Presentation recording site: https://lancelot.adobeconnect.com/_a875817169/p74cndwbnef/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal
On November 16 (Australian time) I had the great pleasure of doing a presentation at the SLanguages 2015 conference with Dr Sarah Pasfield-Neofitou which we called “Ghost Towns: Virtual Campuses and Virtual Toursim”. In the presentation we explore the concept of the “ghost town” and “decay” in both the virtual and real world environments and the implications for virtual and real world university campuses.
Our presentation slides can be viewed below:
The full transcript of our presentation can be viewed here:
Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) 2015 – VEL & Virtual Prato Exhibition
Conference site: http://vwbpe.org/
The VWBPE 2015: Crossroads conference was held over four days from March 18 – 21 (or 19 – 22 in local Australian time). The conference committee pulled together an amazingly packed schedule of presentations, workshops and panel discussions over the four day period. Complementing these activities were the poster exhibitions that provided visitors with the opportunity to learn about a wide range of projects in greater depth.
The conference was opened with a highly anticipated keynote speaker – the CEO of Linden Labs, Ebbe Altberg. This high calibre address (and the Q & A session that followed) really set the tone for the whole conference. As with past years, even for those of us with substantial experience in working with virtual worlds, there is always something new that can be learnt from all of the activities on offer. The conference is also a fantastic opportunity to meet / catch up with other educators working in virtual worlds from around the world. Just at this year’s conference a number of collaborative teaching and research opportunities have presented themselves!
This year Monash Chinese studies had two exhibits at the conference. With the assistance of the brilliant Steadman Kondor from the Quarry Hill School of Mines and Industries (http://schoolofmines.org/) interactive exhibits were set up for the Virtually Enhanced Languages (VEL) Project and the Virtual Prato Project. Both exhibits were highly interactive and gave visitors from around the world a taste of what they could expect if they visit the full environments.
Here are some photos of the two Monash exhibits:
Virtually Enhanced Languages
Looking forward to next year’s conference VWBPE 2016: Horizons (March 9 – 12)!
Ascilite 2014 – VEL presentation
On Monday the 24th of November I attended the Ascilite 2014 conference on the beautiful campus of University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand to give a presentation on our Virtually Enhanced Languages project on behalf of the VEL team of Dr Sarah Pasfield-Neotfitou (Japanese Studies, Monash University) , Dr Hui Huang (Chinese Studies, Monash University) , Associate Professor Yu-Ju Lan (Department of Applied Chinese Languages and Culture, National Taiwan Normal University), and Ramona Baumgartner (VEL Project Manager, Monash University).
The theme of the Ascilite 2014 conference was Rhetoric and Reality and our presentation was made in the Sharing Practice stream of the conference. The great thing about the Ascilite conferences is the opportunity to learn about teaching & learning approaches, practices, research and initiatives from academics around Australia and New Zealand, and even from other parts of the world. It is also a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues from other tertiary institutions with who we have regular online contact and frequent collaboration but who we rarely see in person. This year it was tremendously exciting to catch up with colleagues from the Virtual Worlds Working Group and enjoy a lovely Thai meal together. The group has regular monthly inworld meetings in Second Life and OpenSim and a number of us have collaboratively written and presented papers at a range of real life and virtual conferences over the years, but being geographically spread out all over Australia and New Zealand makes the rare real world catch-ups even more exciting.
VEL is an attempt to make some of the rhetoric of the past few years about the advantages of using virtual worlds for educational purposes, and in our case for language and culture education, more of a reality for even more educators by sharing our 6 years of experience designing and implementing lessons in Second Life as well as a range of ready made virtual and pedagogical resources with other educators for free. For more information on the VEL project see:
The following is a short video made for the presentation that gives a brief history of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going:
Below are the PPT slides used during the VEL presentation.
Rod Ellis: Methodology in Task-Based Language Teaching
On June 25, 2014 the Camelot Project (http://camelotproject.eu/) organised a presentation by the pre-eminent second language acquisition scholar Professor Rod Ellis. For those of us who missed the live presentation thankfully Heike Philip (Avalon, Camelot) recorded the whole presentation on Adobe Connect.
