[Working Title] : VIRTUAL SCHOOL
[One secondary school in cp area to be selected]
[Age Group] : Primary & Secondary; Years 6,7 and above
[Participating organization]: Active-studio; Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis : University College London.

Introduction : 3D interactive virtual version of school

Students & teachers will work with Designers & Developers through a series of workshops & a survey by years 6 & 7 to produce a web site. This website will be home to the VIRTUAL SCHOOL, and should be linked to schools existing site. This VIRTUAL SCHOOL website - navigated in a similar way to a 1st person computer game - would give the students a perspective and overview of life & education in the school. Allowing the students to be able to look backward at projects they've done in the past & compare this with similar projects they may be working on now, or of older children further up the school. Prospective primary school children, teachers, parents, foreign exchange & evening class students could also access the VIRTUAL SCHOOL at any time.

You would be able to switch between the different functions of a room, since they often have more than one use. What is a Form room & Dinning area could switch to become an English classroom used to teach creative writing. An imaginative way to present this function might be to have a tree like object in the room, certain leaves could have children's names on, which by clicking displays their work. Around this tree you might find writers who inspired this work, and touching them could return a quote or list of what inspired them…

Participants of the workshops would gain experience of a range of creative & technical roles, and see how they relate to knowledge learned through the national curriculum. There would be 2 parts to creating the VIRTUAL SCHOOL. The first part would be to create the model of the VIRTUAL SCHOOL (& web pages that contain it). The second part would be to design & create content for the VIRTUAL SCHOOL. The second part could be ongoing with content being updated.

1. Model of the Virtual school

School grounds, the entrance, Library, Gym, corridors, Science labs, and Music rooms… are all spaces that have to be surveyed in order to build the VIRTUAL SCHOOL. A picture of the school as it exists needs to be built up in this survey. Starting with a map of the area, plans & sections of the school, Years 6 (primary),7(secondary) can survey & document what they find. Their survey should include written descriptions drawings & photographs, so that colors, textures, lighting, fixtures & furnishings are available for the workshops.

Workshops for creating both the VIRTUAL SCHOOL & its content would cover skills & knowledge based in at least 5 subjects and could involve: design and technology, ICT, Mathematics, art and design & Science.

The VIRTUAL SCHOOL would be recognizable as such, but not necessarily to scale, so if you walked around the virtual school, you would find rooms in the same relative location, but inside you could find things you couldn't get in a real classroom. This would allow for more Imaginative use of known spaces because content wouldn't be so restricted. This would also provide the school with the opportunity to present a different (virtual) identity.

2. Virtual school's Content

A challenge of the project would be the VIRTUAL SCHOOL's content. Subjects perhaps not directly involved in creating the VIRTUAL SCHOOL : English, history, geography, MFL, music, PE & RE should have ideas about how they want to distribute content between their virtual classrooms(in order that different key stages are covered).

Types of content we might find: Characters (mythical, historical, contemporary), Teachers (Avatars), Machines (Roman, Victorian, scientific), Paintings etc. Around Each corner a different imaginative space should open up.

Other Benefits

- Potential for online communication between users of the VIRTUAL SCHOOL. - Schools existing web site would be enhanced providing a guide to where things are. - Introduction to web based interactive 3D technology. - Training for teachers.

Adobe Atmosphere
Currently for Microsof internet explorer on PC only

Viewpoint Media Player
Mac Supported & Pc Netscape Navigator 4.07 or later, or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x or greater
Content requires a plug-in that should automatically start to download.

Macromedia Shockwave Player 8.5.1