Wednesday, March 29th: VWBPE 2017 kicks-off

Image courtesy of VWBPE

The 2017  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference opens its gates on Wednesday, March 29th and will run through until  Saturday April 1st, 2017 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.

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. Taking place over six regions in Second Life, the conference covers presentations, workshops, demonstrations, and social events with the focus on using virtual environments for education and learning.

You can see the full event schedule at the VWBPE website. However, the keynote presentations will be from (all times SLT), which take place in the VWBPE Main auditorium:

  • Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 17:00:  Dr. Celia Pearce (SL: Artemesia Sandgrain) – The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Twenty Years in Virtual Worlds
  • Firday, March 31st, 2017 13:00: Chris Dede (SL: Chris Olejniczak) – How Immersion in Virtual and Augmented Worlds Helps Students in the Real World
  • Saturday, April 1st, 2017 16:00: John Lester (SL: Pathfinder Lester) – Beyond Escapism: Virtual Worlds, Vulnerable Populations and Social Good
VWBPE 2017

In addition, watch out for the following:

  • Thursday, March 30, 2017, 08:00 – The Legacy Panel – the panel will take a look back over the past and forward to the future, not only with virtual conferences, but also with education in virtual environments in general. The discussion will range from challenges to possibilities, the evolution of the conference, and the technology that made it possible.
  • Above the book: two special sessions featuring Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab’s CEO and video documentarian and roving reporter, Draxtor Despres. These sessions can only be accessed directly by those who submitted questions. However, they will be livestreamed on the VWBPE You Tube channel, and the details are:
    • Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 13:00:  Ebbe Altberg (SL: Ebbe Linden) – A Conversation about Education and Second Life
    • Saturday, April 1st, 2017 15:00: Bernhard Drax (SL: Draxtor Despres) – Will VR Matter in Education? Lessons Learned from a Second Life Documentarian’s 10 Year Life
  • The Quadrivium:  “the four ways”, to the ancient Greeks it combined space, time, harmony, and science to develop applied critical and creative approaches to issues that required innovative thinking, solutions, and practical mechanisms in an ever-changing world. VWBPE’s Quadrivium It provides an opportunity to share and contribute to the scholarly pursuit of knowledge through interaction with a community of peers in order to develop real solutions to real problems. find out more at the VWBPE Quadrivium schedule page.

VWBPE 2017 – part of the undersea social area

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VWBPE 2017: Above the Book and taking a peek

Image courtesy of VWBPE

The 2017  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Wednesday, March 29th and Saturday April 1st, 2017 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.

A press day for the event was held on Sunday, March 19th, but due to physical world things, I ended up unable to attend. Therefore, this little sneak peek at things is coming a little late – although you can have a little explore around the conference regions yourself, as they are now open through until Sunday, March 26th.

VWBPE 2017

The full calendar for the conference has been published, and it includes a new segment Above The Book, which will feature two one-hour interviews with individuals who “have been noteworthy and have, in one way or another, helped build a legacy in virtual environments: for educators, researchers, advocacy groups, communities of practice, content creators.

For VWBPE 2017, the two interviewees will be Linden Lab CEO, Ebbe Altberg and noted documentarian, Draxtor Despres. The interviews will be conducted around topics they have suggested, and will feature questions submitted by Second Life residents and which have been selected on the basis on relevance and appropriateness to the goals of the conference, and its  legacy theme.

The interviews will take place as follows:

  • Ebbe Altberg – Wednesday, March 29th at 13:00 SLT, on the topic of A Conversation about Education and Second Life
  • Draxtor Despres – Saturday, April 1st at 15:00 SLT, on the topic Will VR Matter in Education? Lessons Learned from a Second Life Documentarian’s 10 Year Life.

Now, if you want to attend either or both of these sessions, there is a catch: you must submit a question for consideration in the interview.

You can find out more – including the application form for submitting a question – by visiting the VWBPE 2017 Above The Book information page. Not that the deadline for question to be submitted has been extended until 23:59 SLT on Sunday, March 26th.

VWBPE 2017 – part of the undersea social area

Ahead of the conference there are a number of special activities open to all in both Second Life and OpenSim, such as Spanish Language Learning on Friday, March 24th (OpenSim) and  Lizards of ARS on Sunday, March 26th (Second Life).  And don’t forget the  VWBPE 2017 Passport to the Metaverse Web Quest: https://vwbpe.org/conference/vwbpe-2017-passport-registration.

