January 2020 Events Schedule

Educators in VR - Daniel Dyboski-Bryant presents a workshop in AltspaceVR.Educators in VR’s weekly workshops continue on Tuesdays in AltspaceVR, educating and inspiring you with creative ways to integrate VR, AR, XR, and MR into education, even though the wheels are turning at a furious pace for our upcoming 2020 Educators in VR International Summit, February 17-22, 20202.

January 8, 2020 – Chris Madsen’s Setting Up a VR Classroom: Chris Madsen will cover some of the basic challenges and how to overcome them to develop VR in the classroom. His innovative research over the past year will help you learn how to handle the concerns of administration and faculty, and how to create a safe and secure environment for the students and teachers. Chris is a lively and fascinating expert, so bring your questions and concerns to the workshop tomorrow. RSVP so you won’t miss it.

January 14, 2020 – Nicolas Barone on Teaching Computer Science in VR: Nicolas spent the last few months developing innovative methodologies for teaching computer science and programming in a VR environment, specifically working with AltspaceVR, testing its limits and pushing boundaries. The founder of Universe, a collaborative online computer science educational company, he will share his experiences, lessons learned, and innovations with us in a week, so make sure you RSVP now to receive a reminder before the event.

January 21, 2020 – Educators in VR 101: The Educators in VR Curriculum Team has been developing this introductory program, Educators in VR 101, over the past year and it continues to develop as new technology and research into methodologies evolve. If you are new to immersive technologies in education and the classroom, this hour workshop introduces you to the basics and offers you the opportunity to get the answers you need to take the next step toward introducing yourself and your classroom or research to this new emerging technology.

January 28, 2020 – Exploring the Immersive Classroom: Teaching in VR’s unique immersion experience brings many challenges and concerns. The Educators in VR Curriculum Team’s workshop on working with immersive classrooms explores the potential of working with virtual worlds and spaces in education, from teaching within them, working with students to create immersive worlds, and encouraging virtual worlds as homework assignments. Each session takes you to two or more worlds that serve as examples.

February 4, 2020 – Educators in VR Social: We offer a social networking meetup regularly to allow us to connect through the magic of VR with other educators, learners, researchers, and enthusiasts from around the world and learn about how they use immersive technologies in education. Come join us for a drink and a virtual snack in our beautiful Educators in VR training facility in AltspaceVR.

2020 Educators in VR International Summit poster.February 17-22, 2020 – 2020 Educators in VR International Summit: While the International Summit is still evolving as the deadline for speakers just passed and we are starting to pour through the outstanding submissions and notify speakers, expect 80+ hours of educational programs, workshops, fireside chats, and panels on a wide-sweeping range of topics on immersive and spatial technologies in education. The event will be hosted in AltspaceVR, ENGAGE, and other social and educational virtual platforms. The event will be live streamed from each of the platforms for the main conference track, and other events will be recorded and shared later via our website and Youtube channel.

Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved.

Some other educational and informative events happening in AltspaceVR that you might not want to miss include:

  • AltspaceVR 101: AltspaceVR offers regular 30 minute workshops with tips and techniques for learning how to use AltspaceVR and be introduced to the strong and healthy metaverse community. The are held five days a week at various hours for different time zones. The next ones are Wednesday, Saturday early and later in the day, and Sunday.
  • Tech Tock with Jesse Damiani: Thursdays, the technology reporter from SNHU, Forbes, and The Verge features intimate conversations and open discussions with the leaders in the virtual technology fields from artists and developers to producers and entrepreneurs.
  • Improv Night with Stevieboy and Shoseki: Every Saturday, AltspaceVR becomes an innovative zone for crazy and good times as users become improvisational actors on the stage working with audience suggestions. Totally unpredictable, it’s a great example of the potential for the same comedy interactivity and collaboration you might bring to your classroom.
  • CES 2020: VR/AR/XR, Healthcare, AI, Robots, Drones, Sustainability & Climate with Health Systems Chat: Thursdays, Chuck Webster of Health Systems Chat covers a wide ranging topic related to healthcare technologies. This week is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and he will be covering the event. His next event is about the history, recipes, science, and farming of potatoes to honor the international Potato Expo in Las Vegas that week. And on January 30, he tackles the topic of assistive technology and virtual reality.
  • C# Programming Course: Mohamad offers C# programming courses in AltspaceVR. Sunday, January 19, he begins his next series on intermediate level courses.
  • Introduction to Unity: Nicolas Barrone and his team are joined by Matt Cook this month to teach world building and VR app and game development using Unity. The free course starts January 22.
  • Meditating on Morality: Tom Nickels of EvolVR, an expert on mortality and meditation, holds regular sessions in AltspaceVR tackling these serious issues with great insights and experience.
  • The EvolVR Book Club: Meeting month, the EvolVR Book Club explores spiritual books and teachings. Last month’s book was The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and this month’s book is Ram Dass’ Be Here Now.
  • Humanism: The Self-Domestication of Humans: An innovative educational exploration on how humans share many of the characteristics of domesticated animals and the evolution of this process, one of many fascinating topics shared by Ron Flannery at the monthly Humanism Meetups.
  • Poetry Slam: A biweekly event on Mondays with users stepping up to the stage to share their poetry, rap, and short stories, another example of the potential for a classroom experience.
  • Creative Writing Meetup: Lorelle hosts an innovative workshop Tuesdays for creative writers writing short stories, essays, memoirs, poetry, or those just wishing to expand their creative writing abilities. This is the second year of the meetups and this year more special event workshops, classes, and programs will be featured.