The link below is for the Camelot page relating to the presentation is:
The following is a direct link to the recording:
Prof. Ellis’ slides can be downloaded from here:
The Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education 2013 annual conference was held in Second Life, JokaydiaGRID and Cloud Party from the 24th to the 27th of July. This year the theme of the conference was “Beyond the stage”. To quote from the VWBPE 2013 site: “Virtual worlds offer an almost endless palette of opportunities to perform and create in order to go beyond the stage. Engagement in storytelling, simulation, education, and other forms of expression are quite integral to multi-user virtual environments. Knowledge is constructed in many social contexts facilitated by virtual worlds.” The conference website can be found at http://www.vwbpe.org/. Over 2000 attendees representing 90 countries 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. This year, while not doing any presentations of my own, I was involved in two poster sessions. The first was for the Virtual Worlds Working Group which had two wonderful posters showcasing the members and activities of the group. The second was a demonstration display of the Basic Skills Gauntlet project developed by instructional design and scripting guru Azwaldo Villota in collaboration with a new group entitled Spicy Vanilla. The Basic Skills Gauntlet is a proof of concept project aimed at developing open-source inworld training modules for learning Second Life basic skills. These modules which will eventually be available to the whole Second Life community free of charge, are highly portable and highly customizable (or “re-mixable” ). The development of these modules was also a fantastic exercise in collaboration between designers and discipline-specific educators, with collaboration occurring both inworld and via an Excel spreadsheet in GoogleDocs. As part of the inworld poster display we also shot a brief machinima explaining the concept of the Basic Skills Gauntlet and demonstrating some of the training stations:
Research conference on virtual worlds – Life, imagination, and work using metaverse platforms: November 15-17, 2012
SLACTIONS 2012 is the fourth edition of SLACTIONS, which was the first international conference held simultaneously in several countries on the topic of metaverse platforms. SLACTIONS aims at covering most areas currently enabled by metaverse platforms, from educational research to content production, from gender studies to media distribution, and from metaverse-based branding, advertising, and fundraising to emerging mash-ups and technology applications. SLACTIONS is unique in its format too, as a one-of-a kind event conducted both in a metaverse platform (Second Life) and on-site in multiple countries throughout the world. SLACTIONS will thus contribute to the current redefinition of the way we think about hybrid online and on-site scholarly collaborations (http://www.slactions.org/2012/?page_id=2) Dr Sarah Passfield-Neofitou and I both attended the conference and ours was the first paper to be presented. The paper and the project it relates to was a joint effort by Sarah, Dr Hui Huang and myself. Our research project was funded by LCNAU (http://www.lcnau.org/) under a seed funding grant. Here is the fantastic PPT prepared by Sarah for the conference: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.391660887577566.90060.242464792497177&type=1):
National Taiwan Normal University
Chinese in 3D Virtual Environments
Language Education International Workshop 2012 华语3D虚拟情境语言教学国际工作坊
The workshop was held over two days on the 12th and 13 of November at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei. Sponsored by NTNU, the Aim for Top University Project, and the Department of Applied Chinese Language and Culture, the workshop was organized and hosted by Associate Professor Yu-Ju Lan and her wonderful team of assistants under the auspices of Professor Yao-Ting Sung, Chief Officer, Office of Research and Development, NTNU. The two day program included presentations by a range of speakers from across Taiwan and a two hour workshop on Monash Chinese Island on the morning of the second day. The range of work currently underway in Taiwan in relation to the development of Chinese language education in 3D virtual environments like Second Life is truely impressive. During the two days of the workshop I met with a number of academics from fields as diverse as education technology, digital game based learning, information management, English studies, educational testing, e-learning design and management, Chinese language training, cloud-based technology and neuro-marketing.
Here is my presentation on Monash in Second Life:
The following is a nice summary of the 3 days of the workshop in video format. Thanks to Carlos Sanchez Martin and Associate Professor Yu-ju Lan for such a wonderful video:
6th SLanguages 2012
The following link is to a video of the presentation I did for the SLanguages 2102 conference on the Arabia project jointly conducted by myself and Dr Christina Mayer, Head of Arabic Studies at the University of Melbourne. https://lancelot.adobeconnect.com/_a875817169/p8upgvzk6hr/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal
Arabia presentation video picture
Here is the PowerPoint of my presentation.
