This blog entry is written by Chris Flesuras III, a Kyoto Gauken teacher who is one of the founders of the PacRimX Project:
The students logged on for the first time today, and there was a genuine excitement about seeing their avatars for the first time. Initially, it was hard to get them to begin editing their appearances because they seemed to be amused just from flying around and greeting each-other. For those in attendance, it was quite a sight to see 40+ avatars flying around on the Kyoto Island, but once they settled down, it was fun to see what kind of avatars they created.
Almost everyone had the standard T-shirt and jeans, but most chose to change their skin color and hair style almost immediately. In a school that requires uniforms, and enforces strict hair and makeup guidelines, it was easy to understand why some of them went crazy editing their appearances. It will be interesting to see how the building tutorials go. It’s easy for them to get distracted by interacting with others, so the next challenge is to focus their attention on creating things.
Managing 35 students at a time is tough, especially with some of the unforeseen computer or software issues that a few kids had. The system ran fine up until the end. There were some lag issues when everyone logged out at the same time, so we’ll have to taper that a bit in the future. All in all, though, I think it went really well, and I was happy to see so many Modesto people there to greet the Japanese students. As the year progresses we’ll work out the kinks and get the ball rolling on some big projects.
I want to thank Stan and Rodney for this experience today. I can definitely say this will be a huge success.