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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Out of hibernation

Hatters Island has been on hiatus for a few weeks, while the first few weeks of school played-out. I have been focusing all my energies on getting the school year off to a solid start and now I can turn some of my attention to the development of Hatters Island. Please remember, Second Life is totally new to our High School. In fact, the majority of students and staff know not of its existance. My intention is to have most of the basic necessities in place on the island before we introduce it and roll it out. Here is the plan:

  1. recruite several student builders and scripters through the newly-created Virtual Reality Club at our HS
  2. create student accounts for those builders/scripters
  3. have those few students assist me in building and scripting key areas of the island (see early posts for more on that) to prepare it for 2nd semester (late January) class-wide rollout
  4. possibly test out the island with select classes to identify any possible kinks

This timeline brings me to a very important point. I recieved a grant in the Spring of last year to fund the initial purchase of an island, 12 months of maintenance fees and building and scripting costs. In fact, the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation (the organization which awarded the grants) hosted a reception this week which brought together donors, staff, administrators and local legislative represenatives to showcase past and present grant recipient projects.

That having been said, we have much work to do before the close of this school year; island set-up, classroom use of the island and evaluation of the efficacy of this project. I truly believe this is not only a worth-while endeavor, but also a ground-breaking one while will help our students develop their 21st Century Skills.