ENCKE – Virtual University Collaboration
A two day conference which is part of a collaborative event that is possibly the first of its kind was held on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 of October. The event, known as ‘ENCKE’ (which is the name of a comet that periodically passes the earth – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet_Encke), commenced with two days of in-world meetings including highly informative and enlightening plenary talks, small group discussions and report back sessions, workshops, tutorials, demonstrations and tours of a number of educational builds in SL. Over the next four weeks follow up projects that will be part training and part implementation of some of the ideas and concepts generated and explored during the initial two days of inworld meetings will be carried out under the guidance of expert builders, scripters and educators. Once implemented, the spaces containing these new builds will be able to be booked for teaching and learning sessions. Over the initial two days, educators and HDR students from around Australia and New Zealand and expert guests from the USA and the UK participated in lively and information packed presentations and discussions and concrete steps were also taken to establish and facilitate ongoing collaboration in relation to the exchange of practical information and experience, the development of a range of education-based projects and in relation to future collaborative research. A huge vote of thanks must go to Dr Helen Farley of the Australian Digital Futures Institute at the University of Southern Queensland and Associate Professor Allan Ellis of Southern Cross University for so successfully bringing together such a rich range of activities and people. For further information on the ENCKE collaboration see the project wiki: http://encke.wikispaces.com/About+the+Virtual+University+Collaboration For more photos of the two day conference see:
The 5th Annual SLanguges Symposium was held from the 16th to the 18th of September on the EduNation and AVALON sims in Second Life. The theme of the symposium this year was “Serious Games and Situated Learning”. The three days of the symposium were packed with fascinating and thought provoking presentations, demonstrations, discussions and tours that provided an absolute feast of ideas and practical information for language educators interested in or already teaching in virtual worlds. The whole program was brilliantly organized and coordinated by the SLanguages team, and a huge vote of thanks should go to Heike Philip (Gwen Gawasi) among others for the amazing job she did bringing everything together and making everything run so smoothly. Details of the symposium and the various presentations, etc., made during the three days can be found at: http://avalon-project.ning.com/page/slanguages-2011 and http://www.slanguages.net/home.php Chinese Island also got a look in at the symposium with a tour of the island on the final day of the symposium. The tour was recorded by Marius Madrigal from France who did an amazing job under very difficult conditions.
University of Washington
Virtual Worlds Program
Class of 2011 Graduation
On the 10th of July Melbourne time I had the great pleasure to attend the graduation ceremony of the 2010 class of the University of Washington’s Virtual Worlds Certified Course at the invitation of Gwen Gwasi (Heike Philip) from the Avalon Project (http://avalon-project.ning.com/profiles/blogs/lets-learn-to-do). The guest speaker at the ceremony was Clark Aldrich, one of the most inspiring and prolific writers on the use of serious games for education (http://www.clarkaldrichdesigns.com/2010/03/simulations-distance-learning-and.html). Equally inspiring was the brief speeches given by the 13 graduands from around the world as they received their certificates and became graduates. Full of emotion and hope for the future, the speeches were also tinged with mixed emotions as a learning experience that clearly deeply affected each of the graduates was drawing to its conclusion. For more information on this amazing example of the use of virtual worlds for education, visit the UW URL at: http://www.pce.uw.edu/prog.aspx?id=4104 You can also visit their beautiful university region in Second Life at the following location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/UW%20Avalumni/53/53/27
Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education
The Virtual World Best Practice in Education 4th Annual Conference was held over three days from March 17 – March 19 in Second Life. The theme of the conference this year was ‘You are Here’, and the conference had190 conference presenters, 40 poster exhibits, and 30+ machinima submissions developed around this theme. Over the past 4 years the conference has provided a venue for highly innovative educators working on the cutting edge of education in virtual worlds at primary, secondary and tertiary level to present formal refereed papers, less formal presentations of actual examples of best practices, interactive ‘poster’ exhibitions demonstrating best practices, and machinima made for use in a variety of educational contexts. In addition a number of ‘tours’ were also conducted to sites that were specifically used for educational purposes. While the conference itself was held in Second Life, the scope of the conference was not limited to Second Life, also including a range of presentations and activities relating to other 3D virtual worlds likeOpenSim, World of Warcraft, Eve Online and even Club Penguin. Chinese Island was represented at the conference in the form of a poster exhibition about a joint project carried out in the second semester of 2009 that involved Monash Chinese Media Studies students, students from the USA, one Australian-based Monash instructor, one UK-based instructor and guests from the USA, China and Singapore. The joint project was based around a number of interviews conducted by Chinese Media Studies students who first visited their guest interviewees at their respective home sites in Second Life and then invited the same guests to a virtual television chat show stage in Second Life for a more formal follow up interview. The chat show interviews were filmed, as were a subsequent news-desk report done by the Chinese Media Studies students based on the preceding interviews, and all the pre-production, filming, direction and post-production was done by two master’s students from Boise State University who were doing a unit calledSocial Network Learning in Virtual Worlds under the tutelage of Annie Jeffrey. A joint book chapter on the project entitled ‘ International Classroom Collaboration: Practical Approaches for Teaching and Learning in Second Life was written in 2010 and subsequently published in a book entitled ‘Teaching Arts and Science with the New Social Media’ 2011. For more details on the project and the book chapter, please click the following link: http://books.emeraldinsight.com/display.asp?AUB=Charles%20Wankel&CUR=USD#
The video that was also on display as part of the poster exhibition can be viewed below:
Education 2011-2021 Summit
Global challenges and perspectives of blended and distance learning
15-18 February 2011
The summit is directed at educators involved in research, teaching, corporate and community oriented blended and distance education. Few would dispute that education as an anywhere, anytime and anyplace option is transforming at a local, national and international levels and that there is a move towards an overarching education environment mediated by technology and towards a lifelong learning paradigm. The summit aims to bring together a wide range of perspectives.
