Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education

I was so stunned to be asked to present at Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education this year, it’s hard to say how much without using CAPS.  I’ve been to the previous years, and have to say that it’s not the virtual world that is amazing (though you can see the presenter stage is epic) – its the diversity of ideas and information. The international sessions are again so dripping with ideas and more importantly evidence that virtual worlds and games kick ass.

As I’m heading away for a week, I was in a panic about this keynote – called “Game and Learn”.

What if I don’t get wifi? … so opted to record it as a podcast. I’ve never made one before, but it wasn’t much harder to use than any car-door handle, though very confronting to actually hear yourself not being as awesome sounding as I might have liked. Life have a way of constantly reminding me of such things it seems. But I think that I’ll make the effort to try my hand in the next few months.

This is an extract of my talk, and I think hints at why the set really worked for me.

“That which is too big, too expensive and impossible to create in real spaces can be found and shared with others virtual ones. The body remains in the physical, but the mind is free to learn, explore and roam rich environments in ways that even the dark-rides could never hope to achieve. But unlike Disneyland – virtual worlds and games don’t make us riders and never ask us to keep our arms inside the carriage.

We are as part of the ride and the mechanics that create it – we are as much of the machine as we care to be.”

It seems that in Steampunk, no one ever made a PowerPoint Presenter either – great joy!

I was glad I made the effort to write the talk, and that I’d recorded it. The space, from all angles is nothing short of perfect. I love the idea of people actually listening, and presenters not just reading out slides. When I asked Kavon about what might happen should I encounter wifi fail, the response was “we’ll work with whatever rezzes”.  So Jo is, as ever playing back-up, which is still great as I’m in part talking about our work on creating a model game mechanic for Open Sim for the History Grid project.

I can’t urge you enough to check out the line-up and make time to listen and meet some amazing educators over two days. Even if you don’t ‘like’ Second Life or Games, you will still be in for a treat. It’s not the world it’s the ideas and the stories. You can fly 10,000 miles and not get this IV-drip of goodness.

Check out the schedule of locations and accessibility, get a browser … and lurch beyond the familiar to come to experience the stellar line up of speakers and topics.

Then, just for fun – compare that physical tech conferences.


6 thoughts on “Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education

  1. This post is so exciting and depressing at the same time! You are fortunate indeed to be able to be so involved in these mega events – and to be so good at helping develop these environments. The rest of us have to sit back and drool, while we go back to our learning management systsems and deal with students locked in an asynchronos world. I can’t even get to these sessions, let alone incorporate this level of shared experience into my day-to-day practice. Going off with a sad face now and to make plans about when I should give up the dream.

  2. Mr Groom stunned? I just read it, but I don’t believe it.

    Edge ideas and stories at this gig should have the turnstiles clicking. Booked my seat.

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