Connected Educator Month

The Department of Education has declared the month of August to be Connected Educator Month!

So we’re connecting! Please save the dates of November 2nd and 3rd for the Virtual Worlds & Games UnSymposium!

We’ll be working with a number of connected educators in September and October to organize the event! If you are interested in helping organize please email Kae at

Really looking for people who can collaborate and communicate. It is a team effort!


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Save the Dates!

November 2 & November 3, 2012 are the dates for the 3rd Annual UnSymposium!

If you would like to join us now, we’re currently playing in the
ARG Academy May 7 – 28 over at P2P University

and will be doing the Machinima Online Open Course (MOOC) June 4 – 18 and
ISTE SIGVE Machinima Fest on June 26 at San Diego and in Second Life.

We may also be adding a EduMachinima Fest component to the UnSymposium on the night of Friday November 9th!


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Week 3 at the VWMOOC

World of Warcraft Week
in Virtual Worlds, Games and Education Tour
April 2- 9, 2012
in P2P University

The beginning of the sessions on Monday and Tuesday are in Second Life.
The Second Life HQ for our Group is on Front Range.


Overview of World of Warcraft
Two Factions – Alliance & Horde


Tour of Orgrimmar


Alliance Races
PvP ( Player v Player)
PvE ( Player v Environment)
Screenshots/Flickr II


Guild Meetup with Cognitive Dissonance guild & 3D Games Lab Group


On your own – unless their is a request.


MMORPGs & Machinima in the Morning


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Volunteers Needed

Virtual Worlds Best Practices is Looking for Some More Volunteers during their ramp-up time.  VWBPE is fully online mostly in Second Life and is held from March 15- 17, 2012. To sign-up go to 


The poster area with Abacus Capalini as the poster stream lead is looking for some people who’d like to set their hearth stones to the poster sims starting in March. Posters is looking for people to be estate managers the two weeks leading up to the conference and during the conference. Also with the amount of poster displays, there is a real need for poster preparation liaisons who can be there starting in March. The liaisons would help check in the poster presenters and be there in general to lend a helping hand.

OpenSim Coordinator and OpenSim Bloggers

Programs is looking for someone to assist with OpenSim tours and presenters and during the conference function as someone who will liaison between Second Life and OpenSim grids. Also need are OpenSim Blogger/Reporters who can write about OpenSim presentations and also the OpenSim take on events.

MOOC working group

Looking for people to help facilitate and get the word out about the “A Virtual Worlds, Games and Education Tour” MOOC. Its portal opens on March 1st and the MOOC starts right after the end of the VWBPE conference and runs for four weeks.


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VWBPE CFP Re-Opens Jan 15 – Feb 15, 2012

Based on community request, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) is reopening the call for proposals.

CFP Animoto

The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education is a grass-roots community conference; it is YOUR conference, and your chance to share your experiences with the rest of your community. We have already received some excellent submissions but we would like more!

The Call for Proposals (papers, workshops, games, Machinima and posters) has been extended to midnight 15th February, 2012.  All that’s required is a 50 – 100 word abstract (full papers  required for research stream) that indicates how your work illustrates best practices in education.

Describes how your work might be applied to a particular or multiple sectors of education, i.e. K-12, large universities, community colleges, adult education, etc. Tell us how you learn and teach. Tell us your stories of what works well and what can be done better. Where does learning happen for you?  Who do you teach? How to you engage learners? Why is learning within the virtual important to you? What is the key learning you want to share with others?

We do want to especially encourage submissions for the Machinima Fest, Poster Event and the Games and Simulation Event
Other topics that this year are encouraged for submission include:

Open Sim projects
Augmented Reality

The VWBPE is a free conference, organized and run by volunteers from K-12, colleges and universities from around the world.  While most activities will happen in Second Life, presentations and field trips can be scheduled for other parts of the metaverse – contact Kavon and her team at for more information.

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EduBlog Awards 2011

My Nominations for Edu Blog Awards

Best individual blog  -Design for Learning

Best individual tweeter – @jackiegerstein

Best new blog – Gridjumper’s Blog

Best ed tech / resource sharing blog – Gridjumper’s Blog

Best twitter hashtag – #iste11

Best teacher blog – Edurealms

Best School Administrator blog – Edurealms

Best free web tool – Wordpress

Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast – Best use of Video  -Knowclue Machinima

Best educational wiki – WoW in School

Best open PD / unconference / webinar series

ISTE2011 Virtual Environments Playground

Best educational use of a social network

Cognitive Dissonance

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Crowdsourcing a Game Competition

At the UnSymposium – we spent some time and came up with a CFP for a Games and Simulation Fest for VWBPE! The crowd thought it was especially important to celebrate creativity and user created content whether it was in a very open system like Second Life or if it was developing additional quests for World of Warcraft. And of course we did get to hear from the people at MASSIVELY MINECRAFT. The system they created for their guide, experience points and leveling is truly awesome. What they did along with the system built by 3DGamesLab inspired us to add the last category of ” Guild Structure/Badges and Pointification.”

