Reed to lecture in Second Life

RENCI director Dan Reed will lecture in the virtual world Second Life on Friday, March 16, at 1 p.m.  Reed’s lecture, titled “Computing the Future:  The 3D Net,” explores what technology advances the next decade – a geological epoch on the computing time scale – could bring to education and research.

The presentation is sponsored by New Media Consortium (NMC) an international nonprofit comprised of nearly 200 leading learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and technologies.

One of the technology advances of the next decade may well be the explosion of virtual worlds like Second Life in education.  Virtual worlds were named as one of the “Technologies to Watch” in this year’s Horizon Report.

The Second Life 3D virtual world is entirely built and owned by its “residents.” Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and now has more than 4.3 million subscribers, including educators and students from such institutions as Harvard, MIT, Princeton and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Second Life provides a unique virtual environment for educators interested in enhancing interactive learning, exploration, cooperative work, simulation, role-playing, new media studies and training.  Students and educators can work together in Second Life from anywhere in the world as part of a globally networked virtual classroom environment, mitigating the perceived impersonal nature of online education.

There are several ways to attend Reed’s lecture:

View it on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill 
Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community can view the lecture in Second Life without becoming a member by coming to room G102 in the Information Technology Services (ITS) building, 440 W. Franklin St. There will be an ITS staff member attending in Second Life who will project the lecture.  Any questions or comments for Reed will be forwarded through the staff member’s avatar.

Become a resident of Second Life
If you aren’t already a Second Life resident, you can go to and join free of charge.  There are instructions for creating your avatar at the site.  Then follow the instructions for attending the lecture.

Join the NMC Guest group
For those who are already Second Life residents, you must first join the NMC Guest group to attend Reed’s lecture.

  • From the ‘Edit’ menu, select ‘Search.’
  • Select the ‘Groups’ tab.
  • Enter NMC, then hit the ‘Search’ button
  • Select NMC Guests from the list
  • Click the ‘Join’ button in the middle of the right side of ‘Search’ interface.

Follow this link to the NMC Campus Gonick Amphitheater: 20Campus/114/100/26