Recipients of 2007 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration Announced - $100,000 went to Duke University for leadership and development work on the OpenCroquet open source 3-D virtual worlds environment. From About the Technology: "Croquet is a powerful new open source software development environment for creating and deploying deeply collaborative multi-user online applications on multiple operating systems and devices."
In 2007, HP and Duke University announced the formation of the Croquet Consortium, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the continued development and refinement of the Croquet open source platform. The work behind this project started several years ago and continues to develop. I'm optimistic about this virtual world and its potential in higher education. There appears to be more of a focus on educational applications than Second Life and other virtual worlds. It also seems much easier to use. I'll continue to investigate.