The virtual world of Second Life has come to Middlesbrough BSF projects thanks to developers at the local City Learning Centre. Mindful of the 'visioning' needs - as well as the potential for expensive mistakes - of those involved in the multi-billion pound Building Schools for the Future programme, they’ve been creating virtual schools in the online 3D world to show teachers, pupils and governors what their design ideas could look and feel like.
One school that has had the 3D treatment is Acklam Grange. Construction work has only just begun, but even before the first builder came on site the school's stakeholders were already familiar with the layout of the learning spaces, furniture and equipment of the new school. It was built in SLischool on an 'island' in Second Life.
The CLC team has built up a wiki to share its experiences and record progress and went to the BETT 2009 educational technology show to spread the word. A BBC online news team was on hand to shoot some video - link below.