The 15th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) Conference in Second Life, March 31st to April 2nd, 2022

This is just a brief blogpost to remind you that the 15th Annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) Conference is taking place in Second Life from March 31st to April 2nd, 2022. SL blogger Inara Pey writes:

The 2022 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference will be taking place between March 31st and April 2nd inclusive, and both a call for proposals and a call for volunteers to help run things has been issued…

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 characterized by an open social presence and in which the direction of the platform’s evolution is manifest in the community.

For more information, please see the VWBPE website. If you wish to volunteer at the conference, please visit this information page and volunteer sign-up form.

See you there!

Dr. Marie Vans: 14 Reasons Why Virtual Worlds Are Still Better than Social VR Worlds for Educational Purposes

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I will be going back on my self-imposed break from blogging.


Dr, Marie Vans (known as Amvans Lapis in Second Life) is a Senior Research Scientist at HP Labs in Colorado, who gave the following provocatively-titled presentation on March 19th, 2021 at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) 2021 Conference, held in SL:

Title Slide from Dr. Vans’ VWBPE Presentaion

14 Reasons Why Virtual Worlds are still better than Social VR Worlds

A year ago, VCARA started the VR Exploder’s Club wherein educators meet up once a month to determine whether and/or which Social VR Worlds we should establish a presence thereon after exploring different platforms together. Whether we used VR headsets or desktop versions of these platforms, we looked at criteria such as learning curve, real-time communication, interaction capabilities, and more. I will describe specific issues that have been resolved in VWs that still need attention in VR.

Drawing upon a number of representative social VR platforms chosen from my November 2019 spreadsheet (which I need to update!), she gave a great presentation on why she thinks that social VR platforms need to pull up their socks when it comes to supporting education, and why these newer platforms should not be so quick to dismiss older virtual world platforms such as Second Life!

Because the following YouTube video of Dr. Marie Vans’ presentation has a absolutely criminally low 56 views thus far, I have decided to write up a blogpost about it! And here it is! (I am going back on hiatus again after this.)

Here is the video of Dr. Vans’ hour-long VWBPE presentation, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. It’s well worth watching the entire thing!

Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference March 15-17

This year’s theme of the annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference is VRevolutions. The VWBPE conference is free to attend and all events are held in Second Life.

VWBPE18MainLogo960

Now in its 11th year, the conference brings together participants from a variety of social VR spaces and virtual worlds to discuss educational applications of the technology. The keynote speakers this year are the Technology-Enhanced Learning designer for U.K.’s Open University, Dr. Mark Childs, and education futurist Bryan Alexander.

Of note in the conference calendar is a conversation with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, to be held March 15th at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time/SL Time.