The first thing is to set up an account and develop your avatar. There are heaps of videos on YouTube that will help you work your way through this process such as this one.
The next thing you need to do is download Second Life onto your computer. Second Life is a complex platform that uses a lot of internet band width and specific computer hardware, so it is worth checking first that you have a computer that will support SL.
Here is a guidebook that will help you learn the basics about SL. Another place that is full of fantastic information about Second Life is the Jokaydia wiki.
I think the key to finding your way in SL is to network with people who use it a lot. Here are a few SL communities - please let me know if you across others.
- VLENZ - educators in New Zealand who are interested in virtual world, facilitated by Clare Atkins.
- JoKaydia - a community of practice facilitated by Jo Kay, who is based in Australia.
- Virtual Worlds Best Practice Conference, next due March 2011.
- Gronstedt Group’s “Train for Success” - a weekly trip in SL to a place of interest, across all spectrums and interests in SL.
- Second Life for Healthcare Support and Education - email group for people interested in SL and healthcare.