VWBPE 2024 Conference Mythic Origins starts this Thursday

Screenshot from VWBPE 2023 spotlight presentation.

The seventeenth annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, beginning on Thursday, March 14, 2024, will be an online distributed conference happening in multiple virtual spaces. This conference focuses on the use of immersive virtual environments for educational purposes including virtual and augmented reality.

This year we are returning to our Earth build. Each region represents a different terrestrial biome, including wetlands, desert, badlands, grasslands, and forests. Conference attendees will be among the first to be able to explore!

To the best ability possible, VWBPE provides educational and networking opportunities that are relevant to educational curriculum development utilizing virtual environments and “best practices.” These include

  • helping to build community through extension of learning best practices to practical application of those ideas and techniques;
  • providing networking opportunities for educators and the communities that help support education; and
  • providing access to current innovations, trends, ideas, case studies, and other best practices for educators and the communities that help support education

One of the key challenges faced by the educational community is how to make the best use of new immersive technologies in a way that is sustainable and accessible based on limited budgets available to both instructors and students. Platforms that are free or open source, or that can be shared across a broad audience are showcased, including methods and research around best practices in their use and applicability.

Our theme for this year is Mythic Origins.

(Image courtesy VWBPE.)

Mythic stories can provide a way to engage students in critical thinking and analysis, as well as developing their creativity and imagination. Mythic origins can provide students with a deeper understanding of their own cultural heritage and how it has evolved over time. It allows us to explore the origins of our socially constructed myths and legends that have inspired educators and their various works.

Join us as we all share experiences and successes in how virtual technologies used in the classroom have helped shape education for the better.

This year’s keynote speakers are Wagner James Au and Dr. Nellie Deutsch. Invited speakers include representatives from Linden Lab, and the 2020 Thinkerer – Renne Emiko Brock.

The VWBPE conference keynote speakers and their respective presentations are featured on the conference website, along with a program of exciting presentations, social activities, and networking events that will set extraordinary discussions in motion.

The VWBPE Immersive Experiences showcase unique and interesting work being conducted across the metaverse. We invite you to join us as we explore eleven interactive and engaging locations across five virtual environments. The Immersive Experiences are scheduled from March 9th through 31st (exclusive of the conference dates). Details and access instructions for the experiences are found on our program page.

Additionally, this open and free conference would not be possible without the generous contributions of our VWBPE sponsors.

The Rockcliffe Registration Portal is open for people to register new Second Life® avatars and find out more about the VWBPE conference in-world. Go to https://www.enroll.onl/secondlife.php . The instructions are there to get you and your friends started at this educator-friendly newcomers’ region in Second Life.

The full conference program is online.

You can also view presentations live on YouTube.

All of the conference events will be in Second Life this year, and the locations are included in the listings. When you click on a conference event and click Add to Calendar, you can add the event to your own calendar.

Direct SLURL links to VWBPE locations:

You can also follow VWBPE on social media: Second Life group, Facebook, FlickrLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.

Keynote: “Mythic Origins of Metaverse Myths”

Speaker: Wagner James Au, also known as Hamlet, Author

Time and Location: 4 p.m. SLT on Thursday, March 14 in the VWBPE Auditorium.

Keynote: “The Hero’s Journey of Learning Transformation in the Digital Age”

Speaker: Nellie Deutsch, also known as Nellie Homewood, Co-Chair of TESOL CALL-IS and instructor at the International Hellenic University

Time and Location: 9 a.m. SLT on Friday, March 15 in the VWBPE Auditorium.

The full list of speakers is here.

The major sponsors of this week’s VWBPE event are Linden LabRockcliffe University ConsortiumHire A HelperPorch.comKnomaze CorporationVirtual AbilityAgile DimensionsJournal of Virtual Studies, and Whole Brain Health.

Beth Ghostraven
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