Monday, August 4, 2008

And So It Begins

The members of the eXtension family caregiving SL project are so glad that you have joined us. Let's answer a few fundamental questions first.

What is eXtension?

(Visit us at
From our website: "eXtension is an interactive learning environment delivering the best, most researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America. eXtension connects knowledge consumers with knowledge providers - experts who know their subject matter inside out.

eXtension offers:

  • Credible expertise

  • Reliable answers based upon sound research

  • Connections to the best minds in American universities

  • Creative solutions to today's complex challenges

  • Customized answers to your specific needs

  • Trustworthy, field-tested data

  • Dynamic, relevant and timely answers

eXtension is unlike any other search engine or information-based website. It's a space where university content providers can gather and produce new educational and information resources on wide-ranging topics. Because it's available to students, researchers, clinicians, professors, as well as the general public, at any time from any Internet connection, eXtension helps solve real-life problems in real time."

One of the areas addressed through the eXtension initiative is Family Caregiving.

What is Second Life®?
On the
Second Life® web site, the following description is used to explain the Second Life
® concept:

"A 3-D virtual world created by its Residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of Residents from around the globe.

* From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

* You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow Residents. Because Residents retain intellectual property rights in their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other Residents.

* The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the inworld unit of trade, the Linden™ dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online Linden dollar exchanges."

Who are the
eXtension Family Caregiving Second Life® Project Members?
The active members include staff and faculty members from eXtension, Kansas State University and North Carolina State University.

What is the Goal?

The goal of this initial project is:

To raise public awareness of design features and assistive technology that can make it possible to
remain in the home with physical or cognitive challenges due to aging, illness, or disability.

How Are We Getting There?

We are building a simple prototype home featuring universal design features and assistive technology devices to help provide guidance to builders
within the Second Life® environment. Our next step will be to sponsor a design competition in the virtual world. This design competition is for an accessible housing design to include assistive technology.

We are just beginning this process. We hope that the pictures included here, which show our prototype design build under construction, will give you an idea of what this is all about. Please check back!

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