If you wish to bring a colleague or friend in-world to tour the conference regions and attended VWBPE, the Rockcliffe Registration Portal is now open for people to register new avatars and find out more about the VWBPE conference in-world. Just point them towards https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ where they’ll be able to follow easy instructions to get started. It’s recommended that you get them to register at least a day or two ahead of the conference proper, so they can get oriented and not miss any of the events and activities.

You can find out more about this year’s anniversary conference via the VWBPE website.

VWBPE 2017: social programme

Image courtesy of VWBPE
Image courtesy of VWBPE

The 2017  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Wednesday, March 29th and Saturday April 1st, 2017 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 February 27th, the VWBPE team issued information of the event’s social programme. The announcement reads in part:

This year the VWBPE social activities offer creative, fun events that take advantage of what is not possible in real life but is easy in a virtual world. For example, you will have a chance to swim as a mermaid or merman, fly off a mountain top on a hang glider, visit the Octopus’s Garden Palladium under the sea, jump on the Legacy Party Barge and tour the conference venue from a different perspective. You will not want to miss our opening and closing Lightning Productions Legacy tribute concert performances of the music of Bob Dylan with The Band, and the Beatles.

Activities will start with the Grand Opening ceremony, featuring the classical piano of Ari (arisia.vita). Throughout the four days of the conference there will be opportunities to appreciate some of SL’s best performers, including the The ChangHigh Sisters Fireshow Circus and the renowned Ballet Pixelle.

The full conference schedule is available here. The social events line-up is as follows (all times SLT and correct at the time of writing):

Wednesday, March 29th
11:00
Exhibit Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with pPiano music provided by Ari (arisia.vita) – Exhibits open!
15:00
The Freewheelin’ Electric Tambourine Man Parade from the lighthouse across a bridge to the social sim. “Be sure to check your swag bag for your tie dye t-shirt!”
15:30
Lightning Production’s Bob Dylan and The Band Tribute Concert at the Social Building
Thursday, March 30th
05:00
“Good Morning, VWBPE!” – an exploration of the social sim.
12:00 Noon
Machinima with Gridjumper (tanya.smedley) at the fish pond. A chance to learn more about the art of making movies in virtual and digital game environments.
16:00
VWBPE Legacy Party Barge Excursion – relax and tour the whole VWBPE Conference by water.
Friday, March 31st
06:00
“Good Morning, VWBPE!” – another chance to explore the social sim.
12:00
Lunchtime Concert with Telima (Diamond Spiritor) in the Social Building.
14:00
Under The Sea – graba snorkel, become one of the merfolk for an underwater event (free outfits provided).
18:00
Ballet Pixelle Second Performance of Phylogeny.
Saturday, April 1st
07:00 “Good Morning, VWBPE!” – a final chance to play on the social sim and swim like a mermaid.
13:00 The ChangHigh Sisters Fireshow Circus
17:00
KJJeff Kohn Pre-Closing Concert in the Main Auditorium.
18:00
VWBPE Legacy 2017 Closing Ceremony.
19:00
The Beatles Tribute Concert in The Octopus’s Garden Palladium – complete with a Yellow Submarine!
20:00
Dance The Night Away with DJ Coz OKelly

Volunteers Still Sought

The VWBPE organisers are still looking for volunteers in the following roles: hosts, technical support and stream team. Please visit the VWBPE Volunteers page for more information and to apply.

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VWBPE 2017: call for volunteers; attendee registration

Image courtesy of VWBPE
Image courtesy of VWBPE

The 2017  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Wednesday, March 29th and Saturday April 1st, 2017 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.

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.

Image courtesy of VWBPE
Image courtesy of VWBPE

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. However, in order to the event to proceed smoothly, help is always required and welcomed. To this end, the organisers have put out a Call for Volunteers to help fill the numerous vacancies in the following areas:

  • Hosts (formerly known as Meet & Greet)
  • Mentors
  • Quadrivium Facilitator
  • Quadrivium Assistant
  • Technical Support
  • Volunteer Media Stream Team

For more information about each role and to sign up, please visit the VWBPE Call for Volunteers web page, which includes a sign-up form. Note that full training for volunteers will be provided, and volunteers will be contacted by a member of the VWBPE team, who will provide more information of the training and dates, schedule sign-ups, and a couple of Volunteer Committee events volunteers will be welcome to attend.

Registrations and Sponsorship Social

Also, remember that conference registrations are open, and there will be a special Sponsorship Social  – The Roaring Twenties – on Thursday, February 16th at 17:00, hosted by Rockcliffe University. If you would like to attend or find out more, please visit the VWBPE Sponsorship Social web page.

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