Spotlight: VCARA Student Resource Center

VCARA Blog

Published: September 15, 2016

Newbies and veterans alike can find helpful resources at the VCARA Student Resource Center on iSchool Island in Second Life.

You’ve created a Second Life account–taken the brave leap, downloaded a viewer, logged in, and explored iSchool Island.

Your navigation is a little wobbly, your avatar isn’t quite what you’d like, and you’re struggling with Second Life’s learning curve.

VCARA can help!

The VCARA team is happy to answer questions and log in to assist our new members. But iSchool students are an independent lot, and many of us like to explore first and ask questions later.

If this sounds like you, head over to the VCARA Student Resource Center, where iSchool alumna Chris Nelson (Snow Scarmon in SL) manages a space that offers resources for all experience levels. You’ll find tips and tutorials, places to go, things to do, ideas and tools for information sharing, books about Second Life, useful websites, student exhibits, and free stuff to enhance your avatar and SL experience.

How to get there:
  • Start at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SJSU%20SLIS/43/73/33 in your viewer (just outside of the VCARA Ampitheatre).
  • Rotate your avatar so that you are facing a path of gold bricks with black arrows.
  • Follow the arrows through the archway. (You’ll notice a “Student Resource Center” sign above the arch.)
There isn’t a wrong way to explore the space, but this editor recommends the following path:
  • Turn right, and you’ll walk along a corridor of navigation information, including tools to help you see, sit, and fly.
  • Then turn left and wind through the remaining corridors on that side. (Don’t worry if you see arrows pointing in other directions or if you see “under construction” signs — Snow is ever-improving the space!)
  • In these corridors, you’ll find tips for changing your avatar and meeting people as well as using voice, editing your profile, and using your inventory.
  • Eventually, you’ll find yourself on the side of the building facing water (and VCARA’s pirate ship!). Don’t follow this corridor. Instead, turn left and make your way back to the Resource Center entryway.
  • Facing the arch, turn right and walk through a corridor of panels. These panels have links leading to information science and virtual worlds-related websites.

  • At the end of the corridor, turn right again to enter a connected corridor filled with panels that link to helpful Second Life locations (free stuff, libraries, role playing communities, etc.). You’ll also find free image-editing resources like Gimp and Jing.

Looking for more advanced stuff? Check out the downstairs and upstairs sections of the Resource Center for freebie vendors (downstairs); building, slideshow creation, and image editing tutorials (downstairs); and student projects (upstairs).

Please send any feedback on the VCARA Student Resource Center to Dr. Pat Franks. If you’d like to assist Snow in managing the space, also contact Dr. Pat Franks.


For information about joining VCARA in Second Life, please refer to our VCARA for Newbies blog post. To request an orientation to Second Life and/or VCARA, please contact Dr. Pat Franks (patricia.franks@sjsu.edu)