Blackboard To Give Away $25,000 Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds
Learning management provider Blackboard is expanding its "Greenhouse" initiative into the area of immersive virtual learning. Through a new program, called the Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds, a single recipient will receive a $25,000 for the integration of virtual worlds into teaching and learning.
Blackboard's Greenhouse initiative recognizes a variety of efforts on the part of K-12 and higher education institutions, covering such areas as Exemplary Courses, Exemplary Campus Services, and best practices in electronic learning. The new Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds joins the regular, ol' Greenhouse Grant and the Exemplary Campus Services Awards in giving cash to educators who innovate using Blackboard software.
The new Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds will award one $25,000 prize for initiatives that integrate virtual worlds, such as There and Second Life, into education. Blackboard's stated criteria for the winning entry include:
- The program must enhance the learning experience;
- It must "leverage existing teaching and learning strategies and best practices;"
- It has to "integrate virtual worlds and Blackboard Enterprise Software through Blackboard Building Blocks and Blackboard PowerLinks;" and
- The results should be accessible to the Blackboard community.
The deadline for submissions for this latest grant opportunity is Sept. 24, 2007. See the link below for further details.
In related news, Blackboard earlier this month handed out 10 awards in the Greenhouse Exemplary Course Program, five "Best Practices" recognitions, and two Greenhouse Grant awards (not to be confused with Greenhouse Grant for Virtual Worlds).
The 10 awards in the Greenhouse Exemplary Course Program include:
- Capella University
Submitted by Nick White and Adonica Aune
- Governors State University
Introduction to Online Teaching
Submitted by Jan Engle
- Iowa Department of Education
Submitted by Gail Wortman
- Kamehameha Schools
Hawaiian Pacific Literature
Submitted by Kelly Dukelow and Christy Sato
- Regent University
Web Design and Publishing
Submitted by Tracy Stewart
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Nuclear Phenomena for Engineering Applications
Submitted by Don Steiner
- University of Houston-Clear Lake
The Sacred Feminine in Latin America
Submitted by Teresa Van Hoy and Azalea Boehm
- University of Pittsburgh
Allied Health Education
Submitted by Joanne Nicoll and Carol Washburn
- Utah State University
Intro to Deafness/Blindness
Submitted by Nanette Sorensen and Linda Alsop
- Virtual School
Cultural Identity Through Literature
Submitted by Lisa Pupo
The "best practices" recognitions went to:
- Capella University
Communication Strategies for IT Professionals
Submitted by Liz Anderson and Eileen Dittmar
Best practice for exemplary development and use of a rubric that aligns
with course objectives
- Iowa State University
Computer Literacy and Applications
Submitted by Susan Chang
Best practice for exemplary migration of research online while preserving
student satisfaction and success
- Florida State University
Introduction to Sociology
Submitted by Isaac Eberstein
Best practice for exemplary student engagement through clickers (PRS) and
other technologies in a large course
- Madison Area Technical College
News Writing and Reporting
Submitted by Larry Hansen
Best practice for exemplary use of wiki tools in an online magazine
- Southbank Institute of Technology
Communication in the Workplace
Submitted by Tanya Wolfe and Robyn Horsman
Best practice for exemplary use of Page Tracker in a course
And, finally, the Greenhouse Grant recipients were:
- Seneca College (Toronto) and Grand Rapids Community College (Michigan)
Advanced System Tracking & Reporting Building Block
Submitted by Santo Nucifora, Seneca College and Eric Kunnen,
Grand Rapids Community College
- Deakin University (Australia)
Open-Source Social Software Tools Integration
Submitted by Ian Smissen
Winners of the Greenhouse Grants took home $25,000. These awards and recognitions were given out earlier this month at the BbWorld '07 user conference.
Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.
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