The summer began with an exciting meeting at the Board where we skyped with Ohio University about the set up and possible other uses for the virtual room (recap of meeting posted elsewhere on the IforI blog).
Room 313 was cleaned and painted in preparation for the installation of the projectors and computer, and finally the day came. Chris and Jason from Metis worked all week getting everything set up and in working order.
On Friday, August 14, we had our first public viewing. Amanda, Donna, Dicky, Joani, and teachers from all over the building came to watch the demonstration. Although one of the four projectors is missing (ETA next week), the room is very impressive! We went to the Eiffel Tower in France, to the White House, and even to Mountain Brook High School. We attempted to do a virtual tour of the Louvre Museum in Paris, but got stuck in the basement!
After all the excitement, two things are obvious:
1. Teachers are excited! They see possibilities and applications to their course matter that we have not even begun to explore.
2. As exciting as it all is, this Virtual World will demand a learning curve, both in the technical and the curriculum aspects. It was easy to get lost, easy to get stuck in a room, etc. We will need to be intentional and focused in accepting the challenge and for this tool to be not only engaging, but also effective.
Did I mention how much fun it is?!