The 2019 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Thursday, April 4th and Saturday April 6th, 2019 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.
On Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, the organisers of the event announced their list of keynote speakers – one for each day of the event.
Thursday, April 4th Tom Boellstorff: (Tom Bukowski in SL), a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His interests have included the anthropology of sexuality, the anthropology of globalization, the anthropology of virtual worlds, Southeast Asian studies, the anthropology of HIV/AIDS, and linguistic anthropology.
The winner of the 2009 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Ecology of Culture, Media Ecology Association, his has authored several books, including Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, (Princeton University Press, 2008), the result of two years fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so-called real world. He has also co-authored Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (Princeton University Press, 2012) a concise, comprehensive, and practical guide for students, teachers, designers, and scholars interested in using ethnographic methods to study on-line virtual worlds, including both game and non-game environments.
Tom is perhaps best known for his joint study with Donna Z. Davis, Disability and Virtual Worlds: New Frontiers of Appropriation, which I first wrote about in 2016, and which is the subject of the film Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me!
Friday, April 5th Tuncer Can: Tuncer is no stranger to the vLanguages community, a VWBPE 2019 partner. His most recent collaboration with vLanguages is GUINEVERE, an EU Commission funded language learning project. An exploration of the GUINEVERE project in OpenSim will be offered as an Immersive Experience after the conference.
Saturday, April 6th Dr. Jonathon Richter: a long-time friend of virtual and immersive environments, Jonathon Richter is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN). Jonathon will explore with us what works in immersive XR (VR/AR/MR).
Call for Volunteers
VWBPE would not be possible without the dedicated service and support of its volunteers. If you would like to help at the upcoming conference, please sign up today!