This post is in some ways a small celebration.
Over ten months ago an application for funding was presented to Ako Aotearoa to research the possibility of using virtual worlds to support literacy training. The application had been submitted on behalf of the Manukau Institute of Technology by Senior Lecturer in Foundation Studies, Merle Hearns (SL: Briarmelle Quintessa), who is currently studying for her PhD on education in virtual worlds. Merle and I have a long academic history together and have collaborated previously on the SLENZ Project; I am the named in-world developer in the application.
A week ago we finally received word that the funding has been approved.
As part of the MA Education in Virtual Worlds‘ Designing Curricula module, which I completed in January of this year, I presented an assessment paper that looked at the development of game-based learning to teach literacy skills. The paper provides the context for the above application and gives my consideration on how the outcomes of the application might be successfully achieved. For myself, it will now serve as a starting point for the discussions that will eventuate in relation to the build development and for the posts here that will follow that development process.
To say I am excited about this build is somewhat of an understatement. The discussions that were the genesis of this project are years old and the funding has been a long time coming. In fact the initial application was put forward over two years ago and has had to survive obstinate administrators, funding criteria changes, etc., but suffice to say that in the end both the institute and the funding agency have come to the party, for which I am grateful.
Kick off is in mid-July so I will keep readers informed of progress from then onwards. As always, if you have questions or comments feel free to post them.
The Literacy Project Series: Literacy Project Begins