VWBPE 2019: overview

via vwbpe.org

The 2018 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference takes place between Thursday, April 4th and Saturday April 6th, 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.

As with recent years, the conference is focused on the 8 core VWBPE regions in Second Life, centred on the VWBPE Gateway.

VWBPE 2019: Main auditorium

Event Calendar

The best way to keep abreast of the full schedule is via the VWBPE 2019 event calendar. By default, this displayed in posterboard (shown below), but can easily be switched to agenda, month or stream views via the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Individual events can also be added to a number of personal calendars – Google, Outlook, Apple – making it even easier for attendees to track the events and activities they particularly want to attend at this year’s conference.

VWBPE 2019 calendar

Event Selection

The following is a (personal) selection of events those curious about VWBPE 2018 might want to attend. All times SLT:

Thursday, April 4th

  • 14:00-14:50 – What’s New At the Lab with Patch and Grumpity Linden in the Main Auditorium.
  • 16:00-17:00 – The Making of Our Digital Selves: My Avatar and Me: at the VWBPE social plaza.

Friday, April 5th

  • 09::00-09:50 – Keynote: Teacher Training with Virtual WorldsMain Auditorium: Dr. Tuncer Can, Istanbul University looks at how training teachers within Virtual Worlds could enhance innovation in the class and change the lives of real people by ensuring them.
  • 10:00-10:50 – Non-Profit Commons Past Reflections, Future DirectionsVWBPE 2019 Quadrivium.
  • 11:00-11:50 – Perspectives on virtual professional learning communitiesVWBPE 2019 Lecture Area A.

Saturday, April 6th

  • 11:00-11:50: Keynote: Crossing the Horizon together: Scanning, transforming, and sharing “What Works” in Immersive XR Main Auditorium: Dr. Jonathon Richter, Salish Kootenai College and Executive Director discusses the Immersive Learning Research Network facilitates collaboration between computer scientists, game developers, educators, learning scientists, and others.
  • 12:00 noon-12:50: Blue Mars on Virtual Harmony for agile mindsets –  VWBPE 2019 Lecture Area B.
  • 12:00-12:50: Re/visioning virtual educationVWBPE 2019 Quadrivium.
  • 14:00-14:50: Catching up with ThinkererMain Auditorium.
VWBPE 2019: Lecture Area B

Getting About

VWBPE takes place across 8 regions (including the exhibitors spaces). While exploring on foot is fun, the quickest way to get to event / activity venues is via the VWBPE Gateway and using the teleport boards there, and similar boards at each of the primary VWBPE events areas.

Additional Links

Men in Focus: April 2019 edition

Men in Focus: Skip Staheli (photographs) and Haveit Neox

Men in Focus, the gallery owned and sponsored by Men in Motion in support of the Movember Foundation (donations to which are accepted at the entrance to the gallery) and curated by JMB Balogh, launched its second ensemble exhibition on April 3rd, 2019.

The gallery is somewhat unique in Second Life, in that while there are many featuring studies of avatars at work or play or simply relaxing, there are few that expressly and solely focus on the male avatar. For this exhibition, the artists are split between invited 2D artists, invited and returning 3D artists, and those responding to a call put out to the Men in Motion group for submissions. Together these comprise:

  • Invited 2D artists: Roy Mildor, Fenris Resident, Skip Staheli, and Artem Viiperi (NykVIIPERI).
  • Invited and returns 3D artists: Livio Korobase and Haveit Neox, and Mistero Hifeng and Reycharles Resident.
  • Men in Motion photographers: Antonio Atovio;  Alex Avion, Sebastian Bourne, Fafnir Kiranov, and Niecho Vollmar.
Men in Focus: Roy Mildor

The range of art offered is once again impressive, with a good mix of monochrome and colour avatar studies. I confess that I have started to find myself drawn more to monochrome avatar images of late, and this is certainly the case here, with Skip Staheli’s portraits in particular catching my eyes, as per the banner image for this article.  The 3D art is well placed through the exhibition space, nicely split between the  gallery’s levels, allowing it to break up individual display areas in a natural manner.

