CFP and Session Signup

They are now out!

If you would like to have your proposal peer reviewed please see our CFP.

If you would like to do more of an unconference session please see our Sign-up.

and if you have any ideas that wouldn’t fit in either or would like us to invite specific speakers, please let us know.

An UnSymposium is meant to be very fluid and flexible! So check back for changes! 
And here’s the eventbrite signup


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Designing an UnSymposium

Since our theme this year is Games, Play and Community and after all  –          it is an Unsymposium.
We are going to play with the design.

So, how do we use the in-depth discussion and collegiality inherent in symposiums, mash that up with an unconference format, and still allow for thoughtful presentations on research and works in progress?
Well, we need your help. 😀 So let’s get started…..

There will be a structured CFP that will be announced on September 1st. This CFP will provide the initial scope of the Unsymposium. Some initial topics being considered are Virtual Worlds, MMORPG(s), Machinima, augmented reality, alternate reality games and a little bit of sub-creation studies.

Also during September:

Group and Quest Line at the end of  September in 3DGameslab for whoever would like to explore how to play with event design using a quest based professional development

Polling or crowdsourcing – topics and possible speakers over twitter during month of September – #vwgus

Sign yourself up for unstructured time on this google doc
And Play, play and play!!!!

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More of that Change We Promised….

We are now moving the UnSymposium to Friday November 4th- November 6th.

The Theme for this year is….Games, Play and Community

Why? It seems to be what we are doing – we have been developing ARGs, testing out 3D gamelab; playing, learning and networking with Cognitive Dissonance in WoW;  making Machinima and watching students play in Minecraft and Lego Universe.

We are overwhelmed by the extraordinary creativity and community involved in all of these modalities.

During raids and late into the night we are discussing flow, cognitive load, knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity. And did we mention – play!



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It’s About Time….


 Derik A. Badman Monumental Comics

For Another Comic-Con in a Virtual World


We did it before with the First Annual Met@Morph: The Second Life Web Comics Comic-Con and Event.

We were welcomed by Herve St.-Louis, the owner and Publisher of The Comic Book Bin. We had an international scholarship panel.  We had a group of comics artists show their work. We had educational sessions including “What needs to be in a survey of comics class”, “College Comics Clubs”, and “How to Make Like a Superhero”.

So let’s do it again. We’re looking tentatively for something in April 2012. What do you think?


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3DGames Lab – LMS, Learning Platform or Homework Manager

August 1st is approaching…..

Why is it so important……..

here’s the site 3D Games Lab

and here’s the videos


and what is it?

While it is being called a “learning platform” – it could easily function as a learning management system. I understand the rationale for not automatically calling it a LMS. In many systems, a LMS required a RFP. So learning platform works, or if you need something else that IT can relate to – perhaps you could call it a “homework manager.” That seems to work for textbook companies.

So how would you describe it?

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More Machinima……

At ISTE (International Society for Technology Educators), the SIGVE (Special Interest Group Virtual Environments) held their first Machinima Fest with over 40 entries.

Based on that number and the number of entries at VWBPE, there seems to be a trend towards the use of 3D games and virtual worlds screen capture and editing to create movies for education.  (For the full story of ISTE Machinima Fest 2011 please go to the SIGVE Wiki.)

The student entires for the ISTE Machinima Fest were fun and fabulous! But, I’d like to especially highlight the Machinima – made by Mr. 5 titled “Mr5s House” – five years old and making Machinima in Minecraft.

Other entries included “WoW in School” student videos,  Global Kids’ Mission – Sex Trafficking Video, 3th and 4th grade students producing Egyptian God videos, videos of Lego Universe, the WolfQuest and some serious undergraduate and graduate entries especially from the Kansas to Cairo Project.

If you’re at all curious about how to use Machinima in your classroom,  or get involved with a group of educators who are tyring to figure out Machinima, you may want to take a look at this blog Machinima 4 Mere Mortals and follow the twitter account @ Machinimamania.

On Machinima 4 Mere Mortals , there’s a quick lesson that can be used to teach your students how to review and critique Machinima by LeeDale Shephard.




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OpenSim or Second Life?

As we’re doing the preliminary planning for the UnSymposium – we do have options. Is this something we’d like to do in OpenSim or Second Life? We do have space available in each.


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Getting the Outreach Together

The purpose of the UnSymposium is really to have an rather informal gathering where educators and graduate students can meet and discuss topics of interest and also look at building their PLNs. But we still have to have a bit of outreach. We’re currently in the process of putting a very loose CFP together. Our twitter is @vwgus and our YouTube channel is

Here’s the video we just made (using animoto )


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Attending an Online Conference

If you have already planned to attend you may want to take a look at the online conference being offered next week.  It’s the Reform Symposium e-Conference. It is grassroots and you may recognize some of the names from educational blogs that you read. But if’ you would like to know more about how these types of online conferences work  just click on the audio link for more information.

Attending an Online Conference

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Generational Differences – The Discussion

This is in response to a questions posed  on Virtual School Meanderings

Digital Native – Digital Immigrant

How do you respond to a colleague concerning the idea of a digital natives/digital immigrants. Well.. we discuss it.

I mean it’s actually a discussion topic/question in our online certification course. Faculty taking the course are given these readings:

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

The Natives Aren’t Quite So Restless

Generation Virtual

and this video

No Future Left Behind

Then in a discussion topic titled “Digital Native, Digital Immigrant, Digital Hippie or V Generation?”  we ask the questions, “So what are you? And how will this help you engage with students who have different levels of technical proficiency?”

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