To Attend Educators in VR Events in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes may be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

If you would like to present at one of our weekly workshops, please submit your speaker’s proposal to us. Considering joining one of our many team projects. If you have questions or need more information, please contact us or connect with one of our many social media channels.

Workshop: Chris Madsen and Setting Up a VR Classroom

Chris Madsen - ENGAGE.Our next Educators in VR Weekly Workshop tomorrow, January 7, 2020, is one you will not want to miss. Chris Madsen of ENGAGE explores using VR in the classroom, diving deeply into the challenges we all face: security, safety, surroundings, software, and hardware. As we only have an hour, he will spend more time on the first parts, which are essential aspects of the decision-making process. His focus will be on high school and below ages, but apply to all levels of classroom integration for students and educators new to VR.

Chris Madsen holds many titles and credits but we have to admit that he is one of the most passionate evangelists for virtual reality in the world. Considered one of the top influencers in VR and education, his work with ENGAGE, the powerful, award-winning educational platform, created by VR Education Holdings PLC, is helping to change the face of online education. Immersive VR Education company works with a wide range of clients including the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), University of Oxford, BBC, HTC, Shenandoah University, and the US Air Force Academy. His Twitter account is filled with a wide range of inspirational and newsworthy posts worth following.

Co-founder of the Utah Virtual Reality Meetup, an Ambassador in the Edge of Discovery non-profit that develops emergency media projects with VR and AR for historically silenced, simplified, and minimized societies, CEO of Digital Realities, and business development and evangelist for ENGAGE, he brings a passion to our workshops that will help you step off the fence when it comes to including immersive technology into the classroom.

Chris has been working extensively in researching and developing, and simplifying, the process of integrating VR into the classroom over the past year, as opposed to bringing the classroom to virtual reality. He spent twenty years working in Behavioral Science, and brings that expertise to this process.

Many school administrators are very worried about the risks of integrating VR into the classroom, and how to not only do it safely but with purposeful intention for the students and the teachers. He will cover the psychological and physically challenges associated with VR in the classroom, and help us understand how to create a safe and positive experience, dealing with the sharing of equipment, nausea concerns, safety issues, and help us make these challenges positive.

He will also cover some of the basics to consider when it comes to the logistics, and we are eager to have him dive even deeper into this subject and more at the 2020 Educators in VR International Conference, February 17-22. Yes, consider him one of the first announced speakers for our ground-breaking event. 😀

The sudden death of Chris Long, another ground-breaking innovator of education and VR, was a great loss. As a long-time friend, Madsen facilitated a beautiful celebration of the life of Chris Long in Engage, allowing so many to make piece with their grief and pay their respects.

Here are some podcasts, interviews, and articles about Chris Madsen to help you learn a little more about the passion he brings to this industry.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

To Attend Educators in VR Events in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes may be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

If you would like to present at one of our weekly workshops, please submit your speaker’s proposal to us. Considering joining one of our many team projects. If you have questions or need more information, please contact us or connect with one of our many social media channels.

Educators in VR: Good-bye 2019, Hello 2020

Now that we are starting off a new year and a new decade, we want to take a moment to look back on all that we’ve accomplished in our first year and be amazed. When Daniel told me he wanted our tagline to be “The sky is no longer the limit,” I thought it was cute. I didn’t realize it would become our motto.