Games and Simulations FestSubmissions Due 2/15/2012

To encourage the production of user created games and the growth of a community of educators, researchers, and students who produce games and simulations, VWBPE will be holding a games and simulations fest  during the 2012 conference. Submission can be made by an individual or group. A panel of educators, researchers, students, and gamers will choose a best in each category. Additional recognition may be given based on the recommendation of panel. We are looking for games and simulation that play whether it be for solely for fun or purposeful play for education and training. So be bold and brave and most of all BE EPIC!

Games and simulations produced by educators, researchers, students  and the community will be accepted in the categories listed below.

Games Submission Categories:

Short quick play games that are designed for multiple iterations. An example would be a puzzle, board game, or quick quiz show all contained in a virtual world.

Game within a Game
Short game contained within another  game. An example would be a user created questline in City of Heroes or World of Warcraft. This could also be an adventure or competition within  Minecraft.

Games that require players to login to a specific location and actively play key roles or characters during the game while others are also acting out roles. These may include a free flowing extemporaneous style that does not necessarily need to have a win/lose conclusion.

Games that model specific situations that the player may face in real life. Examples would include business meetings, ordering food in a restaurant, flying a plane,  or operating on a patient.

Guild Structure/Badges/Pointification
This category focuses on the use of various tools for motivating the player to continue play and/or  received feedback on progress.

This category can include any game or simulation that does not fit the categories above.
This may be a NPIRL ( Not Possible in Real Life) scenario that is played as a game or simulation, a scenario created from a novel, historical recreation or anything else that involves play.

To submit, please go to:

A .rtf file should be attached with the following:

1) Title
2) Names of all creators of the game
3) Summary (max 500 words) This should include an explanation of the game play or simulation.
All game and simulations fest submissions will be given space to exhibit their information on their game or simulation. Space and prim specification will be given upon acceptance. Audio/visual will be available, but it is requested that the use of sound be kept to a minimum.  Games and simulation presenters will be invited to set-up 72 hours prior to the conference opening. Games can be left in place for up to 5 days post conference.

This exhibit space could include the following:

1) Name of submission and name  of game or simulation creator
2) Notecard giver with a notecard containing a summary of the game or simulation
3) Machinima, video or pictures from the game or simulation
4) Instructions on how conference attendees can visit or play the game or simulation

Fest submitters (only one required) agree to attend the VWBPE conference and schedule a time with the Games and Simulation Stream lead for the judges to tour or play the game.

A submission on site must be completed for each game being submitted to the conference. Educators, researchers, and students may submit as many of their own games as they wish.
For questions or comments please email

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Virtual Education Journal Call for Articles

From the editor:

Virtual Education Journal

VEJ – Issue 3, Deadline November 20th.

Help us get the message out to people about the important educational work that is going on in virtual environments! As many of us talked about last weekend at the VW Unsymposium, now is the time for Trailblazers to help bring in the pioneers and settlers – we need to educate teachers/professors and administrators about the powerful learning that is happening in virtual worlds and most importantly, what is in it (virtaul environments) for them (e.g., fun, friends, networking, learning).

We would love to get the third issue of VEJ out by December 1st, but we need your help!

Please send article of approximately 500 – 1000 words (and pictures if you have them) to me by November 20th. The article should be a word file, 14 point New Times Roman. You can format it – or I will format it. You can put the pictures where you want them – or just send them separtely and I will put them where they fit in the pages – png is prefered, but you can send jpg.

Send the articles to:

We would love to have educational articles from around the world about what you are doing in sl and other virtual worlds. This issue will highlight the VW Graduate Student Unsymposium, so if you were there and have pictures or thoughts, please send those as well.

We hope you will take the time to write a short article and/or send pictures with captions about what you are doing,
because after all, VEJ is only as good as we all make it!

We look forward to your articles and any suggestions you have to make VEJ even better!

Thanks and Keep smiling 🙂
Roxie Vojtek

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2011 Schedule is up

Hello everyone,

The tentative schedule is now up! You can find it on the menu to the left or by going to VWGUS 2011 Schedule (

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Notes on UnSym

Here are a description of some the Games, Play and Community sessions;

Discussion on World of Warcraft, cognitive surplus and theorycraft. We are going to do a in-depth look and discussion on how MMORPG players are using their cognitive surplus to assess statistics, create program applications and learn mangagement strategies. It really is looking like data-driven decisions in most guilds, raids and battle grounds.

Discussion of Play as Professional Development. Many of virtual worlds and games are allowing professionals to play as a form of professional and social networking. Are you using play as a form of social networking – should you be? What community activities are you doing in virtual worlds and games.

Last year VWBPE did a Machinima event and an interactive poster competition. This year VWBPE’s program committee wants to see about adding a games event to showcase games designed by students and educators.  So this will be a crowd-sourcing, brainstorming type of talk.

Burning Question/Taboo Topic – let’s play a round of this. What question or topic about games, learning, etc. – can’t you bring up without causing controversy.

Additional sessions to include:

Saving the Universe through play!!!!! with Knowclue Kidd

A tour of a language world with the Gordon Holden, educator/creator who is looking for input and feedback

A proposal based on game (re)design from Neverwinter Nights by Sara Cole and facilitated by Karla Schorzman.

A look at a “live research” and a discussion on how you would do live research held at ARVEL SIG’s Second Life CAVE area.

Machinima, Machinima, Machinima – because it’s the best way to record what we are doing in games and virtual worlds and report to others who aren’t logging in.

and trying to get a bit of Minecraft added also.





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