Anyone who enters Second Life for the first time is faced with a very steep learning curve. This starts with the basic skills of moving around, personalising avatars and interacting with other 'residents', through to making effective use of the practical functionalities of finding and retrieving information etc.
Therefore, we would suggest that education in Second Life requires the acquisition of three sets of skills. You can read about each of the skills on cheap-papers.com to understand in which direction to develop and which methods to attract for upgrading.
However, competencies are not exclusive to any one particular group and the learning and teaching dynamic will change, so learning is not always driven by the practitioner, but by the learners themselves [an andragogic model].
The use of virtual worlds and specifically Second Life should enable educators and learners to be more creative and adaptive in how they use the environment, and in developing new ways of learning, rather than purely replicate real life into second life!
Earlier in the year we wrote a discussion document around this concept, which we presented at the Second Life Best Practices in Education conference [25th May 2007].
Since then, we have now held a range of in-world and out-world meetings - both formal and informal and are now moving to phase 2 of the project. You can view the results of those discussions via our Virtual Learning Environment.
For more information, IM in-world: Chris Eggplant