VWBPE 2020: call for proposals

via vwbpe.org

The 13th annual  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference was recently announced, together with a call for proposals, which combines calls for presentation proposals, proposals for exhibits, and proposals for and immersive experiences.

The conference will take place between Thursday, March 26th through Saturday 28th, 2020 inclusive, and has the theme Stellar, with the organisers noting:

When we look up into the night sky, almost every one of us is filled with awe as to the immense possibilities of what could be out there. New stars, galaxies, planets … even the very real possibility of life. There are a billion, billion opportunities, so rich in ways in which it can influence our understanding of everything around us.

Education is no different. We are surrounded by hundreds of millions of people teaching and learning from each other, all filled with possibilities … Instructors hold a special place in that cosmos. They are the guiding stars that help fuel the imagination to create, to build, to communicate, to partner. It is little wonder that instructors are innovators themselves, seeking out new worlds, new frontiers, and new opportunities for learning, as well as teaching.

On November 13th, 2019, VWBPE opened its call for proposals for the 2020 conference. This year the conference will include four conference presentation formats: in addition to the Spotlight Presentations, Hands on Technology Workshops, and Compass Points Round Table Discussions, the 2020 conference will include an additional track, Micro Burst Clusters for presentations no longer than 15 minutes.

Full details on the tracks and formats can be found on the VWBPE 2020 Call for Proposals page. In addition, those considering participating in the conference as presenters are asked to read the Presentation Paper Submission Guidelines for additional and supporting information.

The closing dates for submissions are as follows:

  • Presentations: Monday, January 13th, 2020.
  • Immersive Experiences: Monday, February 10th, 2020.
  • Exhibits: Sunday, February 16th, 2020.
VWBPE 2019: Lecture Area B

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 organization’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

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

About VWBPE

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.

Read more here.

Additional Links

VWBPE 2019: Patch and Grumpity Linden

via vwbpe.org

On Thursday, April 4th, 2019, a public Above the Book events was held at the VWBPE 2019 event featuring Grumpity and Patch Linden, who answered questions about the platform and Linden Lab. The following is a summary of the broader points raised during the session, with the full video also embedded at the end.

A general Q&A session from the audience was held

Grumpity Linden

Grumpity Linden – Director of Product for Second Life

Grumpity originally came to Linden Lab while working for The Product Engine, a company providing end-to-end consulting and software development services, and which supports viewer development at the Lab, and she was initially involved in the development and viewer 2 (as designed by 80/20 Studio).

She became a “full-time Linden” in 2014. Her current position involves coordinating the various teams involved in bringing features and updates to Second Life (e.g. Engineering and QA), liaising with legal, financial and compliance to ensure features and capabilities meet any specific requirements in those areas, etc. This work can involve looking at specifics within various elements of the overall SL product, such as UI design and layout, etc.

Patch Linden –  Senior Director of Product Operations at Linden Lab

Patch Linden

Patch originally a Second Life resident, he joined linden Lab in 2007, after being invited to apply to the company as a result of his work as a community leader and mentor from 2004 through until the invitation was extended.

His role also encompasses Sansar, as he manages the respective support teams for both platforms. In this regard, he recently established a support centre in Atlanta, Georgia. For Second Life, his work also involves overseeing the content development teams, the Mainland Land Team, the Linden Department of Public Works – LDPW, aka The Moles, and managing the account support team.