While I cannot say this with any accuracy, it seems as if the gallery may have grown an extra couple of floors in order to present enough space this time around; I have this thought in the back of my head that when I last visited – for the inaugural exhibition – the gallery building was four levels tall, rather than the current six. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been to bed since then 🙂 .

Men in Focus: Fenris

I understand from JMB, that the aim of this exhibition is to coincide with April being Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. However, there is little sign of this within the exhibition space itself; there is no graphic highlighting any connection between the two, no information giver on the subject of testicular cancer, so I’m not sure just how close the tie is intended to be.

Be that is it may, this is still a superb exhibition from a rich mix of photographers, not all of whom may necessarily be known on the wider SL art and photography scene.

Men in Focus: Fafnir Kiranov

About the Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is a multinational charity raising awareness of, and money for, men’s health and welfare, with a focus on cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Its titular and widely known campaign is Movember, which encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November. The foundation partners annually with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to also raise money for men’s health.

Founded in 2003, in Melbourne, Australia by Adam Garone, Travis Garone, Luke Slattery, and Justin Coghlan, the organisation attained registered charity status in 2006, and as of 2014, has raised over US $580m in charitable donations used to fund more than 800 programmes focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health, men’s health awareness and healthy lifestyles. It is active in 21 countries and has a global workforce of 130 people. In addition, Movember coincides with International Men’s Day (November 19th), which among its aims, shares the goal of promoting the health and well-being of men and boys.

SLurl and URLs

April 2019 Web User Group: Marketplace Store Managers

April 3rd Web User Group meeting

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019.

These meetings are generally held monthly on a Wednesday at 14:00 SLT, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

General Updates

  • Resident-to-Resident Mainland Auctions: user-to-user auctions for Mainland parcels launched on March 26th – see the official blog post and my own report. The response has been exceptionally positive.
  • New Linden Homes: samples of the first types of new Linden Homes due to be released “soon” are currently available to preview through until Sunday, April 7th. The preview is open to Premium and non-Premium account holders (although the houses, once available, will only be available to Premium account holders. You can read more about them, and the preview in my article New Linden Homes Preview.
    • The Lab is currently working on the web site for the homes: the process flow for selecting and obtaining a new Linden Home, etc.
  • SL.com: work has been carried out to fix broken direct SLurls, and work is in progress to further improve the new user flow, including the new starter avatars.
  • Marketplace: it is believed the recent issues with Wish Lists and with gifting have been resolved.
    • The message received by a user blocked by a Merchant has been revised to make the situation clearer.
    • Issues with transaction histories not displaying correctly should be resolved.
    • Work is continuing in preparing the MP for the return of last names / name changes.
    • The most recent blog on Marketplace updates can be found in Second Life Winter Web Work, dated February 28th, 2019.

Animated Group Tags

I’ve covered the use of scripted tools that can make rapid and multiple changes to a user’s group tag display. These actually a) use a function in a way not intended; b) can put significant strain on back-end services (trying to propagate multiple group tag changes from multiple users across the grid).

As noted in my previous notes on this, Linden Lab indicated they would be making back-end changes to reduce this issue, and as per their March 8th blog post on the subject, these updates have been deployed.  As a result, many of these scripted animators have now been removed voluntarily by Merchants. However, those that have not been removed are going to be blocked.

Marketplace Store Managers

A long-standing request that is now just started to be worked on is Marketplace Managers – the ability for Merchants to appoint “managers” to help them run their Marketplace store.  Details are still being finalised, but broadly, speaking:

  • Merchants will be able to assign roles to their “managers” – what they can do, etc. So, for example, a Merchant can upload good to the MP, but assign a manager the ability to create and manage the actual listings for those goods.
  • Actions taken by managers will be logged and fed back to the Merchant, so they can keep track of what is going on with their store.

In Brief

  • Once the current tranche of work on the Marketplace is closed-off, the web team will likely look at Events.
  • This meeting marked the last for Alexa Linden as a Product Manager with direct involvement in the web services. She is going to be focused on the viewer and the server / simulator. Reed Linden will be stepping into her shoes with the Web services.