I went to Dr Bron Stuckey‘s session on Quest Atlantis before lunch. I’m only blogging about it now because 1. I’m now feeling a bit more awake after a delicious lunch, and 2. I was so focused on what she was talking about that I completely forgot to write anything when I was in there!
If you haven’t seen QA, you really should check it out. I have already signed up for a teacher account, and am waiting semi-patiently for Bron to get a chance to approve it. It’s an amazing virtual world environment with a huge range of quests available for students to complete.
I LOVE that there is a strong focus on digital citizenship and social justice. I truly believe we can’t teach about digital citizenship without actually using digital tools … It’s like trying to learn how to swim without ever going in the water. I love that there is a strong monitoring of the chat, which then provides opportunities for authentic conversations with students about how you interact online. I love that the quests provide authentic learning, around meaningful ideas and content, which encourage students to work collaboratively and on higher-order problem solving skills.
I have a bit of a fan-girl crush on Bron …. I totally admire her passion, her commitment to meaningful and authentic learning, and her willingness to share her knowledge with others. What has been wonderful about this festival for me has been the opportunity to be surrounded by so many passionate committed educators. Totally loving her work, and looking forward to exploring the wonderful world of Quest Atlantis!!
Cool things about QA from a teacher perspective include the fact that it is free – YAY!!!! The wonderful people at QA will also provide teachers with training to support you in your use of QA with your students. As a teacher, you have the ability to lock or unlock quests for your students, so that they can only access them as you want them to. As a parent, you can know that your children are protected, as only verified teachers are able to access the virtual world with students (until they verify that you’re a teacher, you will be able to see other teachers, but not students.)
I’m so excited by the possibilities, particularly of the persuasive writing quest that Bron showed us. I love the blending of literacy, social justice, science ethics, etc etc – the possibilities are almost limitless. I’m already planning in my head how I’m going to use it, and I’m not even fully registered yet!
Do you use QA? What do you think about it?