NMC Virtual Worlds : Apr 27, 2010 09:43am
The review panel has completed its work reviewing the proposals for the NMC’s “Free Island in Second Life!” competition. We received many excellent proposals and we would have loved to have been able to fund them all!
We have awarded the use of the island to the Wired Humanities Projects and The Center for Learning in Virtual Environments at the University of Oregon for their “Virtual Oaxaca” Project:
“Virtual Oaxaca,” A Second Life Island for an NEH Summer Institute
This July, thirty stellar K-12 schoolteachers from around the United States will participate in a four-week, National Endowment for the Humanities-funded, summer institute in Oaxaca, Mexico, offered by the Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon. The Center for Learning in Virtual Environments will collaborate in the creation of a simulated “Virtual Oaxaca” that will enhance these experiences. The participants will anticipate their experience together by building a virtual environment between April and June. Once in the field, in July, they will use the space to capture and display the journey as it unfolds, engage students from around the world to participate, chronicle what they are learning, and represent and remix their findings with the public.
Prior to the journey to Oaxaca, they will begin by placing Flickr sets anchored to a 3-D map of the state of Oaxaca that features ancient pre-Columbian cities (such as Mitla, Monte Alban, Teposcolula, and Calixtlahuaca), living indigenous communities (homes to colorful handcarved wooden animals, shiny black pottery, or wool woven into geometric-patterned rugs), key spots in the capital city (such as the textile and art museums, the beautiful ethnobotanical garden, the chocolate mills, the open-air craft and food markets, the manuscript restoration workshop, the history museum and library in the sixteenth-century convent, contemporary art studios, the film center, and even our own classroom spaces. Classroom spaces will be the scene of many social and cultural activities, including linguistic and musical demonstrations.
The plan is to experiment in creating a contextual space for dialogue about indigenous peoples’ origins, struggles to survive in the face of conquest and colonization, language evolution, evolving art practices, and filmic portraits. The team will shape a mini-world where participants will be able to represent their Mesoamerican inquiries and interactions with indigenous collaborators and faculty, journaling the experience with wikis and other Web 2.0 media inworld and in context.
In the opinion of the reviewers, this project not only was structured in a way that made full use of both the resource and the time frame in which it was available, but also exemplified the potential of a virtual environment for sharing rich cultural experiences that can blend both the real and virtual.
We look forward to seeing what they do with the island!
Originally published at NMC Virtual Worlds