VWBPE 2016: proceedings now available

via VWBPE.org
via VWBPE.org

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

Advertisements

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.

VWBPE 2016
VWBPE 2016

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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index

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.

Back to index

Continue reading “VWBPE 2016: Ebbe Altberg transcript with audio”

VWBPE 2016: looking towards the Horizons

Shot-1_001
VWBPE main Auditorium

The 2016 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) Conference launches at 11:00am SLT on Wednesday, March 9th and will be taking place in both Second Life and AvaCon Grid.

The theme for this year’s event is Horizons, and will include a presentations by keynote and featured speakers, panel discussions, workshops, social events and more, running through until the conference closes on Saturday, March 12th.

Full details on conference events can be found on the VWBPE conference calendar. However, for ease-of-reference, here’s a quick run-down of some of the key events and activities. As always, all times are SLT.

The VWBPE main plaza in SL
The VWBPE main plaza in SL

Wednesday, March 9th

  • 11:00 – 13:00: Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony for the Exhibits, with music from Ari (Arisia Vita) as he streams soft and soothing piano music during the event. Tour the exhibits, learn what educators are doing and accomplishing in virtual environments, network with colleagues and friends
  • 15:00 – 15:00: Pirate Parade – put on your finest pirate clothes and join the procession to the concert marina
  • 15:30 – 16:00: Jimmy Buffett Tribute Concert by Lightning Productions
  • 17:00 – 17:50: Keynote address – Signalling a New Reality with Bronwyn Stuckey – at some of the signals in the past year of a blurring of what is virtual and what is physical, and how it is increasingly making any differentiation between the two redundant, challenging many of the assumptions we hold about the place of our work in virtual worlds.
  • 18:00 – 19:00: Grid Watch with Ebbe Altberg – Linden Lab’s CEO will discuss issues of importance to the Second Life communities with a focus on listening to SL residence and responding to questions.
VWBPE South in SL
VWBPE South3 social area in SL

Thursday, March 10th

  • 07:00 – 08:50: Virtual Worlds and Transactional Distance in Higher Education Online Courses – a Student Panel – seven students share their experiences in using a Virtual World to lessen Transactional Distance for fully on-line Higher Education
  • 14:00 15:50: OpenSimulator Featured Panel – Cynthia Calongne, Selby Evans, Stephen Gasior and Maria Korolev engage in a discussion on the different perspectives of people who use OpenSimulator as an alternative, or in addition to, Second Life
    • Location:  hop://grid.avacon.org:8002/Rockcliffe Library/25/26/78 (copy and paste link in-world on AvaCon grid)
  • 16:00 – 17:00: VWBPE Machinima Showcase – view this year’s VWBPE Outstanding Machinima films and earn about the art of machinima from a panel of experts
    • Location (subject to fnal confirmation via the VWBPE calendar):  hop://grid.avacon.org:8002/Rockcliffe Library/25/26/78 (copy and paste link in-world on AvaCon grid)
  • 17:00 – 17:50: Keynote address – Virtual Worlds on the Go with Stephen Downes – an examination of the intersection of learning, performance support, and mobile virtual worlds and simulations and the real world applications for this technology
    • Location:  hop://grid.avacon.org:8002/Rockcliffe Library/25/26/78 (copy and paste link in-world on AvaCon grid).

Friday, March 11th

VWBPE Gateway in SL
VWBPE Gateway in SL

Saturday, March 12th

  • 08:00 – 09:50: Virtual Pioneers panel – members from the Virtual Pioneers will discuss some of their major projects and contributions in virtual worlds, in particular how they feel their accomplishments have taken us toward a new horizon in immersive experiences
  • 15:00 – 16:50: Virginia Society for Technology in Education panel – members from VSTE will discuss some of their major projects and contributions in virtual worlds, in particular how they feel their accomplishments have taken us toward a new horizon in immersive experiences
  • 18:00 – 19:00: Closing Ceremony and Thinkerer Award Winner Announcement: closing remarks from Phelan Corrimal and other VWBPE Committee Chairs, the opportunity to learn about VWBPE 2017 and hear the 2016 Thinkerer Award recipient announced
  • 19:00 – 20:00 Grand Finale David Bowie Tribute Concert  – celebrating the eclectic and magnificent career of David Bowie

Notes on Attending

The VWBPE conference is free to attend, although there are donation options available for those wishing to support the conference.  Those wishing to attend all of the conference activities across the four days of the conference will need accounts for both Second Life and AvaCon grid – please refer to Accessing the Conference for further details.

Additional Links

VWBPE 2016: programme published, and some highlights

via VWBPE.org
via VWBPE.org

The 9th annual  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will take place between Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 and Saturday, March 12th, 2016 inclusive. 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.

