To get an idea of the future at the University of New Orleans (UNO), just imagine Barbie, Ken, and hundreds of their clones dropped into the world of The Matrix.

It's a virtual world, populated by perfectly proportioned people with great hair and cool clothes who strut, stroll, and even fly through an airy virtual building that is UNO's internet home.

Whether teacher, student, or administrator, each visitor to the site chooses an online alter ego--an avatar, in computer-speak--that is assigned a name and can even be custom-designed.

Merrill Johnson, an


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