Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge 2012

14 03 2012

The Maya Astronomy Center built in Second Life (HMS Center Region) is a Finalist at FVWC‘s Focus Area: Engaging Learning.

Here is the video tour:

Beverly Gay McCarter notes: “www.HumanMosaicSystems.com — This is a BRIEF video tour of the HMS Maya Astronomy Center_Phases 1 and 2 COMBINED.

The Maya Astronomy Center_Phases 1 & 2 is an interlocking kinetic modular learning system that is a resource intensive build. It explores the Maya understanding of astronomical events and how that information impacted their culture and society. This learning module utilizes a multi-floored resource Library, as well as related independent learning modules that expand on the central subject being taught.

The Center is a free standing learning module that is able to be a stand alone exhibit or be integrated into other related builds expanding its capability. It demonstrates a pedagogical model that can be used with a variety of subject matter. The learning environment uses interactive intelligent agents, a HUD learning management system, music and dance to reinforce learning, interactive 3D models, a narrative structure to help explain the complex dynamics involved with the topic and to set the learner on an engaging Quest, hidden traps and reward systems that impact tokens earned, and multiple quizzes that award prizes.

This self-guided immersive learning environment utilizes Maya cultural mentors who appear and guide the participant as they explore the various interactive 3D exhibits in the Maya temple and on the grounds giving the participant more in depth information through the use of interactive 3D models, chat, note cards, slide presentations, web links, and videos.

The exhibits help the participants understand the complexity of the subject by breaking it down into different related units that build upon one another as the participants explore the information in this interrelated learning module.”


Be sure to watch this video and tell us what you think! Thanks


ESA Foundation: Education Challenge Grant

9 03 2012

Here is another grant I found (and posted on arvelsig.com 3 days ago). Summary: The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation, with other academic organizations, is developing a contest for a K-12 grant to support the implementation of computer and video games in the classrooms. Winnings go from $15,000 to $40,000. USA only.


The ESA Foundation and its partners, the Cooney Center, FAS, California Endowment and the Association for Middle Level Education, will issue a call for lesson plans, submissions and other proposals incorporating existing computer and video games into school curricula. The goal is to harness the excitement and energy of playing video games into positive, measurable outcomes that advance children’s education and learning experiences.


The Challenge Grant partner organizations will serve as the blue ribbon panel of judges who will review the submissions and choose winners. The judges represent key sectors – including education, computer and video game publishing/development, and media and arts – that know first-hand how innovative games have and will continue to play a critical role in our education system.


Three prizes will be awarded to the most innovative entries, in the amounts of $40,000, $20,000 and $15,000, to use toward implementing the proposed lesson. The awards will be based on the originality and creativity of lesson plans that reflect the contributions that games make to a child’s learning.


  • February 2012 – Launch
  • April 6, 2012 – Deadline for submissions
  • April 20, 2012 – Panel judging
  • May 1, 2012 – Announce winners

Download the application here: http://www.esafoundation.org/ESAFChallengeGrantApplication.pdf

Complete info at http://www.esafoundation.org/challenge-grant.asp and other pages on that website.

Here is a badge for tweeting about it, sharing it on your blog/network, and/or for posting in comments that you are applying for it (Then, you'll have to keep us updated on the progress. Good luck). Thanks!

NSF grants for cyberlearning

20 02 2012

Keep your eyes open on this site. NSF is interested in supporting what you do in virtual environments.

Happy Digital Learning Day!

2 02 2012

Digital Learning Day is a nationwide celebration of innovative teaching and learning through digital media and technology that engages students and provides them with a rich, personalized educational experience. On Digital Learning Day, a majority of states, hundreds of school districts, thousands of teachers, and nearly 2 million students will encourage the innovative use of technology by trying something new, showcasing success, kicking off project-based learning, or focusing on how digital tools can help improve student outcomes” (Read more at http://www.digitallearningday.org/).

In support of Digital Learning Day, Rocketfuel invites teachers to submit ideas to be made into an educational game. Rocketfuel Games is a producer of interactive entertainment that you play online and in the real world.

How to Submit

1) Send us a written game concept – 500 words or less. You can share ideas from games you have played, seen. Identify the target grade, subject, topic and key learning objectives.

Submit your idea here: http://bit.ly/z2D9V5

2) Tell the world – tweet out your 140 character idea @rocketfuelgames and add hashtags #bringyourAgame #DLDay

i.e. “@rocketfuelgames Combine a first person shooter and math #bringyourAgame #DLDay”

FYI: On Dec 8, 2011, Rocketfuel Games announced that they agreed to co-produce a new education-based video game with GURU Digital Arts College (Edmonton, Canada). “Mind’s Eye is a first-person shooter game that teaches students math skills while they obliterate mutant enemies. (read more http://www.rocketfuelgames.ca/2011/12/press-release-minds-eye/).

Please tweet (#educedge) to spread the word on the Rocketfuel teacher contest!