(A reader, Alma Row, was kind enough to let me know that, unfortunately, there is some content inappropriate for the classroom on this site. Oh, well, maybe somebody else will come up with something similar someday)
Journeys is a pretty neat “virtual world” where students (through their avatars) can learn geography by traveling there through a variety of means (hovercraft, balloon, etc.). Once they’ve arrived, they can learn basic information about the location.
Avatars can also chat with with other travelers. This feature gave me some pause, but since it appears that they can chat only with people who they accept as “buddies,” it seems the site might be appropriate for classroom use. I know my students would love it.
I’ve got to explore it a little further, but it looks like it might have some potential.