Well, I received a letter last Monday (3/31/08) that the grant I applied for was approved! The grant money will cover the costs to:
- purchase an island on the Teen Grid
- pay monthly maintenance fees for one year
- set-up accounts for 75 students (three block-scheduled classes)
- purchase previously built objects (furniture, landscape, etc)
- purchase books/training equipment
I have done some preliminary planning/layout of the island (more on that later). I got some good advice while sitting-in on a class that Tutti Barbosa held on the island of Abracadabra back in February. The "tour guide", Kim Anubis, owner of The Magicians content development group, shared some wonderful insight concerning island terraforming (island topography) and island planning in general. Abracadabra is a wonderful example of terraforming with emphasis on form and function (and it looks really cool too).
Anyhow...the next step is to meet with:
- the Director of Education Technology for our District
- our Principal
- our Department Chair (who also is our Technology Coach for Classrooms for the Future)
We need to determine the type of island (closed to "outsiders" or open), student use policy, the hardware requirements, as well as many other items. By the way - two out of the three individuals above have created avatars! We are leaning towards meeting in-world to avoid the restraints of a physical meeting.
This is a very exciting time for us, given the push towards acquiring 21st Century Skills!