Status Update

  • A lot of focus is on infrastructure work; making SL more performant for those in-world, and on moving Second Life services to the cloud.
    • The latter is especially time-consuming and difficult, as it requires moving services over without disturbing the way things are currently set-up.
    • As has been previously stated in public forums, there are currently no projections on whether this will lead to any reduction in region costs.
    • Currently, this work is taking a lot of resources in terms of staff, time and effort.
    • Overall, it is hoped the move will result in LL being more operationally streamlined and cost-effective, however, this could take time (a few years?) to achieve.
  • Feature work has obviously included:
    • The recent release of Animesh.
    • The continuing work to fully deploy the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) that will replace the current windlight settings for controlling the appearance of the environment.
    • The continuing work to deploy Bakes On Mesh (BoM), that will allow system layers (skins / clothing) to be directly applied to worn mesh items.
    • The new Estate Access Management (EAM) capabilities (see the Alternate Viewers wiki page for the latest EAM RC viewer).
    • See my Content Creation User Group summaries for information on Animesh, EEP and BoM.
The Estate Access Management update sees significant changes to the region access controls in the viewer
  • The work on a mobile solution (iOS) for accessing Second Life is continuing.
    • This will initially be text-based.
    • Should be able to take advantage of the naked accessibility options available in iOS.
    • Won’t be available for some time yet.
    • iOS was selected because there are already popular Android solutions (notably Lumiya and Mobile Grid Client – there is also MetaChat for iOS).
    • An official Android client will follow, however.
  • Linden Homes are progressing (there will likely be another preview at SL16B).
    • Work is progressing on the new continent; this will be more organic and natural than the old Linden Homes mini-continents, and will be water / air navigable.
  • There has been the re-vamp and re-launch of Linden Realms.

What Audience Does Linden Lab Try to Address with Features?

  • Everyone who uses the platform.
  • The roadmap is designed so the Lab spends time on features for home / land owners, features for content creators, features for new users, features for consumers, features for Premium members, etc.
  • Communities in SL tend to use the platform in a wide variety of ways and continue to surprise LL in how they use the platform. Thus, the Lab try to plan development of SL with as many communities as possible in mind.
  • For the education sector, a lot of work has been put into the RegAPI / Gateway programme to allow educational institutions to bring students directly into their in-world environments, and even brand user accounts specifically to their own institution.
  • Accessibility is always foremost in the Lab’s thoughts.
    • This can in part be addressed by communities themselves in how they take the RegAPI to build their registration process, and gear their gateways.
    • Accessibility options within the viewer are harder to build, due to the nature of the viewer, although some capabilities are presented through third-party viewers  – Radegast being the most obvious (although currently stalled in development).
  • When considering features and updates, backwards compatibility is also foremost in the Lab’s thinking, both because of content available in-world that may be in use, but no longer actively maintained / updated, and because users have become reliant on specific capabilities / content.
    • This isn’t always possible, simply due to the age of SL.

In Brief

  • SL Search: there is a project on the roadmap (yet to be started) to overhaul SL search. It’s too early to discuss specific changes, but Search is complex, and a similar project performed with Marketplace Search took far longer than anticipated, although it yielded positive results.
  • Age Restrictions and Mobile: it is not anticipated that the arrival of an official mobile app for SL will change the current age range access restrictions (just as it hasn’t for the current mobile apps). Any changes in age related access will be a policy change, not the result of any specific technology change.
  • LEA and Art: the LEA is on hiatus and being restructured, and LL are in conversation with the LEA committee and others for the arts community about ideas for moving things forward.

 

VWBPE 2019: overview

via vwbpe.org

The 2018 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference takes place between Thursday, April 4th and Saturday April 6th, 2018 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.

As with recent years, the conference is focused on the 8 core VWBPE regions in Second Life, centred on the VWBPE Gateway.

VWBPE 2019: Main auditorium

Event Calendar

The best way to keep abreast of the full schedule is via the VWBPE 2019 event calendar. By default, this displayed in posterboard (shown below), but can easily be switched to agenda, month or stream views via the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Individual events can also be added to a number of personal calendars – Google, Outlook, Apple – making it even easier for attendees to track the events and activities they particularly want to attend at this year’s conference.

