An online virtual world that has become one of the web's most popular activities is also becoming an increasingly popular venue for teaching and socialization among educators and youth organizations.

The program, called Second Life, which first opened to the public in 2003, immerses participants in a virtual world of their own making. By setting up an account (either paid or free), users are able to create a virtual persona known as an avatar, which they can personalize to look however they want.

The program, from San Francisco-based company...

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