VWBPE 2022: calls for proposals and sponsors


The 2022 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between March 31st and April 2nd inclusive, and both a call for proposals and a call for sponsors are currently open.

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. For the purposes of the conference, “virtual world” refers to any on-line community through which users can interact with one another and use and create ideas irrespective of time and space, whether 3D in presentation or as characterised through platforms such as Meta, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., in which the direction of the platform’s evolution is manifest in the community. The conference itself is hosted within Second Life.

The theme for the 2022 conference is Phoenix Rising, with the organisers describing it thus:

In every culture, from China in the east to the Indigenous cultures in the west, the phoenix as a symbol of hope and renewal is ubiquitous across the ages. Whether it is referred to as Feng Huang, Garuda, Ho-Oo, Bennu or the Quetzal bird, in every case the phoenix ushers in an era of prosperity and transformation that goes beyond the individual to encompass our home and surroundings.
The world is forever a changed place. Those in education find themselves on the front lines of how the next generation of students are going to perceive and integrate a post-COVID society into opportunities for growth, for renewal, and for a redefinition of the values that once drove us.
The past two years have represented a global case study in real time of the merits and limitations of virtual education: what works, and what doesn’t. Educators have immersed themselves in online learning methodologies that have been mostly talked about but never implemented on a wide scale until recently. There is now a plethora of real-world evidence supporting the practical application of teaching virtually that we have never truly had access to until now.
Like the newly reborn phoenix arising from the ashes of its previous life, virtual education is also experiencing a renaissance of abundance and transformation. Whether it be fully immersive or simple video conferencing, the practical application of tools and techniques over the past two years represents a wealth of inspiration for connecting teachers and students in ways that are comprehensive, progressive, and meaningful.

Call For Proposals

VWBPE 2022 will include six formats for presentations the familiar Spotlight Presentations, Hands on Technology Workshops, Compass Points Roundtable Discussions, Micro Burst presentation Clusters (each no more than 15 minutes), together with two new formats – Tool Talks, and Poster presentations.

  • Tool Talks: The big ideas are often shared at conferences, but what about those “little” things that you cannot do without in your practice – be it a tool, technique, or technology? Share a short and engaging demonstration showing us why this idea is not to be missed.
  • Poster presentations: Share your research in our new Posters venue, with time for both asynchronous exploration and scheduled synchronous presentation times during the conference. Students are strongly encouraged to share their current work with a poster presentation.

In addition, there will be Immersive Experiences that will take place in the 2 weeks prior to and 2 weeks after the conference itself. New for 2022 will be an opportunity for video engagement to promote your Immersive Experience, details of which will be provided for all accepted Immersive Experience proposals. Full details on submitting any form of proposal and general guidelines can be found via the following links:

The closing dates for submissions are as follows:

  • Presentations: 10 January 2022
  • Exhibits: 14 February 2022
  • Immersive Experiences: 14 February 2022.

Sponsorship Opportunities

The VWBPE organiser are currently seeking sponsors for this year’s conference to help to keep this open source conference free for all to participate and to help with the conference’s informational systems, live streams, and archives active.

Your generous support will help raise your organisation’s profile to gain the attention of over 1000 conference participants, including K-12 instructors, post-secondary instructors, researchers, non-profits, creative designers, education business leaders, and social media influencers in the field of education.

– From the VWBPE sponsorship page, 2020

Sponsorship opportunities start at US $250 for organisations and groups, and US $20 for smaller communities. Those interested are referred to the official VWBPE Sponsorship Opportunities pack, or sign-up directly / contact the organisers via the conference sponsorship page.

Additional Links

Experiencing The Way of Life in Second Life

The Way of Life, November 2021 – click and image for full size

As I’ve mentioned recently, the end of 2021 is approaching, bringing with it (for the northern hemisphere at last) the cold of winter. For Second Life it means we’re in the time of year that sees outburst of snowy realms across Second Life. Over the last few days I’ve been hopping around a number either as a direct result of my own poking around or on the recommendation of friends. One of the latter is The Way of Life, a Homestead region held and designed by Dum (dumeric Asp), and which came to my attention by way of Shawn Shakespeare.

If sledding and snowboarding happen to be you thing, then this is a good place to visit – although these are far from the only reasons, as we’ll get to shortly. I mention both here and now because the landing point sits on the top of a towering table of almost sheer-side rock, running east-to west across the southern side of the region, dropping from its squared top by means of a snow-covered slope as it does so.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Bounded on three sides by Tuscan-style buildings, the fourth side of this mesa is formed by the aforementioned slope, which has at its lip both sled and snowboard rezzers. These allow the adventuresome to descend the slope via the piste, either directly or using the slalom markers and ski jump, to reach the region’s lowlands. For those not so enamoured of such pursuits, a path does descend the slope close to one of the sheer sides of the snowy mesa, marked by fir trees that stand to attention on either side of it, guarding the way.

At the foot of the slope, the region spreads itself northwards from a snow-dusted Zen garden, the land almost entirely flat in nature, cut through in part by a meandering stream that flows southwards from the large lake that sits to the north, its frozen surface yet offering a glimpse of water moving below, flowing towards the throat of the stream. Around the lake lay a trio of cabins, all of them apparently open to the public to enjoy as they explore, whilst a second stream winds inland from a larger, mountain-bound (and off-region) body of water to feed the lake, explaining the movement of water under its covering of ice.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Whilst somewhat transparent, the ice is nevertheless dense enough to allow for ice skating, and skate givers are dotted around the rough shoreline for this purpose, offering more opportunities for exercise and fun.

The lake, cabins and landscape are caught under a midnight sky (other EEP setting are available, consult your viewer for details 🙂 ), with bright pools of grass rising above the snow to vie with the lake for attention. One of these is fenced-off, the retreat for horses, straw bales stacked alongside the cabin nearest them in readiness to become a source of food. Elsewhere, the grass is home to lantern-bearing snow deer and white-furred wolves.

The Way of Life, November 2021

Under the lee of the region’s mesa lie the ruins of some ancient structure tucked tightly into the lee of the mesa, the wreck of a helicopter alongside. Quite how the latter got here is open to conjecture, but it offers one of many interesting backdrops for photography.

The three cabins within the setting are all lightly but comfortably furnished, Dum here being assisted by a number of friends in supplying décor elements and furnishings. Thus they make for welcome breaks from the cold outside – although there are a number of sit points to be found out under the stars and on porches for those who prefer. At the time of my visit (given it was only pre-US Thanksgiving November), Christmas / holiday decorations were at a minimum (some lights strung around a couple of the outdoor trees, and a tree and holly around the mantelpiece within one of the cabins), so the region sit as a nice wintertime setting rather than a holiday time setting, which frankly makes it all the more (to me) attractive place.

The Way of Life, November 2021

For those who wish to use the setting a s backdrop for avatar photography, rezzing is open to all, with auto-return set to 2 hours – but if you do put props out, please do remember to take them back to inventory rather than leaving to to auto-return to vacuum them up and drop them on you; that way the environment is left cluttered for other visitors.

Aside from the glowy grass (the wonder / irritant of Full Bright) that to me didn’t feel quite right, even allowing for the lanterns placed out (or carried by the snow deer presumably in an attempt to explain its glow, The Way of Life is an easy-to-explore, tranquil setting that offers a charming and cosy location that should not be overly stressful for most systems (the default environment gave me between a 30-45 FPS average with shadows enabled), while the snowboarding, sledding and skating give visitors the option to have a little fun whilst visiting.

The Way of Life, November 2021

My thanks, as always, to Shawn for the pointer and LM.

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