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Professional Development

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A Electronic Simulation for Educational Entrepreneurs
Designed by Carla Mathison, Ph.D., San Diego State University*

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Armaiti Island is an electronic simulation designed for professional educators.  The goals of this instructional tool are:

1.  To provide educators with a rich environment, free of commonly experienced constraints, in which the conceptualization of innovative forms of educational practice might be collaboratively developed.
2.  To encourage the development of an intellectually grounded, reflective philosophy of education and a corresponding set of belief statements.
3.  To promote the creation of an articulated vision of education that expands the current possibilities, acknowledges the growing interconnectivity, exploits the emerging technologies, and anticipates the formidable challenges of the 21st century.
4.  To bridge present and future teaching/learning practices through the design of instruction that sits on the edge of possibility.

Overview of the Armaiti Island Virtual Environment

            Named for the ancient Iranian goddess of wisdom, Armaiti Island appeared quite suddenly in 2012 in international waters about 100 miles off the west coast of the United States of America near San Diego, California.  It is now 2014 and hundreds of explorers from all over the world have visited the island.  Some have chosen Armaiti Island as their new home.  Collectively, these pioneers have developed a set of core values and a governance system for the island.  As part of this governance system, seven forums have been formulated to assist Armaiti Islanders as they continue to conceptualize, develop and operationalize policies that reflect the island’s core values, both domestically and globally.
            A team of professional educators has been selected by the people of the island to work within the Forum on Education & Life-Long Learning.  This team is responsible for 1) developing an education philosophy and set of beliefs to present to the people of Armaiti Island for their approval, 2) developing a vision for Armaiti Island education, and 3) generating examples of instruction that align with the philosophy and vision they propose.  Each of these three products is evaluated by the island people using thorough evaluation rubrics.

Structure of the Armaiti Island Simulation

The simulation has four major parts:
1) Introduction to Armaiti Island
2) Phase 1 – Armaiti Island Education Philosophy & Belief Statements
3) Phase 2 – Vision for Armaiti Island Education
4) Phase 3 – Armaiti Island Instructional Unit

* Dr. Mathison thanks Andrea Saltzman-Martin, SDSU College of Education’s Instructional Designer, for her assistance with the development of this CD-based product.


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