The second...literally as I was into my third cup of coffee and almost done with the fruit plate his morning...that he began to speak, I knew I'd never think of the 'first day' of college again.
One of my colleagues here in Michigan this week is a guy named Phillip Long, a remarkable individual from MIT who helps (my paraphrase) to oversee the technology intergration that helps to fuse the academic and research experiences for undergrads and their courses. His role is far more diverse/complex...and intriguing. Officially, here's what allows him to connect such dots: Sr. Strategist for Academic Technology & Dir. Learning Outreach. At a place like MIT, that's an intriguing role, to say the least.
In any event, back to the coffee, the fruit plate, and the literal second he began to shift the way my brain imagines the future of undergraduate life. I'll just sprinkle the plate with a touch of salt and pepper. You do the rest. But here's the premise:
Take the Facebook network.
Weave it into the Second Life experience.
And now tell your soon-to-arrive freshman to build their world.
Have new college freshman create their residential/community experience before they arrive. Avatars. Pushing at the boundaries of how the dorm room, the residence hall, the larger social realm. Shape shift the very experience of testing out new identities, new collaborations, new social cues. Imagine. Imagine the act of showing up on day one at the college of your choice (maybe Will's kids will go afterall, he smiles) and already having 'lived' a portion of your residence hall life. Facebook meets Second Life. Limitless identity re-formation.
And then begin to think of the 'plug-in' potential. The open source frenzy that follows. The good, the bad, the ugly, and the nearly 3D. Just imagine.