The visiting Kyoto students arrived last Friday in Modesto. We have 35 students visiting Modesto from Kyoto. Summer school started yesterday, and many were still battling jet lag from their trip. Apparently, there were some problems with host families and housing shortages, so some families have taken more than one student into their homes during this visit. For the most part, the first day of summer school went very well. There are three classes during the day for this summer school.
The first session is only the Kyoto students. They are learning about multimedia and how to work all the equipment. Yesterday their teacher, Brad Cornwell, was teaching them the basics on the video cameras they will be using during their class. We had a handful of Modesto students that showed up early for class, and they were helping out during this first class of the day.
The second class is mixed with both Kyoto and Modesto students. This class will be doing video production. The class is broken up into six mixed teams that will each produce a DVD of their summer experiences. Yesterday they were watching sample student videos from last year, and discussing techniques for making a music video. Today many of the students will be bringing in sample music to select from (most have iPods loaded with songs). Two of my triplets are enrolled in this summer school class. They said that the Kyoto students in their group want to do a Rock/Hip Hop video.
The third class is for Modesto multimedia students. This class is similar to the one that we held last summer. These students are working with the new Kyoto students in Second Life and over video conferences and in-world. Yesterday they spent a short time getting the new Modesto students up to speed with Second Life while waiting for the Kyoto students to come online with the video conference. The goal yesterday was to have the students interview each other. Tomorrow we will be doing the in-world avatar hunt where the Kyoto students have to find their Modesto partners that they interviewed in the video conference. They will do this by interviewing the avatars in-world and using the information from yesterday’s video conference interviews to match the students to their avatars.
The new computer configurations worked extremely well yesterday with Second Life. We ended up using a dual boot configuration, stripping out the Second Life partition of almost everything except Second Life and some supporting applications (like Quicktime). The performance was much improved over our network install last year, and we had no crashes the entire day. A few students from last summer are in this class, and they were helping the new students get their footing in Second Life. They also commented on how fast the new SL setup is over last year.
There are three trips planned over the next three weeks. All of the students will be going to Monterey, Marine World (now renamed Discovery Park), and San Francisco. Shopping is high on their lists while here in the US. Videos and stills from these field trips will be incorporated into their DVD’s to take home to their families. It’s going to be a fun three weeks, and I will keep a steady flow of updates posted to the blog.