I have nothing but praise to bestow on InfiniD Learning today. In fact, this post will be a written testament to the genius of Skyler Carr, Casey Voeks, and everyone involved in the imagineering of their missions. The reason for my praise is something that happened last Friday. Let me tell an abbreviated version of the story.
Due to an error on my part, I left two of our Young Astronaut squadrons short their third mission / class rotation. I occasionally make scheduling mistakes when mapping out dates and times to get all our 23 Young Astronaut and Voyager Club squadrons fitted out with their 8 meetings for the school year. And because of one of those errors, I needed to have one team do a flight session and another team do a class session on the same day. That's a no-no, due to the fact that I can't be in two different places at the same time. My solution was something we'd never tried before.
I scheduled the two squadrons for last Friday. The 5th grade flight team and the 4th grade class / flight team met in my room at 12:45 P.M. I got the 5th grade team ready to start their mission and turned them over to Bracken. The 4th graders had their meeting extended to 3 hours instead of two. Their first two hours would be spent with me in the classroom while the 5th grade team flew their mission. They'd enter the Voyager for their 1 hour mission when the 5th graders went home. I needed to come up with an extra hour of curriculum. My solution was to have them do an InfiniD mission for the first hour before teaching them my prepared hour long astronomy lesson reserved for their 4th round.
I've never seen or supervised an InfiniD mission. I've seen bits and pieces here and there but never sat in on a whole flight. My sixth grade teaching partner does InfiniD as part of our science curriculum. Friday was my first InfiniD rodeo. I brought in the light cart, pulled up my preassigned mission, had the kids log in, pulled the window blinds, shut off the classroom lights and started the mission. What I saw amazed me.
My 4th Grade Tiger Squadron was into the flight from the start. I thought they'd be a hard sell considering they fly in the Voyager on a regular basis, but I was dead wrong. They were 100% immersed in the mission to Mars. I didn't have a thing to do but watch and be amazed at the amount of learning taking place.
What impressed me the most was the cooperation and communication the mission brought out in the cadets. There were some heavy debates on action items and a few mission failures along the way. In fact, that InfiniD mission had my cadets just as involved in this mission as they would be on the bridge of the Voyager. In fact, they were so immersed and involved I'm beginning to consider implementing aspects of an InfiniD mission into the way we run missions in our brick and mortar ship. It was amazing!
I'm gong to implement InfiniD missions into our Young Astronaut and Voyager clubs for the cadet's 6th classroom round coming up in a month. The program will from now one be an integral part of our club. I just need to coordinate with our cadet's classroom teachers so we're not doing duplicate missions.
InfiniD team, you've taken my dream of a classroom simulator from the early 1980's and made it real. You've found a way to take the mission magic worldwide. My hat is off to what you've accomplished and I'm proud to be the voice of your computer.