VWBPE 2014: panels announced

2014 banner

The seventh Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference, taking place in both Second Life and OSgrid, will commence at 11:00 SLT on Wednesday April 9th, 2014 with an informal meet and greet between 12:00 and 13:00, and will close on Saturday April 12th with a special ceremony at 18:00 SLT, followed by a party at 19:00 SLT.

On March 9th, I provided coverage of the keynote speakers announcement. At that time, Ebbe Atlberg’s keynote address hasn’t been defined, however, this has now changed. The keynote is titled Reconnecting with the Education Market, and is described as sharing his initial thoughts on “the importance of supporting educational use of Second Life, the company’s interest in rebuilding and strengthening the connection between Linden Lab and the community of educators using the platform”, and will primarily comprise a brief opening statement so that the majority of his time can be devoted to a Q&A / discussion.

As well as the keynote speakers, VWBPE have also released details on the key panel discussions taking place over the course of the conference. These are:

Thursday April 10th

08:05-09:05 SLT: OpenSimulator’s Role in the Future of Virtual Worlds Research and Education

A discussion of OpenSim’s education community and AvaCon’s contributions to education and research, especially in regards to how the OpenSimulator Community Conference has been a powerful tool for this advancement.

Panelists: Joyce Bettencourt RL/Rhiannon Chatnoir SL, Chris Collins RL/Fleep Tuque SL, Crista Lopes RL/Diva Canto SL, Melanie Thielker RL/Melanie Milland SL, Michael Cerquoni RL/Nebadon Izumi SL.

Location: Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium.

14::00-15:50 SLT: Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: A Best Practices Influence

A discussion on the kinds of trends that the VWER has seen over the course of its existence, and to what extent it may have influenced and advanced best practices in the use of virtual worlds for education. The connections established by the group have bonded a band of educators that share ideas weekly, and it is the persistent popularity of these meetings that make it such a noteworthy group in Second Life.

Panelists: Evelyn McElhinney RL/Kali Pizzaro SL, AJ Kelton RL/AJ Brooks SL, Shailey Minocha RL/Shailey Garfield SL.

Location: Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium.

Friday April 11th

09:00–10:50 SLT: The Science Circle: Connecting Different Disciplines, and Inspiring Creativity and Inventiveness

The Science Circle consists of over 200 scientists, educators, entrepreneurs, and students on four continents. The VWBPE Panel will share the story of its development and the challenges faced and overcome in establishing a functional and lasting community with members of diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Panelist: Chantal Snoek RL / Nymf Hathaway (Chantal) SL, Jesse Stannard RL / Jes Cobalt SL, Phil Youngblood RL / Vic Michalak SL, Hajime Nishimura RL / Yan Lauria SL, Steven Van Hook RL / Kip Roffo SL, Deepthinker Oh RL/SL.

Location: Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium.

Saturday April 12th

09:00-10:50 SLT: Connecting the Past, Present, and Future of Second Life

“It is the essence of good management that an effective advisory board, properly composed and structured, provide informed guidance in the quest for superior corporate governance. That includes opportunities to seek out dissenting viewpoints that challenge the status quo and forces executives, and board members, to re-evaluate long-held beliefs which may be holding back growth and profitability. Third party expert opinion provides a safe harbour which new executives can realise new opportunities without being prejudiced by internal politics.”

The objective of this panel is to develop a position paper which can help guide and inform Linden Lab’s new CEO on the opportunities, risks, cost benefits, and potential returns on investment based on a thoughtful analysis of the issues facing our communities of practice.

Panelists: Botgirl Questi SL, Will Burns RL/Aeonix Aeon SL, Terry Beaubois RL/Tab Scott SL, Kevin Feenan RL/Phelan Corrimal SL.

Location: Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium.

16:00-15:50 SLT: The Freedom Project: How Artistic Expression Transcends Real Life Challenges

The purpose of this panel is to discuss how The Freedom Project helped spotlight artistic expression for people with invisible illnesses or other disabilities. Through this effort, people who have real life challenges can develop a connection to a community and be able to transcend real life challenges.

Panelists: Jay Jay Jegathesan RL/Jayjay Zifanwe SL, Alice Krueger RL/Gentle Heron SL, FreeWee Ling SL, Dianne Elton SL.

Location: Second Life VWBPE Main Auditorium.

Notes on Attending

The VWBPE conference is free to attend, and those wishing to do so should register via the conference registration page on Eventbrite. Attendees will also need accounts for both Second Life and OSgrid in order to attend all events on both grids.

Follow-up Course

The main conference will be followed by a 3-week Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). This is intended to highlight examples of educational design from many immersive environments. In the past, presentations have included environments such as Club Penguin, Eve Online, World of Warcraft, Spot on 3D, inWorldz, Sococo, and a host of other virtual platforms. Details on the MOOC are generally posted to the VWBPE MOOC website, although information on the activities for 2014 have yet to be posted – check the main VWBPE website for updates.

Related Links

With thanks to Bevan Whitfield

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