What was once a Star Trek: The Next Generation fantasy is now reality.

Educators around the world are excited about an MIT project that promises virtual collaboration -- via holodeck.

Ned Thomas is Dean of Engineering at Rice. He says holodecks could revolutionize teaching.

"We learn by other people showing us and touching us and being right there with us -- one on one instruction, right? You don't learn to ski by reading about it. You learn to ski by skiing and falling down and having the instructor right there to show you how to do it."

The MIT holodeck would allow a teacher in Boston to show a student in Houston how to perform a task or design a building with neither having to travel or even email pictures to one another.

"Your body language is turned into actual physical motion at the other end; which still isn't the same as being there but it's getting a lot closer. If it's inexpensive to do and easily adaptable this is huge."

No word on when MIT’s project might be available commercially.