One of the first people I met in Second Life was Jeff Corbin (his name in real life), a research associate in physics and astronomy at DU. He has built the Science School in Second Life, which DU will be using for classes.
Andy Guess, in an article titled “In Second Life, There’s No Fallout” at InsideHigherEd.com, describes Jeff’s Island: “Science School is nestled behind a three-dimensional, real-time weather map with pixellated clouds hovering above the ground, near a telescope that can be used to view constellations during the winter, when its real-life counterpart at the University of Denver is inaccessible due to snow-covered mountain roads.”
With grant money from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Robert C. Amme, a professor of physics at DU, and some colleagues are going to build a nuclear reactor in Second Life as part of a master’s program “in applied science with an emphasis on environmental impact assessment that will feature classes held in Second Life.”
The comments on the article indicate what we face in using this technology (Second Life and other MUVEs) for educational purposes.