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!

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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