Seriously, in spite of many personal disruptions, Daniel Dyboski-Bryant and myself have worked long hours in addition to full-time jobs to develop Educators in VR on a shoestring budget. Its success as a membership community and social profit company based in the UK is amazing because of you.

Educators in VR Meetup 2018 in Altspace - emojis to celebrate the first event.What started out as a conversation between four educators to host a social meetup to explore educators using VR for research and integration into the classroom exploded into weekly educational and training workshops and presentations in AltspaceVR, ENGAGE, and other social and educational platforms, and, coming in February, a ground-breaking six-day virtual conference called “2020 Educators in VR International Summit.”

In the past 13 months, Educators in VR has accomplished the following:

  • Hosted 48 workshops and meetups in AltspaceVR.
  • Hosted multiple events in ENGAGE, rumii, and Mozilla Hubs (with more on the way).
  • Averaged 40 attendees at each event (the cap in AltspaceVR for the past 6 months was 40 so that means standing room only. Before then, we averaged 80.).
  • Reached an audience estimated to be about 4,000 just in AltspaceVR across over 80 workshop hours.
  • Educators in VR Immersive Classroom Event in the Last Glacier with Lorelle VanFossen.Hosted 550 members on our Discord server, and our Facebook group is about the same with some overlap between the two. Discord is our most active social platform with over 7,700 comments in less than a year, and we’ve over 1,000 followers on Twitter.
  • Attracted 3,000 pageviews on our website in a few months time with little or no marketing.
  • Developed seven different educational workshops, along with a dozen variations for specific audiences.
  • Presented live virtual and in-person workshops at AWE, VRX2019 Conference in Amsterdam, and the VR/AR Global Summit for the VR/AR Association.
  • Co-hosted over 6 hours of the 24-hour International VR Day in November.
  • Presented 5 special events, speakers, and panels on cyberbullying in virtual reality as part of honoring Cyberbullying Month in AltspaceVR.
  • Featured in “Getting Social with VR Education” with VR Focus, AltspaceVR Community Spotlight: Educators in VR, Educators in VR Meetup by The Virtual Reality Podcast, and other media.
  • Educators in VR Event Space and World in AltspaceVR.Lorelle built a custom event world for Educators in VR, and Mark S. of the UK took the prototype and turned into into a marvelous event and social space for our weekly workshops and social gatherings.
  • Continue to develop scholarship and donation programs to help fund educational programs for integration of VR into the classroom and provide equipment for students and educators in need.

The Educators in VR Project Teams

Educators in VR vLanguage LearningOf all the things we are proud of accomplishing this year, we are the most proud of our Project Team leaders and members. These are truly passionate and inspired people who’ve taken on leading these special project teams to host events, workshops, and dive even deeper into the research and curriculum for their specialties. I’d like you to meet them.

Continue reading

2020 International Summit Call for Speakers Extended

2020 Educators in VR International Summit logo.

Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve extended the call for speakers for the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit, February 17-22, 2020, to January 5.

The 2020 Educators in VR International Summit is a free, open-to-the public, virtual event lasting 6 days (over 80 round-the-clock hours) with a diverse range of speakers and presentations covering:

  • The Basics of VR/AR/XR/MR
  • Research into Spatial Technologies in Education
  • Corporate Uses for Training and Education
  • Language Arts Training, Education, and as a Classroom
  • Coaching and Personal Development
  • Medical and Science
  • Computer Science and Math
  • Student Maker/Creator Projects, Collaborations, and Apps
  • Virtual Applications and Hardware for the Classroom

The diversity of topics by educational professionals, developers, researchers, and even students is impressive, covering even more topics than those listed above. We’re eager to offer a wide smorgasbord of virtual presentations, and you are still welcome to submit your speaker’s application.

If you are an educator, expert, evangelist, trainer, app developer or founder, researcher, or passionate learner eager to share your educational virtual reality, augmented reality, extended or mixed reality passions, we invite you to submit a Speaker Proposal for the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit. The deadline is January 5. Speakers will be announced by January 10, 2020.

The 2020 Educators in VR International Summit will be hosted on AltspaceVR, ENGAGE, and other virtual social and educational platforms.

Come join the fun February 17-22, 2020.