The conference will be primarily hosted on Second Life with additional and special events also being hosted by AvaCon Grid, and the conference programme is now available. Highlights of the latter include:

Wednesday, March 9th

17:00 – Signalling a New Reality with Bronwyn Stuckey: “a look at some of the signals in the past year of a blurring of what is virtual. I have always been the person to call out people who use the real and virtual dichotomy, much preferring to use real and physical. That last year has produced many signals that show even these poles might become redundant. I hope the example we look at in the keynote will trigger your imaginations and help challenge many of the assumptions we hold about the place of our work in virtual worlds. These are the things that could readily be on our horizons so much sooner than we think. For us as educators it is less about keeping abreast of the technological advances but having audacious goals and imaginings. Intrigued? Come along and let’s share our visions!”

Bronwyn Stuckey
Bronwyn Stuckey

Bronwyn Stuckey has been engaged in educational community and games in learning development for the past 15 years. She has worked to explore virtual worlds, games in learning and how we can cultivate identity, agency, citizenship, leadership, and community for students and teachers.

Since leaving lecturing and learning design in the higher education sector her research, consultation and design have been in gamification and game-inspired designs for classroom contexts and professional learning and communities of practice. She is a current post-doctoral research fellow of the Arizona State University Centre for Games & Impact and independently consults to global groups like Intel and Microsoft programs and education communities.

18:00 – Grid Watch with Ebbe:  Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO, will discuss issues of importance to the Second Life communities. His primary aim for the session, however, is to listen to Second Life residents and respond to questions.

Thursday, March 10th

14:00 – OpenSimulator Featured Panel: Cynthia Calongne, Selby Evans, Stephen Gasior and Maria Korolev engage in a discussion on the different perspectives of people who use OpenSimulator as an alternative, or in addition to, Second Life. This will be a thoughtful discussion on dedication, awareness, perception, and opportunity of the various communities of OpenSimulator.

17:00 – Virtual Worlds on the Go with Stephen DownesIn this presentation Stephen Downes examines the intersection of learning, performance support, and mobile virtual worlds and simulations and discusses the real world applications for this technology, describing a variety of learning scenarios, and background and infrastructure needed to support such a system. Additionally, he examines the role of educators and content publishers, identifying the need for institutions to provide learning support and scaffolding to draw out the benefits of what might be called virtual worlds on the go.

DownesStephen Downes is a specialist in on-line learning technology and new media. He speaks from practical experience both as a college and university teacher and the author of learning management and content syndication software. He has developed and deployed a series of progressively more innovative technologies, beginning with multi-user domains (MUDs) in the 1990s, open on-line communities in the 2000s, and personal learning environments in the 2010s.  As a teacher and designer, he is also known as the originator of the Massive Open On-line Course (MOOC). As a theorist, he is known as a leading proponent of connectivism, a theory describing how people know and learn using network processes. He has published hundreds of articles on-line and in print and has presented around the world to academic conferences in dozens of countries on five continents.

Friday, March 11th

13:00 – Reaching the Engagement Horizon in Virtual Worlds: Crafting Engagement Through Games and Gamification with Karl Kapp: The use of games for learning seems like a good match, but we can’t blindly take it for granted. Instead, we need to explore questions to make sure the intuitive link between games, gamification and virtual worlds reaches its full potential. In this keynote, we’ll answer questions like: How does one mix virtual world and game-based learning experiences? How should games be integrated into a curriculum? Can attitudes and behaviour change result from playing a game in a virtual world? What elements of games can learning designers borrow from game designers? Can flying around as a superhero in a virtual world make you a nicer person? Discover evidence-based techniques for increasing on-line engagement, interactivity and, most importantly, learning.

KappKarl Kapp, Ed.D., is a full-professor of Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. He teaches subjects related to games, gamification and learning technologies, and is also the director of Bloomsburg’s Institute for Interactive Technologies, working with organisations to create interactive instruction including games and simulations, co-founder of educational game company 2Klearning.com and founder of The Wisdom Learning Group. He has authored or co-authored six books, and served as a Co-Principle Investigator on two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants related to games and simulations and serves as an external evaluator on a third game-related NSF grant.

Saturday, March 12th

18:00 – Closing Ceremony and Thinkerer Award Winner Annoucement: closing remarks from Phelan Corrimal and other VWBPE Committee Chairs, the opportunity to learn about VWBPE 2017 and hear the 2016 Thinkerer Award recipient announced.

Registration and Passport to the Metaverse

Those wishing to attend VWBPE 2016 are strongly encouraged by the organisers to register (free of charge or donations towards costs accepted).

Passport to the Metaverse offers the opportunity to explore nine interactive and engaging locations on the Horizons of teaching and learning. Opening of Sunday, February 28th, and running through to Sunday, March 20th inclusive (but exclusive of the conference dates), details on these experiences can be found on the VWBPE website and in the conference programme.

Related Links