VWBPE 2019 calendar

Event Selection

The following is a (personal) selection of events those curious about VWBPE 2018 might want to attend. All times SLT:

Thursday, April 4th

  • 14:00-14:50 – What’s New At the Lab with Patch and Grumpity Linden in the Main Auditorium.
  • 16:00-17:00 – The Making of Our Digital Selves: My Avatar and Me: at the VWBPE social plaza.

Friday, April 5th

  • 09::00-09:50 – Keynote: Teacher Training with Virtual WorldsMain Auditorium: Dr. Tuncer Can, Istanbul University looks at how training teachers within Virtual Worlds could enhance innovation in the class and change the lives of real people by ensuring them.
  • 10:00-10:50 – Non-Profit Commons Past Reflections, Future DirectionsVWBPE 2019 Quadrivium.
  • 11:00-11:50 – Perspectives on virtual professional learning communitiesVWBPE 2019 Lecture Area A.

Saturday, April 6th

  • 11:00-11:50: Keynote: Crossing the Horizon together: Scanning, transforming, and sharing “What Works” in Immersive XR Main Auditorium: Dr. Jonathon Richter, Salish Kootenai College and Executive Director discusses the Immersive Learning Research Network facilitates collaboration between computer scientists, game developers, educators, learning scientists, and others.
  • 12:00 noon-12:50: Blue Mars on Virtual Harmony for agile mindsets –  VWBPE 2019 Lecture Area B.
  • 12:00-12:50: Re/visioning virtual educationVWBPE 2019 Quadrivium.
  • 14:00-14:50: Catching up with ThinkererMain Auditorium.
VWBPE 2019: Lecture Area B

Getting About

VWBPE takes place across 8 regions (including the exhibitors spaces). While exploring on foot is fun, the quickest way to get to event / activity venues is via the VWBPE Gateway and using the teleport boards there, and similar boards at each of the primary VWBPE events areas.

Additional Links

VWBPE 2019: keynote speakers announced

via: VWBPE

The 2018  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between Thursday, Thursday, April 4th and Saturday April 6th, 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.

On Saturday, March 2nd, 2019, the organisers of the event announced their list of keynote speakers – one for each day of the event.

Thursday, April 4th Tom Boellstorff: (Tom Bukowski in SL), a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. His interests have included the anthropology of sexuality, the anthropology of globalization, the anthropology of virtual worlds, Southeast Asian studies, the anthropology of HIV/AIDS, and linguistic anthropology.

The winner of the 2009 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Ecology of Culture, Media Ecology Association, his has authored several books, including Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human, (Princeton University Press, 2008), the result of two years fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so-called real world. He has also co-authored Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (Princeton University Press, 2012) a concise, comprehensive, and practical guide for students, teachers, designers, and scholars interested in using ethnographic methods to study on-line virtual worlds, including both game and non-game environments.

Tom is perhaps best known for his joint study with Donna Z. Davis, Disability and Virtual Worlds: New Frontiers of Appropriation, which I first wrote about in 2016, and which is the subject of the film Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is me!

VWBPE 2019 keynote speakers: Tom Boellstorff, Tuncer Can and Jonathon Richter

Friday, April 5th Tuncer Can: Tuncer is no stranger to the vLanguages community, a VWBPE 2019 partner. His most recent collaboration with vLanguages is GUINEVERE, an EU Commission funded language learning project. An exploration of the GUINEVERE project in OpenSim will be offered as an Immersive Experience after the conference.

Saturday, April 6th Dr. Jonathon Richter: a long-time friend of virtual and immersive environments, Jonathon Richter is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN). Jonathon will explore with us what works in immersive XR (VR/AR/MR).

Call for Volunteers

VWBPE would not be possible without the dedicated service and support of its volunteers. If you would like to help at the upcoming conference, please sign up today!

VWBPE: winter social fund-raiser and a reminder

via vwbpe.org

On Thursday, January 17th, 2019, the VWBPE team will be hosting a social event featuring music, dancing and more, from 17:00 SLT at Rockcliffe Village in Second Life. The Press release for the event reads in part:

Winter is perfect for dancing the night away in a beautiful winter themed venue complete with a skating rink and free ice skates! Enjoy an evening with friends and colleagues at VWBPE’s first networking and sponsorship social of 2019!