Announcing the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit

2020 Educators in VR International Summit logo.

During our first year, Educators in VR has accomplished great things, bringing together a global community of educators, learners, and researchers integrating virtual and spatial technologies into education, and now we’re proud to announce another ground-breaking, pioneering event: 2020 Educators in VR International Summit February 17-22, 2020.

The 2020 Educators in VR International Summit is a free, open-to-the public, virtual event lasting 6 days (over 80 round-the-clock hours) with a diverse range of speakers and presentations covering:

  • The Basics of VR/AR/XR/MR
  • Research into Spatial Technologies in Education
  • Corporate Uses for Training and Education
  • Language Arts Training, Education, and as a Classroom
  • Coaching and Personal Development
  • Medical and Science
  • Computer Science and Math
  • Student Maker/Creator Projects, Collaborations, and Apps
  • Virtual Applications and Hardware for the Classroom

And so much more. We have topics under consideration covering the use of social media with virtual reality, education in religion and virtual worlds, world building, VR/AR app development, social and educational VR platforms, and open discussions with some of the world’s foremost experts in education and integrating extended reality.

The 2020 Educators in VR International Summit will be hosted on AltspaceVR, ENGAGE, and other virtual social and educational platforms.

This will be a one-of-a-kind event bringing together a global community focused on improving our educational technology and standards, and walking the walk in an all-virtual, immersive conference. Presentations will be scheduled around the clock to ensure access no matter what your time zone.

If you are an educator, expert, evangelist, trainer, app developer or founder, researcher, or passionate learner eager to share your educational virtual reality, augmented reality, extended or mixed reality passions, we invite you to submit a Speaker Proposal for the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit. The deadline is December 30. Speakers will be announced by January 5, 2020.

Volunteers are needed to help with moderation, hosting, or recording and streaming the events throughout the week. If you would like to volunteer, please sign up with our 2020 Educators in VR International Summit Volunteer Form.

We will be announcing partners and sponsors soon, along with partner and sponsor applications. It will take much collaboration and money to support and make this free week-long event possible, and your help will be needed.

We are breaking ground here with this virtual conference covering more than 80 hours of educational presentations in a mix of traditional conference with online and distance learning familiarity, combined with a generous pinch of unconference, in virtual spaces open to all with a passion for virtual education.

We’ve seen VR change lives. Now is our opportunity to share our passion with others and learn from each other. You will not want to miss this.

Come join the fun February 17-22, 2020.

Educators in VR Presents First vCoaching and Personal Development Workshop

Educators in VR is proud to announce our pioneering new project team vCoaching and Personal Development led by Dana-Maria aka CaptainVR. Their first event is Thursday, December 5, 2019, in AltspaceVR, and you are invited to join us for this free event.

Dana-Maria brings her evangelism in using virtual reality for coaching, training, and therapy applications to help people “captain their own lives.” The research and application of virtual reality is finding it a powerful tool for helping people to confront fears, build life skills, and become more effective in their professional lives and work.

In 2014, Dana-Marie won the Samsung VR Challenge for Best Virtual Reality Idea of the Netherlands, creating a VR application to help free people from their fears. It was successfully launched not only in the Netherlands but globally. She continues her pioneering work to help develop effective virtual reality applications with specialists around the world to help young people literally champion and captain their lives.

Here are some samples of her work.

You may keep up with all the great work Dana-Maria is doing on her YouTube channel, CaptainVR Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and you can always follow the team project in our Educators in VR Discord group.

Dana-Maria and the vCoaching and Personal Development team will be bringing the topics and speakers in this emerging field to our Educators in VR workshops regularly, so make sure you attend Thursday’s event and keep an eye on our calendar for more news and updates.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

To Attend Educators in VR Events in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

If you would like to join our Educators in VR vLanguage Learning team project, or one of our other team projects and possibly present at one of our VR educational workshops, please contact us or connect with one of our many social media channels.

2019 Virtual Reality Day – 24 Hours in VR

VR Day 2019 - 24 hours in VR.Educators in VR is very proud to announce our participation in the 2019 Virtual Reality Day celebrations of twenty-four hours in VR on November 22-23, 2019. Events will be hosted in person around the world as well as in a variety of VR social and educational platforms. You may track all the activities and updates with the hashtag #24HoursVR or check the VR Day website for details.

Along with other amazing VR educators, experts, world builders, creators, and researchers, Educators in VR will be hosting conversation, training, and educational workshops throughout the day in AltspaceVR.

