The 2020 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference takes place between Thursday, March 26th and Saturday March 28th, 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.
Carrying the theme of Stellar, the conference will, as usual, take place in a group of dedicated regions, and will comprise its usual engaging programme of events and activities.
As with previous VWBPE conferences, this one offers an engaging and broad-based programme, including keynote speakers, workshops, presentations, social events and more. The best way to find out what is going on over the three days of the conference is through the VWBPE programme page, However, here are some of the highlights all times SLT):
- Thursday, March 26th
- 08:00: Kick Off and Ribbon Cutting – VWBPE 2020 Gateway: the official opening of the conference during which the Conference Executive and Organization Committees will share a few of the upcoming highlights.
- 09:30: Keynote – Are you future ready? Steps to build your stairway to the future, Dr. L.Robert Furman – VWBPE Auditorium.
- 14:00: Above the Book: What’s up at the Lab? – Ebbe Altberg and Patch Linden – VWBPE Auditorium.
- Friday, March 27th
- 08:00:Keynote – Virtual Worlds and Social Justice: An Impact and Civic Engagement Agenda, Dr. Michael Thomas – VWBPE Auditorium.
- Saturday, March 28th
- 11:00: Keynote: Lessons Learned from the 2020 Educators in VR Conference, Lorelle VanFossen – VWBPE Auditorium.
As with previous years, the 2020 VWBPE conference is a multi-region affair. However, unlike recent conferences, it offers facilities designed to match its stellar theme – the majority of which are located in the air (or rather in space) over the regions. The following is a quick run-down of some of core facilities.
- The VWBPE Gateway: located on the ground level, the Gateway offers a main landing point for in-coming visitors, complete with a teleport HUD giver. The latter offers the easiest means of getting around the various facilities and locations, and is explained in more detail below.
- The VWBPE Auditorium: with three access points, the auditorium is an asteroid that has a cloud of debris floating before it – just click one of the little rocks and take a seat!
- The VWBPE Social Spaceport: the spaceport is the main entertainment centre for the conference, and offers rides and freebies and opportunities to relax.
The conference also includes lecture and workshop spaces and locations for presentations, all of which can be accessed via the teleport HUD.
The Teleport HUD
As noted above, the VWBPE teleport HUD is the best way of getting around the facilities. It can be obtained via the HUD giver at the VWBPE Gateway and is delivered to inventory in a folder. Open the fold and right-click → ADD the HUD. Note that you will need to grant teleport permissions for it to work.
By default, the teleport HUD attaches to the bottom of the viewer window. Click the Show button to reveal / hide it. When displayed, it will show the main buttons to the left:
- Stations: displays buttons for all of the conference facilities except the main auditorium. click one of the buttons to be teleported to the named location.
- Exhibits: displays a directory of exhibits, each numbered, and a corresponding set of numbered buttons. Again, click a button to go to the desired exhibition.
- Sponsors: displays a directory of sponsors, each numbered, and a corresponding set of numbered buttons. Click a numbered button to visit the listed sponsor’s exhibit.
- Special: offers a teleport button to the VWBPE Luminaria centre.
- Auditorium: displays three buttons corresponding to the three landing points for the VWBPE Auditorium.
To keep up-to date with the conference, be sure to check the VWBPE website daily.
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 online 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.