The 2018 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Thursday, March 15th and Saturday March 17th, 2018 inclusive. A grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments, VWBPE attracts 2200-3500 educational professionals from around the world each year.
The theme for the 2018 conference is VRevolutions, with the organisers noting:
VWBPE is an ecosystem of digital spaces. While the conference is hosted in Second Life, our conference features a variety of virtual and digital spaces. To present at VRevolutions, think outside the virtual space and consider how multiple available technologies and devices redefine what it means to work, create, and learn “virtually”. The VRevolution is about doing what scares you, what excites you, breaking and creating new paradigms.
At VRevolutions, VWBPE welcomes the multifaceted communities that contribute to and expand best practices in digital and virtual spaces to support practice, creation, and learning. Regardless of the community you represent, your proposal should consider how it contributes and expands the knowledge base for innovative and revolutionary change through the increasingly complex landscape of digital technology.
The 2018 event calendar has now been published, outlining the full range of events, both at the conference itself and in the days leading up to it / following it. Displayed in posterboard format by default (shown below), the calendar view can be switched easily to agenda, month or stream via drop-down selection Individual events can also easily be added to a number of personal calendars – Google, Outlook, Apple, depending on personal preference – making it even easier for attendees to track the events and activities they particularly want to attend at this year’s conference.
As with recent years, the conference will be primarily focus on the 8 core VWBPE regions in Second Life, although a number of related social events will also be taking place elsewhere – sett the VWBPE calendar for the specifics on individual event locations / URLs.
The Keynote speakers for VWBPE 2018 are:
- Dr. Mark Childs, TEL Designer, Open University, UK: his PhD was awarded in 2010 for his thesis Learners’ Experience of Presence in Virtual Worlds. Mark was the manager of the Theatron3 project from 2007 to 2009 which developed 20 ancient theatres in Second Life for performance and learning and has co-written and co-edited four books on learning in virtual worlds. He will be presenting Identity, literacy, immersion and presence; joining together the building blocks of virtual world learning on the morning of Thursday, March 15th, 2018.
- Bryan Alexander, Education Futurist: a prolific speaker and consultant, Bryan publishes books, chapters, and articles. He created the Future of Education Observatory, including the monthly FTTE trends analysis, an on-line book club, and a weekly video-conference discussion. He has been teaching and exploring virtual worlds since the early 1990s. He will be presenting The VRevolution calls for a new digital literacy on the morning of Friday, March 16th, 2018.
Above The Book
VWBPE 2018 will again feature a special Above The Book event. Introduced in 2017, this is an invitation-only event limited to around 30 attendees who will have the opportunity to have their questions put directly to a special guest who “has been noteworthy and have, in one way or another, helped build a legacy in virtual environments: for educators, researchers, advocacy groups, communities of practice, content creators.“
The Above the Book guest for 2018 will be Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg.
Those wishing to attend the event must complete and submit the Above the Book application form, no later than Sunday, March 4th, 2018.
Volunteers Still Sought
There are still some volunteer slots left. If you would life to help run this year’s VWBPE, please consider hopping over to the volunteer sign-up page and completing the form there.
VWBPE is a global grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments which attracts over 2,000 educational professionals from around the world each year, who participate in 150-200 on-line presentations including theoretical research, application of best practices, virtual world tours, hands-on workshops, discussion panels, machinima presentations, and poster exhibits.
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.
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