Subject to change, Educators in VR will be hosting special events in AltspaceVR beginning Friday and running through Saturday on November 22-23, 2019, depending upon your time zone:

  • World Building in VR with Unity and World Tools: Carsten Pluntke and Lorelle VanFossen. Washington, DC – 3:00am
    • Dubai, UAE – 12:00pm
    • London, UK – 8:00am
    • San Fran – Midnight
  • vLanguage Learning: Foreign Language Learning in VR: Michael McDonald of Gold Lotus.
    • Washington, DC – 4:30am
    • Dubai, UAE – 1:30pm
    • London, UK – 9:30am
    • San Fran – 1:30am
  • Students in VR: Michael Zhang of ICXR.
    • Washington, DC – 9:00am
    • Dubai, UAE – 6:00pm
    • London, UK – 2:00pm
    • San Fran – 6:00am
  • ConVRsation with Educators in VR: Lorelle VanFossen and the Educators in VR team.
    • Washington, DC – 8:30pm
    • Dubai, UAE – Sun 5:30am
    • London, UK – Sun 1:30am
    • San Fran – 5:30pm
  • Educators in VR 101 Forum: Lorelle VanFossen and the Educators in VR team.
    • Washington, DC – 9:30pm
    • Dubai, UAE – Sun 6:30am
    • London, UK – Sun 2:30am
    • San Fran – 6:30pm
  • Tips and Tricks for Teaching in VR: Lorelle VanFossen and the Educators in VR team.
    • Washington, DC – 10:30pm
    • Dubai, UAE – Sun 7:30am
    • London, UK – Sun 3:30am
    • San Fran – 7:30pm
  • Cyberbullying and Bullying in VR: Lorelle VanFossen and the Educators in VR team.
    • Washington, DC – 11:30pm
    • Dubai, UAE – Sun 8:30am
    • London, UK – Sun 4:30am
    • San Fran – 8:30pm

Other guest presenters include some of the most innovative evangelists in VR, especially education in VR:

  • Andrew Conklin
  • Anne McKinnon
  • Eve Weston
  • Jim Malcolm
  • Ken Ehrhart
  • Lara Bucarey
  • Nicolas Barone
  • Olivia Goldman-Szwajkajzer
  • Sana Farid
  • Steve Bambury
  • Syed Akbar

World VR Day, in its third-consecutive year now, is the brainchild of Bob Fine, founder of the popular VR news website VRVoice.co.  The aim of this annual celebration is to help virtual and augmented reality become more mainstream, and you’d be hard pushed to find such a rich selection of events and guest speakers all crammed into one day.  We’re sure that you’ll be so inspired by what’s on offer that by the time the Cyber Monday rolls around, you’ll want that latest headset to take your teaching or learning to the next level using this exciting technology.

Whether we meet in person or in VR during this international celebration of the power of VR, we hope to meet you.

Educators in VR vLanguage Learning: Giuseppe Fantigrossi of Play2Speak

After the success of our inaugural Educators in VR vLanguage Learning event in late September with special guest Dr. Aaron Ralby talking about memory palaces in virtual reality, we’ve another heavyweight guest lined up for our next vLanguage Learning event.

Thursday 14th November our special guest is Giuseppe Fantigrossi, CEO of Play2Speak.

Play2Speak logo.

The VR app, Play2Speak, teaches conversational English with virtual characters to improve fluency, with a little help from AI, too. A speaker of four languages himself, Giuseppe has a diverse background – he is a Food Scientist, with an MBA from Concordia University and in a previous life worked as a process improvement consultant, specializing in IT projects. Today he follows his passion in connecting others and creating solutions in the entrepreneurial world through the Play2Speak English-learning VR app.

Secret of Puffin Cove app cover.

As always, the presentation will be followed by a Q&A where you can put your questions to Giuseppe to understand more about how VR can support the way your learn or teach languages.

Educators in VR is dedicated to providing educational events, trainings, and workshops for educators and learners to prepare them for the future of spatial technologies in education. We offer weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other platforms, and a monthly meetup featuring key educators, trainers, and developers in VR, AR, XR, and MR technology and education.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow us on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. Consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

To Attend Educators in VR Events in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. 

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.

If you would like to join our Educators in VR vLanguage Learning team project, or one of our other team projects and possibly present at one of our VR educational workshops, please contact us or connect with one of our many social media channels.

