Hello virtual world! Get ready for some new residents.
This blog will chronicle the development of the Pacific Rim Exchange project (PacRimX). This is a collaborative project between two school districts, one in California and one in Japan. This project will be built on a virtual island in Teen Second Life. Since this island will be a private island, it will only be open to exchange students from the two school districts, and their teachers that are part of the program. This blog will be your window into our world as it is built.
My partner in this endeavor is an English teacher in Japan who I was introduced to at a dinner several weeks ago during a visit to our school district by a group of Japanese exchange students. This partnership has already produced one friendship across the Pacific, and the island has not even rezzed in the world yet.
Second Life seems to be experiencing a “second life” of its own these past few months. Suddenly Linden Labs is grabbing headlines in real world publications, even getting a cover story in Business Week. Businesses and non-profits seem to be joining the land rush in getting online in this brave new virtual world. Take a look at the Second Life Wiki.
This project will create a virtual island for Japanese and American students to cooperate and collaborate while moving a vision into the virtual world. Students will share their cultures, learn each others languages, and make friendships in a world of their making. All of the residents of PacRimX will eventually visit the other’s country as part of an exchange program. So after becoming friends online, most all of these students will meet in real life face-to-face. Some of these friendships may even extend beyond the foreign exchange program and into other virtual worlds, and maybe even in real life.