In late December Quest Atlantis won the Edublog Award for Best Educational use of a Virtual World. This award was nominated for and voted by our teachers, so that now the world knows what we all know about Quest Atlantis: it really is the best! Of the 500 votes in this category Quest Atlantis received 224, making us head and shoulders above some very worthy contenders. This award was not just a recognition of the virtual world program but also of the teacher network that we have together developed. It recognises this blog, the Quest Atlantis Teaching Wiki, and all the teacher and student contributions on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube . Our knowledge sharing community supports teachers about the globe in sharing strong pedagogoical practices, teaching hints and tips and amusing and poignant stories from the classroom.
All too often the great tales of momentus Quest Atlantis value are left in the classrooms from where they emanate. In 2011 we will move to strengthen our sharing of practices. Our Teacher Connection Meetings continue on the first Thursday of the month, in three timezones (Asia-Pacific, USA/Canada and Europe) over skype and inworld. In these meetings we often troubleshoot, share stories, invite guest speakers and generally enjoy the company of other QA educators. The 2011 kick off meeting will take place on February 3rd with invited guest speaker teachers in each region sharing their expert practice.
In the early part of this year we will be offering training for teachers wishing to use our new interface to develop and share their own Quest activities in the world. Teacher contributions will keep the curriculum of QA culturally diverse, dynamic, topical and globally relevant. There will also be a virtual buoy camp to gather all our facilitators together in a refresher/celebration of the global distributed leadership of Quest Atlantis.
Questers in our Student Congress, a world built and designed by students, are are working hard right now to prepare for a February launch of that world. This is a place for students to step up and be the designers, leaders, and managers of their own virtual world experiences and learning. Watch out for announcements on this as it promises to be one of the most exciting additions to our Quest Atlantis community.
From my perpective this Edublog award represents so much of what makes QA exciting, and is a much deserved token of how mature our program and community are.
Let’s all pull together to make 2011 another winning year!