aim of Schome is to encourage students and staff to think about how education systems could be developed and improved, and give input to students about their environment.”
The Second Life platform was selected because of the unique opportunities for experimentation:
“But it was the virtual universe of Second Life that offered the greatest opportunity for a clean blackboard. “It allows you to try out ideas in a way that would be very expensive or difficult to do in reality,” he added.”
This is a good article that covers a lot of ground on what they are doing and how the students are using it, along with a few that are abusing it. This article is well worth a read.