Immigration: Past, Present, Future and Virtual

Topic/Focus - Using The Arrival as a springboard, learners will explore the issue of immigration--past, present, future, and virtual (I will develop this further)

Audience - I will aim to make this project adaptable for use informally, but also formally for teachers who might wish to use it in a classroom setting.  The formal age group will be for older learners/high school, but it will be easily adaptable for nearly any age group.  Informally, it will be for anyone interested in the topic of immigration and the experience of the immigrants.

Need - Obviously, the issue of immigrants from Mexico is a hot media topic, especially in the year before a presidential election.  The issue itself is so very complex, and we tend to be given information by the media as if it were very cut and dry.  While I wouldn't even try to present answers or definitive conclusion, the process of exploring the topic of immigration would, hopefully, open the minds and hearts of learners who might not have considered the complexities of the issue.  The final product/creation:  Since I want to make the focus more on the process of learning, I am unsure at this time as to what the final tangible creation might be.  My initial thought is to have the end creation be an open interpretation of the experience, perhaps something that could be contributed to using a collaborative process based on dialog as inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat/Andy Warhol's collaborative piece, "Ten Punching Bags, 1985-86 ".  I think collaboration is appropriate since dialog and exchange of ideas is the focus of the topic in the first place, and sharing the creation via takes this one step further in sharing it with the virtual world.

Incorporation of at Least 3 Technology Elements - 1.  A blog will be the "starter" or the platform.  2.  Second Life will be incorporated for the experience of virtual immigration.  3.  Videos will also be used.  4. Virtual field trips  5.  Original Work:  Most likely a short "starter" Photostory project streamed into video that relates to The Arrival, using my own original audio recording and digitally edited photographs/graphics

Technology Effectiveness - The platform for this project will be a blog, since dialog and ongoing contribution is a major part of this project.  While the springboard for this project is a print book, The Arrival, I envision using multiple websites, including virtual field trips (obviously one of the many virtual tours of Ellis Island will be used), and incorporating Second Life for the virtual immigrant experience.  I will also seek out podcasts, bogs, and/or other web 2.0 resources to deepen the exploration of this topic.  However, before I make any concrete decisions, I still need to do a bit of research via professional journals.  The Photostory starter will aim to emphasize the focus of the project as process-centered/dialog-centered/collaboration-focused.

Technology Issues - While I still need to do some research via professional journals, I imagine that by incorporating Second Life, there will be several issues that might arise, including access to high speed internet. As I develop my project further, I will try to find at least one additional technology issue that might present a challenge.

Final Products - I will include an assessment rubric and surveys for  use pre-project and post-project for learners to compare how their own views on immigration might (or might not have) changed. The platform will be a blog, and I will, naturally, build this. I will add more details on this aspect of the project as I develop my own ideas further.