Category Archives: VWBPE

VWBPE 2017: Call for Proposals

Image courtesy of VWBPE

Image courtesy of VWBPE

The 10th annual  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference was recently announced, together with a call for proposals.

Scheduled to take place between Wednesday, March 29th and Saturday April 1st, 2017 inclusive, VWBPE is a global grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments which attracts 2200-3500 educational professionals from around the world each year.

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.

2017 is a special year for VWBPE, marking its tenth anniversary. With this in mind, the overarching them for the four days is that of Legacy. A call for proposals has been issued to those wishing to participate in the event as speakers and presenters.  It invites educators and those involved in the education sector to reflect on work and their accomplishments within the context of the conference, and consider submitting a proposal and sharing their work with the wider education community.

Image courtesy of VWBPE

Image courtesy of VWBPE

As with 2016, the event is interested in papers carrying the ideal of Looking Forward and Looking Back:

  • Looking Forward – do you have a new project, research, service, or tool that you wish to share, something you have never before presented at VWBPE or elsewhere? Submit a proposal to start building the legacy for the future
  • Looking Back – do you wish to do a retrospective view of a past VWBPE session, where you share lessons, new research or updates, to your original presented work? Submit a retro proposal to help look back at the legacy you helped to create, and how it has impacted current practice.

Those wishing to submit a proposal should visit the VWBPE 2017 Call For Proposals page, read the guidelines and submit a proposal under the relevant category – Academic, Communities of Practice, Creative, Immersive Experiences. All proposals must be submitted by Sunday, November 27th, 2016.

Virtual Science Fair

via VWBPE

Image courtesy of VWBPE

VWBPE 2017 will include a new  event: the Virtual Science Fair which invites educators from all disciplines and levels are invited to participate in the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Science Fair. If you are interested in including an immersive project as part of your curriculum, consider showcasing it with VWBPE. You can find out more by visiting the Virtual Science Fair page at the VWBPE website.

Additional Links

VWBPE: Virtual Science Fair 2017 call for submissions

via VWBPE

via VWBPE

As a part of the run-up to its 10th anniversary, Virtual World Best Practices in Education has announced the VWBPE Virtual Science Fair, and is inviting educators, schools, colleges and universities to participate.

The event will form a new element in the annual VWBPE annual conference, which in 2017 will take place between Tuesday, March 28th through Saturday, April 1st inclusive. It was  announced via a VWBPE blog post on June 21st, which also gives a definition of “science” for the purposes of the fair:

In this instance, the term “science” encompasses a body of knowledge, whose systems, concepts, or major paradigms can then be demonstrated, experimented, and/or designed through the lens of any number of social, behavioural, and natural sciences as disciplines.

Those wishing to participate are invited to submit proposals which may include, but are not limited, to:

  • Science and Mathematics (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Mathematics)
  • Social Sciences (Education, History, Anthropology, Economics)
  • Behavioural Sciences (Psychology, Sociology)
  • Fine Arts (Languages, Art, Music, Theatre)

Submissions can be made in one of three categories:

  • Submitting as a group for an entire class (Grades 9-12) or
  • Submitting as a group for an entire class (University/Continuing Education), or
  • Submitting as an individual teacher.

Each option his is own Requirements for Proposal Submissions, which applicants are asked to review, and each of which includes a link to the relevant proposal submissions form. The deadline for the receipt of all submissions is Friday, July 15th, 2016.

VWBPE 2016: proceedings now available

The 9th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference took place between Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 and Saturday, March 12th, 2016 inclusive in both Second Life and OpenSim via the AvaCon Grid,

The conference featured a rich a varied programme of keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions and social events across the VWBPE regions, with a highlight of the conference for for many Second Life users being an open Q&A session with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg (transcript and audio available here).

Journal of Virtual Studies: Proceedings for the 2016 VWBPE conference

Journal of Virtual Studies: Proceedings for the 2016 VWBPE conference

Following the conference, the Journal of Virtual Studies complies, edits and publishes a special edition featuring the proceedings of the VWBPE conference,  and on Saturday, April 9th, Rockcliffe University announced the 2016 edition is now available.

At just over 100 pages, the proceedings include peer-reviewed papers, along with those from the Quadrivium sessions, featured speakers at the conference, together with summaries of the topics presented during the general sessions, and a  special feature paper by Dr. Karl Kapp about using virtual worlds for instruction.

The journal is available for reading on-line via the link above, and the PDF file can be downloaded using the same link.

In addition to the journal, the full set of video recordings from the 2016 conference are also available on a dedicated YouTube playlist, allowing those who missed the conference or who wish to revisit specific presentations / discussions to catch up with them.

