Southern Worlds 2010 Conference

October 28, 2010

This year, I was fortunate enough to participate in an online session about Quest Atlantis as part of the Southern Worlds 2010 Conference.  The session was called, “Quest Atlantis: Fab Tales from the Classroom” and was a wonderful opportunity to share special memories about working with our own Questers and hear the experiences of others.  A number of Quest Atlantis teachers have shared their stories on the Quest Atlantis Teaching Wiki.  We were excited to hear from teachers like Steven Caldwell, who is currently on a study trip in the United States related to the use of Quest Atlantis.  Steven’s blog, Milarepa’s Musings, documents his travels and includes posts about a number of innovative educators.  I was also excited to hear from Janine McGrath, as she spoke about a wonderful collaborative Summer Camp Project using QA and centred around the BP Oil Spill.

Moments in Quest Atlantis I will not forget…

We started our Quest Atlantis journey at the end of 2008. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience for our teachers and opened our eyes to the wonderful opportunities that virtual worlds can offer our students.

Part of my role involves assisting teachers with the implementation of new ICT related projects. This is my 20th year working in education (I only just realised that now whilst writing this!) and, I have been fortunate enough to be involved in many wonderful projects but, I have to say, none have been more rewarding that my involvement with QA and virtual worlds.

When I first joined QA, virtual worlds were still so new to me. I was nervous, excited and, most of the time, completely lost! I will never forget the wonderful students I met from around the world who “took me under their wing” and happily shared their thoughts about how much they loved QA.
As we introduced our first group of students to QA they were mesmerised by this new way of learning. Their gratitude was so touching. When I visited their classes they would thank me for QA – they realised that they were part of something very special, an opportunity that most students would never have in their time at school.

When the very first student, Cleo, luminated for the first time, it was like someone had found a rare and priceless treasure. The entire class gathered around Cleo’s computer and did a countdown before she clicked the “LUMINATE” button! They waited with baited breath whilst Cleo followed the instructions and watched as the huge shard flower rose out of the water. Cleo wrote about her experience, “I pulled down the lever and a massive shard flower full of colour, with all the petals luminated and shining, came out of the water. It was amazing and beautiful. I got down from the ledge and refreshed by page and then…the moment I had waited for…my shard flower appeared behind my head with the social responsibility petal lit up!”

There have also been some sad moments during our QA journey. I will never forget one of our youngest Questers coming to me quite distressed. I wondered what had upset her so much, not thinking for one moment that it had anything to do with QA. “I lost my house…” she said, through her tears. The student had not been in QA for some time and, when she returned, found that she could no longer access her plot of land as she had not paid her rent. For me, this was the moment when I realised just how important QA is to our students. Tess had worked hard to complete the building course in QA, ensured that she could pay her rent by doing in-world jobs to earn extra lumins and painstakingly built and furnished her buildings.

I wonder if our students would speak so passionately and feel so deeply about a workbook containing their answers to questions from a textbook?


The Journey Begins for Our New Questers!

April 23, 2010

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This week, a new group of Questers began their QA journey with a Student Information Session conducted by Mr B (or Hawkeye, as he is known in QA).

As there are four Junior School English Classes using QA this year, teachers felt that it was important to address them as a group, ensuring that everyone was “on the same QA page”.

Mr B emphasised the important role that Quest Atlantis plays in helping all of us develop good Cybersafety skills. If we do happen to make a mistake, we are in a monitored and supportive environment – a perfect place to learn these skills.

You can view the Quest Atlantis Student Information Session Slideshow on Slideshare. Detailed accompanying Teacher Notes are also available and should be used in conjunction with the presentation.

We look forward to hearing more about our new Questers as they come closer to visiting the OTAK Hub for the first time!


Unlocking New Mysteries of OTAK & Atlantis

October 1, 2009

Have you met Maq the Gnome? What did he tell you? It seems there are new mysteries unfolding in the world of Atlantis and with OTAK. Can you retell Maq’s story? And who are the new characters sent to help us with the Social Commitments? Are they the key to the new mysteries of Atlantis?


My Building Experience in Quest Atlantis

July 11, 2009

One of the things we love about Quest Atlantis is that there is “something for everyone”.  QA has a number of different learning activities that will appeal to learners of all ages.

If you have always wanted to build your own house but thought that the real thing might be a little challenging, then maybe you should try your hand at building in a virtual world!

One of our youngest Questers has been completing her own Qville building project over the school holidays.  She took me on a tour of her Qville lot and I asked her to answer a few questions about her building experience.

How did you learn how to build in Quest Atlantis?

Well, first of all there is a building course in Quest Atlantis.  It’s like you’re being tutored. What happens is you read all the instructions and follow them until eventually you make something. Then you can go onto building big buildings and houses and hotels!

How did you organise your own plot of land?

First, I went and did the building tutorial, then I had to go to this building that is in front of you when you first land in Qville. Then I went to a computer and I clicked on it and on my Q-Pod one of the clickables said “Rent a plot of land”. I clicked on it and chose to buy lot 200. Also every one month you have to pay a rent. The amount you have to pay is 6 Cols. Then I went and started to build my house.

Do you buy land or do you rent it?

You can’t buy the plot of land you can only rent it which means you have to pay the Cols every single month.

Describe the different buildings and items on your lot.

First I have two mushroom houses in the backyard, one is for me and the other one I built for lucytrainer :) I also have two water features in the backyard. One is a very small fountain and the other is a big fountain.

Inside the real house I have one bedroom for myself because this house is only for me. I also have a kitchen, bathroom, a waiting room for the bathroom and a lounge room. (This includes a dining table in the kitchen.)

A mushroom house is a small house shaped like a mushroom with a chimney out the top of it’s roof. Lucytrainer’s house is green and yellow and mine is pink.

What is your favourite item or area on your lot?

I don’t have a favourite item because they are all very nice really except for the toilet and the toilet roll, but my favourite room is my bedroom. I love it because it’s a place where I can relax and enjoy my time to myself.

Our Quester has also written a story with images about her Qville building experience.  Click here to visit the Flickr page.


Our QA Presentation at the ICTEV Conference

June 7, 2009

At the recent ICTEV Conference at Melbourne Grammar, we presented “Learning, playing and helping in a virtual world”. Here’s what TessStar had to say about the day.

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