VWBPE 2015: Ebbe Altberg, a final call for papers, and sponsors

VWBPE_LogoThe 2015 Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference will take place in Second Life and OpenSim between Wednesday, March 18th and Saturday, March 21st inclusive.

VWBPE is a global grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments which attracts 2200-3500 educational professionals from around the world each year.

In the context of the conference, a “virtual world” is an on-line community through which users can interact with one another and use and create ideas irrespective of time and space. As such, typical examples include Second Life, OpenSimulator, Unity, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and so on, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any virtual environments characterised by an open social presence and in which the direction of the platform’s evolution is manifest in the community.

As well as keynote speakers, activities include presentations and workshops which span all of education from primary through to post-graduate levels. 2015 marks the eighth year in which the conference has been held.

The theme for this years event is Crossroads, and the event’s opening speaker, as many already know, will be Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s CEO.

Ebbe Altberg: opening VWBPE 2015
Ebbe Altberg: opening VWBPE 2015

VWBPE 2014 marked one of Ebbe’s earliest public appearances before users in an open forum. Over a period of 90 minutes, he demonstrated his willingness to engage directly with people when he took an unscripted questions-and-answers session (full transcript) with the 200 people in attendance or watching the livestream. Since that time, and throughout 2014, he continued to meet with a wide range of groups and communities – including representatives of the education sector.

With the Lab now engaged on both enhancing Second Life to the best of its abilities and in developing a new virtual world(s) platform,  there is liable to be a lot of interest in what is said during his presentation.

Final Call for Proposals – Reminder

The VWBPE attracts a wide range of speakers from the education sector, non-profit organisations, the arts, and so on. As noted in the original announcement that Ebbe would be opening the event, there is an open invitation to anyone who would like to make a presentation or run a workshop. However, the clock is now counting down.

If you are intending on submitting a proposal for a presentation or activity at this year’s event, please remember that the closing deadline for proposals is Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 (extended from December 14th, 2014). Proposals should be submitted on-line via the VWBPE Conference Central site (registration required), and guidelines are also available.

Sponsorship

As a volunteer-based event, VWBPE depends upon sponsor support, and 100% of all sponsorship goes directly to funding each year’s conference to cover expenses such as the provisioning of information systems, development of video and machinima (and associated archives), live video streaming, social activities, professional building (mesh object) design and construction for virtual venues, graphics design and swag bags for attendees. No-one involved in the organisation of the conference receives a salary or stipend.

Several levels of cash sponsorship packages (US dollar value) are available for those interested in supporting the conference. Details of these, and the benefits of sponsorship, can be found on the conference sponsorship page.

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