The 10th Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference will take place between Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 and Saturday, April 1st, 2017 inclusive, with the theme of Legacy and an invitation for attendees to “Play * Explore * Engage * Immerse * Learn”.

Related Links

VWBPE 2016: Ebbe Altberg transcript with audio

Ebbe Atlberg, through his alter ego of Ebbe Linden, addresses the VWBPE conference

Ebbe Atlberg, through his alter ego of Ebbe Linden, addresses the VWBPE conference

On Wednesday, March 9th 2016, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg appeared at the 2016 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education conference, where he gave a brief overview of matters pertaining to Second Life and Project Sansar over the course of the year since the last VWBPE conference, and to answer questions about either platform asked by the audience.

The following is a transcript of his session at VWBPE 2016, complete with audio extracts. Note that note all items are given in the order they are discussed in the video of the session. For ease of reference, I’ve split comments and questions between those specific to Second Life and those focused on Project Sansar. Also, where more than one question was asked on a specific topic, I’ve grouped the questions / responses together under a single topic.

The Summary

Click on the links below to go to the relevant section.

Opening Comments

Thank you  so much. Great to be here again; it’s an awesome event, I hope you’ve all have had great sessions and more sessions to come. I will just spend a little bit of time and just talk about what I am and what we here at Linden Lab are really excited about, and what we’re working on a little bit. Then as usual, very happy to spend most of the time actually talking to you with regards to your questions that you may have.

So, first of all, wow! What an incredible year it’s been. The virtual reality market that we’re sort-of been waiting for is actually in the process of happening. We’re now seeing incredible investments from a  very large number of companies, whether it’s hardware, software, platforms tools, that I’m sure many of you are very excited to get your hands on very soon.

We in the Lab have been playing a lot with the latest hardware that’s going to hit the consumer market soon, over the next few months, and doing a lot of work to integrate those into project Sansar, but there’s also work to get some integration of that into Second Life.

So we feel very fortunate to be having all this incredible experience, together with you all, of running Second Life. Having the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t work, what works really well and what is not working at all, and what it takes to run a platform like Second Life. What makes creators successful, what makes businesses successful, because our primary goal here is to make creators of experiences as successful as they can possibly be, and share their success.

Second Life Overview

Second Life has made a lot of good strides over the last year since we last met. Performance is continually improving, and we have some more performance improvements in the pipeline to come out soon. Quality is improving, stability is improving, and we’ve also managed to roll out some nice improvements. New avatars, and you have the new, better web control or media on prim, that’s now a really modern browser technology, which hopefully will be really helpful for educators.

New Registration API

We also have a lot of interesting things coming in the pipeline. [An] improved registration API, so that it will be easier for institutions to bring on their customers or clients or students in a more pre-configured way: choosing what avatars they can select from, getting them set-up in the proper groups, and taking them through a whole custom on-board experience.

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Compliance Work

We’ve also done a huge amount of work in what seems boring but is very, very, important to us, and even though you might not realise it, very important to you all as well, which is around compliance, and making sure that all the things we do fiscally within the Second Life virtual economy, and what it takes for people to redeem to fiat currency, US dollars or whichever currency you prefer around the world. We’re doing a huge amount of work to improve all the tools and fraud controls, etc., to make sure we’re running a clean, tight ship where there’s no money laundering or anything of that sort.

We’ve gotten far enough that we’ll be able to soon improve the time it takes for people to redeem money, so we can do that in hopefully just a day or two for most people. We’ve blogged about that, so you might already know about that.

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The SL Team and Other Things Coming Up

So, I feel really good about the Second Life team. Just a few weeks ago we had the whole team together in Seattle. We keep switching spots; sometimes we do it in Boston and this time we did it near the offices in Seattle. And it’s a very tight group, they are very passionate about Second Life, with Oz heading-up on the engineering side, and just a great, tight crew who really just want the absolute best for Second Life and for you all. So I feel very good with what that team has been able to do over the last year, and what they’ll be able to do in the coming years.

Some cool things coming in addition to the registration API. We have a way for, institutions that have had interruptions of viewer updates when it wasn’t something they were completely prepared for can now sign-up to be on an EDU channel, where we can better manage viewer updates.

We’re working on an update to get the current Oculus viewer working with Second Life, and we’re also working on this Quick Graphics viewer (version 4.0.2.311103 a the time of writing), so that you can manage when people show up in your regions with way too much clothing or too heavy of an avatar and still get good frame rates within your regions if there are avatars that are too heavy.1 Those will all roll out over the next weeks and months.

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