Monash and Chinese Island will be involved in the summit in the form of a joint paper to be presented at the summit entitled “Can a virtual world take the distance out of education?”. The paper, to be lead by Sue Gregory of UNE will be a joint effort between 6 Australian tertiary institutions. The paper will canvas and discuss issues such as:
– When can our distance students begin to feel that they are receiving the same educational experiences as the face-to-face students?
– Can a virtual world take the distance out of education?
For a link to the summit website, click here.
ASCILITE 2010 Sydney
5-8 December 2010
The 27th annual ASCILITE conference was held at the Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach, New South Wales, Australia on 5-8 December 2010. The conference theme was looking toward the next decade of rapid technological and global change and considering how tertiary education will meet a range of challenges in the context of the curriculum, technology & transformation for an unknown future. At the conference a number of papers were presented that relate to education in VWs such as Second Life and OpenSim. Among the papers was a joint paper presented by members of the Virtual Worlds Working Group (click here for link) entitled “Australian higher education institutions transforming the future of teaching and learning through 3D virtual worlds” (click here for paper) that looked at a number of questions including: – What are educators motivations for using virtual worlds with their students? – Are they using them to support the teaching of professions and if this is the case, do they introduce virtual worlds into the curriculum to develop and/or expand students’ professional learning networks? – Are they using virtual worlds to transform their teaching and learning? The paper presents a typology for teaching and learning in 3D virtual worlds and applies the typology to a series of case studies based on the ways in which academics and their institutions are exploiting the power of virtual worlds for diverse purposes ranging from business scenarios and virtual excursions to role-play, experimentation and language development. Among the case studies presented in the paper is our very own Chinese Island. A machinima that incorporated brief scenes from all of the institutions mentioned in the case studies was also shown at the conference.
Many thanks to Sue Gregory from the University of New England in Armadale, NSW, for taking the lead and bringing together a diverse range of tertiary educators to form the Virtual Worlds Working Group, to produce such an informative paper for the conference and to execute the presentation of the paper at the conference. A number of other extremely interesting papers about education in VWs were presented at the conference, a list of which can be obtained by clicking here.
SL Languages 2010
15th-16th October, 2010
Edunation II and Edunation III
Macquarie University Learning & Teaching “Happenings in Second Life and Reaction Grid
22 September 2010
Held on Jokaydia III
Photos from the DeHub/Virtual Worlds Working Group Presentations
Virtual Worlds – Best Practice in Education
2010 SL Conference March 12-13, 2010
‘IMAGINATION AROUND THE WORLD’
The Virtual World Best Practies 2010 focus is “Imagination Around the World”. From the North, East, West and South corners of the physical world what is evident is the collaborate nature of virtual world participants to share knowledge and experience. This 48 hour conference will indeed provide opportunities for sharing and further understanding virtual world technology.
The Virtual World Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference originated from the 2007 Second Life Best Practices in Education Conference. This grassroots, community-based conference attracts faculty, instructors, trainers, administrators, instructional designers, technical specialists, and members of organizations from around the world. Those who create teaching/learning environments, resources, tools, support services and professional development opportunities internal and external to virtual world environments participate. During the conference, participants have opportunities to ask: What is education?, What is teaching?, What is learning? and How can we provide virtual world educational environments in which today’s learners can become all they can be.
The VWBPE Conference provides opportunities for virtual world communities to showcase projects, courses, events and research that lead to best practices in education. The end result of collaborating, sharing, and co-construction of knowledge during the conference is the creation of innovative and immersive environments in which virtual world residents can learn, work, and play.
This year proposals are being called for in the following languages:
Mandarin Chinese (for information in Chinese see click here)
For further information on the conference, click the link below:
Australian Virtual World Collaboration
Second Life If you have Second Life installed and intend to attend the meeting inworld, click the AVWC logo below to teleport directly to the meeting location on Chinese Island: No Second Life If you are unable to run Second Life and cannot attend the meeting inworld, never fear. You can see what is going on during the meeting by watching the screen below: 27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" width="400" height="320" id="utv622672">Video chat rooms at Ustream