Here are a number of resources to help orient you to the virtual world of Second Life (be sure to scroll to see them all)


You can start with this video introduction to the idea of virtual worlds:

Here's a short (6 minute) video introduction to SL Viewer 2:

Web Sites

Here are some helpful resource web sites for you.

Instructions and Orientation:
Beginners quick-start guide to Second Life (7-page pdf)
Beginner support for Viewer 2
Various maps of Second Life
Viewer 2 Video Tutorials

Web sites with education-type info:
Second Life Educators wiki
Education and Non-Profits in Second Life
Planning a virtual field trip in Second Life a helpful document for taking new people on a tour of interesting places in world.
Academic Organizations in Second Life List of Colleges, Universities, Museums, and Libraries with a presence in SL.
SL Calendar calendar of major events going on in Second Life.
Science places of interest in Second Life
The Global Kids Second Life Curriculum is a 438-age curriculum guide to using Second Life with kids. You'll find it uploaded here to this wiki under "Images and Files".
And remember, Second Life "time" is Pacific time - so be sure to make the translation for any scheduled in-world events to your time zone.