Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 EDU: VWBPE: Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education--Kevin Feenan. Mar. 18-21.

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education
--Kevin Feenan   Mar. 18-21.
VWBPE15  is the definitive event bringing together educators/trainers, practitioners, administrators and policy makers from around the world to present, discuss and review ongoing developments in the field of 3D virtualization, its applications, and opportunities.

Over 3,300 people from 45 countries attended the last conference. There were 80 presentations in three days including keynote addresses by Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab and Philip Rosedale, Second Life creator and CEO of High Fidelity.


Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, history 

Invited post by Kevin Feenan  

Originally published in the Second Life Forums

The history of education in Second Life is a very long one having roots in the earliest days of the platform after it was first launched. In the peak period of second life educational usage (2007-2008), there were more than 800 universities, colleges, and other schools represented in Second Life on both the main and the teen grid.
There are numerous sources of first-hand peer-reviewed research that have been directly attributable to professors and universities that have used the platform, not only for the basis of delivering educational programs, but also for researching the effects that virtual environments have on subjects as varied as 

  • psychology
  • law
  • medicine
  • architecture
  • arts
  • culture
  • agriculture
  • border security
  • business
  • economics
  • project management
In the early days, many of these types of histories were documented as part of the Second Life Communities Conference. This real-life conference ran for about 4-5 years, the last one being in 2011, and brought together people from the worlds of education, business, law, music, fashion, design, and machinima to celebrate their creative endeavors. The conference included opportunities to discuss issues directly with the people that were responsible for developing much of the in-world content, especially educators.
In 2007, the first Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference took place during a 24 hour period which left a resounding mark on the educational community and the approximately 1200 people that attended.
In 2009, the conference was rebranded as the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference which has run every year since. It has been part of our VWBPE mandate to document as many key success stories as possible through lectures, video, workshops, exhibits (posters), and journal publications.
The conference itself is supported by a number of sponsors and in-kind supporters. In addition, there is a small army of somewhere between 80-120 volunteers which help support an equal number of presenters, artists, machinima directors, and, of course, educators, by putting on a 4 day conference followed by a 3 week series of follow-on explorations and workshops.
Each year the conference attracts between 2500 to 3500 people, from over 60 countries, interested in the use of virtual environments for teaching, collaboration, art, science, music, and design. A collection of our archives is maintained on our website at where people can find links to our publications (2010-2014), video archives (over 160 hours), slide-share presentations (57), and various awards and credit acknowledgements. Further, many of these archives cross-link with other materials which showcase the diversity of the community as a whole through other social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, and more.
It is not just about positive results for education, but what education does to enable people to be creative, innovative, and collaborative. Those tendrils extend well beyond the simple act of teaching in itself, and encourage all the subsequent content that is derived by the act of showing someone what they can do with a simple square prim.
Our conference this year runs from March 18-21 with a number of virtual explorations and tours in the weeks following. This conference isn't just for educators but for anyone interested in knowledge, community, and sharing. If you really want to see what the community, both education related and non-education related, is doing with Second Life, this is one of the core ‘go to’ resources to find out.

-- Kevin Feenan.  SL: Phelan Corrimal


VWBPE previous years








      News and Notes


      Classes, workshops:  Blender Mesh Live Instruction 

      Ruby O'Degee offers live basic lessons, live project lessons and (soon) live workshops.
      For schedule, see: 
      Limited to 9 participants on a first come, first serve basis.  Only 9 participants will be able to enter the Kitely world.  (If you try to enter and get the notice that the world is full, you will need to try another time).


      Lauren's Place


      Newcomer Help in Virtual Worlds



      How to handle a Hypergrid address 

      From any Hypergrid-enabled grid, paste the address into the navigation bar of Firestorm and press enter. Or paste it into the world map search bar of any viewer, search, and click Teleport when the destination is found. If it doesn't work, don't give up. Try again in a minutes.  Sometimes the first try fails (probably times out).  And try again a few hours later. Some hypergrid destinations are offline part of the day. 


      Video-Machinima in virtual worlds

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