I've never spent time to understand or experiment with Second Life. Somehow it seems more part of gaming than general online interaction and that seems like a whole different specialization. When I was checking feebs (Dutch site with videos for quote "ICT-ers and professionals" - so ICT-ers are NOT professionals :) I found this tutorial for Second Life by Thorley Linden. Besides using it as tutorial you can use it to get some feel of how it is to walk in second life with an avatar. It feels a little like walking in a fairytale.
I also read a book by the writer Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer about his experiences in Second Life. He wondered around for half a year. He has chosen to be a woman in Second Life as a kind of sociological or antropological experiment. He/she earns some money with Pole Dancing (?) = paaldansen. One of the big attractions for him is the fact that you can fly and don't need a house in Second Life. However, most of the avatars in Second Life do build a house and some even sit on their couches in Second Life. Since there is no crime (you can't bleed, and your property can be taken- in the code of property the owner is written) he (or she rather) had to get used to the absence of danger. After a while, he was seeing the normal world through Second Life eyes, being amazed about the details and searching for the minimap where you can spot other avatars.
I think this could be a way of using Second Life in the context of learning- to have people experience a different culture and see how it makes them creative and look at their real life with other eyes.