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Friday, May 21, 2010

Virtual 3D World for Teacher Training

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) launched an online resource for potential and current educators in West Virginia called Teach West Virginia and as part of the initiative, a 3D world is playing a key role in the process.

According to the article West Virginia looks to Second Life

As part of the program, they have developed a unique and groundbreaking virtual world on the internet’s largest 3D virtual community, Second Life. This world is being created through a partnership with West Virginia University’s College of Human Resources and Education. Pamela Whitehouse, assistant professor of Instructional Design and Technology, is directing the production of a virtual space for Teach West Virginia, which showcases many of the things that are unique and wonderful about teaching in the Mountain State.

Visitors currently may interact with avatars of representatives from the WVDE, explore a movie theater, and participate in an interactive scavenger hunt designed to highlight state professional teaching standards. The movie theater features virtual refreshments and video clips about issues relevant in a new age of education while highlighting many of the ongoing events and initiatives going on at the WVDE. The scavenger hunt takes users on a journey through classrooms from traditional styles of the past into the progressive Global21 classrooms of today. Along this journey, visitors collect clues to progress through the interactive game. The clues educate visitors about West Virginia’s professional teaching standards and how each standard applies to a new style of learning and classroom instruction for the 21st century. At the end of this journey, users are assessed on what they have learned and rewarded for their efforts by winning a virtual Global21 T-shirt for their avatar.

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