You can download Viewer 2 now as your primary viewer. The older viewer can still be used and is not replaced by viewer 2, but the experience in the new viewer is much better, as I’ve noted in previous posts.
Here’s a short video on the new feature of the Second Life® Beta viewer of placing a URL on the surface of a prim. You can interact with the loaded sites, including writing on a Google doc, using it as a whiteboard. You could load your LMS site and all your students could move through it independently. Lots of possibilities.
Try this link to the larger version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZ5GUAQpmA
Here are a few stills of the URL on a prim feature:
The other big news in Second Life® (see previous post on new resident homes), is the new beta viewer. It is going to be terrific when it irons out any bugs–I haven’t found any. It’s sleek and easy to use, mimicking a web browser, with the typical search bar and easy to find links to landmarks, also in a bar. On the right side is a collapsible sidebar where you find your inventory, profile, appearance editor–all sorts of things that were scattered about in the old viewer. In addition you can apply media to the surface of any prim. There is an option for bubble chat–a chat bubble appears above your head when you chat. I would like it better if you could type right in it, but it’s an interesting idea that I have tried in a few situations.
Below, you can see the sidebar expanded in the left photo and collapsed in the right one.
The discussion among educators is that this easier to use viewer might make the whole experience better for both faculty and students. Read about and download the viewer here: https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2010/02/23/second-life-viewer-2-beta-now-available