Well what an exciting couple of days! I heard about 7.45am yesterday that our consortium’s application for funding from the NZ government’s Encouraging and Supporting Innovation fund had been successful! With around NZ$500,000, it will allow us to devote some real resource to exploring and developing education and education resources in Second Life. The consortium is made up of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Otago Polytechnic, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand and Wellington Institute of Technology and IBM are giving us their support too.
Our current plans include a research report looking at the pedagogy of immersive environments, the identification and building of two learning activities designed to take best advantage of SL, the introduction of educators to Second Life and assistance for them to effectively teach there, the piloting and evaluation of the learning activities with students by these educators. Ambitious? You bet! It’s going to be a busy 18 months I think but hopefully we should learn a huge amount and be able to pass on a number of tips on what to do (and what not to do!).
Part of the project too is to extend and maintain a community of practice for NZ educators and both Koru and the Kiwi Educators group will be big players in that. Watch out for news of events happening soon.