This Wednesday the Kyoto Students will start their weekly ‘Survival Japanese’ lessons for Modesto students that are travelling to Japan this April during their Spring Break.
The purpose of these lessons is twofold. The Kyoto students can teach the Modesto students how to recognize letters and numbers and to speak basic words in Japanese (which will require them to communicate in English with the Modesto students). And this will again provide opportunities to build friendships between the students before they meet in April.
This week we will be using the K12Video.org service (part of the K12 High Speed Network) to conduct the class over a video conference link between Japan and the US. The remaining lessons will be moved in-world to Second Life on the Skoolaborate islands in the Education zone. Chris Flesuras tells me that they have acquired a speed dating seating object that will allow for students to be paired up and moved away from the group for a set time period, then brought back in and repaired for the next conversation. I’ve not seen it yet, but it definitely sounds like a great repurposing of a scripted Main Grid object for education on the Teen Grid.
I will post some pictures, screenshots and maybe a few video clips of these lessons as we move through them over the next six weeks. I was told last week that we may have our host family pairings this next week. That should allow for communication to start flowing between the host families and their visiting students.
April 8th is quickly approaching, and everyone is getting excited (and nervous) about our trip to Kyoto.