DJ Coz OKelly will be on hand to spin some fantastic dancing tunes (again donating his time in support of VWBPE).

Don your warmest, fanciest, fur-lined outfits (the one with the deepest pockets!) and take advantage of the photo ops available.

Donations in both USD $ and L$ are welcome at the event, and all proceeds will go towards VWBPE 2019 programme activities, specifically in the areas of support for the conference information systems, development of video and machinima archives, live video streaming, social activities, swag bag materials for conference attendees, buildings supplies (mesh 3D objects), and graphic design.

So, if you feel like supporting a very worthy part of Second Life, please hop along to the dance on January 17th!

Also, those interested in participating in this year’s conference, don’t forget that due date for papers, etc., are fast approaching:

About VWBPE

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.

Read more here.

Additional Links

VWBPE 2019: call for proposals

via vwbpe.org

The 12th annual  Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference was recently announced, together with a call for proposals, which combines calls for presentation proposals, proposals for exhibits, and proposals for and immersive experiences.

The conference will take place between Thursday, April 4th and Saturday April 6th, 2019 inclusive.

The theme for the 2018 conference is Re:Vision, with the organisers noting:

Rising from VRevolution, our Legacy of learning seeks to re:Vision the future of creation within the ecosystem of digital spaces that comprises VWBPE.

Re:Vision plays a role in how multifaceted communities are contributing to and expanding best practices in virtual spaces to support play, creation, and learning. VWBPE invites you, the innovator in these endeavours, to share your re:Vision at the conference. When you submit your proposal, consider how your community contributes to the knowledge base of innovation and change through the increasingly complex landscape of digital technology.

Also, for 2019, VWBPE will be partnering with vlanguages, an international collaboration effort of universities, colleges, research institutes and language educators that are working together to define and develop freely available best practices, platform and communities of support for virtual worlds, virtual reality, augmented reality, simulations and game-based language learning and training system.

Following the success of 2018, VWBPE will continue the three conference presentation formats introduced in 2018:  Spotlight Presentations, Hands on Technology Workshops, and Compass Points Round-table Discussions. There are seven tracks and three formats. When formulating your proposal, applicants are encouraged to consider the re:Vision theme for the conference.

Full details on the seven tracks and three formats can be found on the VWBPE Applications page, together with general information on presentations and a link to the proposal submissions page.

Note that the closing date for presentation proposals is Monday, January 14th, 2019.

VWBPE 2018: Main Auditorium

Exhibit and Immersive Experience Proposals

  • Exhibit proposals are open to those who wish to showcase their creative works in virtual worlds through artistic expression in order to promote their organisation or achievements. All exhibit proposals are reviewed by the VWBPE, and must apply to an already developed product for showcasing. Proposals should be made in one of the eight exhibit tracks: K-12 Best Practices; Higher Education/College Best Practices; Field Practices; Games and Simulations; Tools and Products; Advocacy; Support and Help Communities and Artists, Designers and Builders.
  • The Immersive Experiences category showcases locations whose main objective is interaction, immersion, and engagement for those who enter them, whether to play a game, solve an immersive problem, or engage participants in hands-on, interactive learning. All proposals for immersive experiences should be made in one of the seven presentation tracks:  Analytic Thinking and Complex Problem Solving; Creativity and Innovation in Design, Practice, and Learning; Essential Accessibility in Digital and Virtual Spaces; Collaboration and Distance Connections; Multimedia Communication and Multifaceted Interactions; Ethics, Responsibility, and Tolerance  and VWBPE Redux.

Note that the closing date for Exhibits and Immersive Experience proposals is Monday, 11th February 2019.

About VWBPE

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.

Read more here.

Additional Links