Always good to triangulate your data –
1. The Gartner Hype Cycle/Wave indicates that “Virtual Assistants & Public Virtual Worlds are nearly through the Trough of Disillusionment, about to enter mainstream in 5-10 years”
2. Recent Grant activity encouraging the use of Collaborative Virtual environment:
- NY, Utah educators get$1 mil NSF grant for OpenSim
- Beginning Oct. 18 the Gates Foundation announced a Nov. 17 application deadline to fund initial awards of $250,000 to $750,000 for Increasing the use of blended learning models, which combine face-to-face instruction with online learning activities and Deepening students learning and engagement through use of interactive applications, such as digital games, interactive video, immersive simulations and social media (among other criteria).
3. OpenSim regions hit all-time high, growth rate accelerates – Oct 15,2010 statistics show a 14% growth rate in 1 month
So if the Hype Cycle/Wave is correct it would seem that decision makers may want to pilot some work in the area of use of Collaborative Virtual Environments in education so that educators are prepared for when this technology reaches the Plateau of Productivity. I wonder if school districts could be proactive in preparing for this technology instead of playing catch-up?