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Dubai Women's College

Tateru Nino

Dubai Women's College is, as far as we can tell, the first educational institution in the Middle East to open a campus in Second Life (are we wrong? There's a lot of educational institutions with setups and sites on the grid).

The island, Dubai Women's College, isn't, as yet, a whole lot to write home about -- a mosque, some signs, some classroom-platforms, out in the middle of community-college-ocean. There's a college map, and a museum-under-construction.

Oh, and a sign out front that proclaims: 'The extent of a teacher's imagination is the only limit to what or how teaching can take place in this learning environment.' Well, that and a functional grid gets you a virtual-world-enabled education.

More interesting; they're selling abayas and the mosque is oriented 259 degrees to the grid's West – 'virtually' towards Mecca, although we're not really sure what their reference point is. We understand that the intent and the effort is a key part of the process.

Apparently they're planning on running hospitality and hotel models, hospital, nursing and dentistry simulations and jewelry design classes, not to mention organizing 'international student cultural exchanges'. They're also planning a shop to sell student wares. 'DWC's Student shop on campus will become an exchange house for UAE Dirham to Linden Dollars.'

'While the educational uses of Second Life are not immediately obvious to some people, I believe this is because they do not understand the active nature of the medium. It can be used for whatever we can dream up, but for people lacking vision, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit, they simply are not able to comprehend the possibilities.'

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