Cyberbullying Month: Resources and Research

Educators in VR is recognizing Cyberbullying Month all October. We have three events lined up for you. Tuesday, October 15, is Daniel Dyboski-Bryant and special guest Lucas Rizzotto, award-winning director and pioneering VR and AR storyteller, developer of “Where Thoughts Go,” the successful virtual storytelling creation app. They will be discussing using empathy in VR to build awareness and sensitivity training for educators and learners, and beyond. On Tuesday, October 29, Educators in VR will be presenting a special program to conclude Cyberbullying Month, and Thursday, October 17, is a special Cyberbullying Panel Discussion hosted by veteran Virtual Communities Consultant, John Williams (JayW) and representatives of the AltspaceVR Staff and Community including special guest Keegan Law, the Program Owner of AltspaceVR. We will be discussing and sharing insights on cyberbullying in virtual reality.

John Williams and Lorelle VanFossen gathered information and resources for you in support of Cyberbullying Month.


Virtual harassment and bullying isn’t new. Julia K. Ferganchick-Neufang published “Virtual Harassment: Women and Online Education” in February 1998, tackling the issue of student aggression toward female instructors online even before Second Life was launched in 2003.

The “virtual” aspect of virtual reality creates a distance that makes it easy for us to ignore the very real human communication and interaction of such spaces. If we are to challenge these abusive attacks from students and the passive-acceptance of this behavior from administrators, we need to work collectively to convince others, including program administrators, to take us seriously. Student aggression, whether it takes place in writing, in person, or online, is a violation that creates a hostile or intimidating work environment; it is harassment and must be treated as such.

…I do not believe that virtual space is either evil or inherently masculine and patriarchal. What bother me is not the medium, but the lack of attention paid to how that medium may perpetuate sexism and violence against women. I agree with Lari Kendall who says, “the online environment is not itself a solution. Understandings of gender and the hierarchical arrangements based on these understandings do not simply disappear in forums where we can’t see each other. We carry these understandings with us and re-create them online. Therefore, the appearance of more women on MUDs, and online generally, is likely to help only if both women and men make specific efforts to counter…stereotypical understandings.”

This article highlights the negative side of virtual reality, but know that it is statistically a low risk. Depending upon the game or the social VR app, community standards, moderators, and the community itself tends to self-police in a way that represents their goals for the community.

AltspaceVR, for example, is one of the oldest immersive social VR platforms, and has a multi-prong approach to community standards and violations. Their terms of service and AltspaceVR’s Community Standards were designed with community in mind. Not that people read them when creating an account, but the community standards are reinforced by the AltspaceVR 101 30-minute tutorial recommended to newcomers, and through the volunteer Community Helper program of experienced community members helping other members through positive example and mentorship and supportive events. They are aided by the Community Support Team members in the campfire “lobby” to ensure a tolerant and inclusive community.

To begin our dive into cyberbullying and virtual reality, let’s begin with the example of the Community Standards by AltspaceVR as it is an example to other social VR platforms and games, and may serve as a good example for VR in your classroom and school.

Defamation and Intolerance

AltspaceVR is an international community of users that come from many different cultural backgrounds. Each community member has their own individual background, cultural practices, accents and mannerisms, belief structure and reasons for being in VR. As a community that is enriched by this multi-cultural environment, there will be no tolerance for bigotry regarding any user’s race, nationality, spiritual beliefs, physical abilities or sexual orientation. Any language that is meant to defame or injure another user will result in an immediate suspension and determination as to whether the account will be closed permanently.

Harassment

A healthy community is rooted in the shared understanding that everyone is entitled to feel and express whether something is offensive or uncomfortable for them. When a user chooses to ignore this and continue to aim the uncomfortable behavior at that person, it is perceived as Harassment. If another community member expresses that something makes them uncomfortable, it is your responsibility to cease that behavior in the presence of them. Continued harassing behavior will result in a suspension and subsequent determination as to whether the account will be closed permanently.

Cyber-Bullying and Intimidation

While Cyber-Bullying is regarded as being an issue affecting teens and pre-teens, we are including it as part of the Community Standards so that we make it clear that any form of intimidation levied against another user be it on the AltspaceVR platform or on any social media or forum site managed by Microsoft, shall be considered grounds for suspension or account termination.

As with all such documents, it is a living document, shifting and changing as the needs of the virtual community’s needs change.

Here are some other examples of terms of service and community policies for social VR platforms.

Behind Every Avatar is a Real Person

Behind the cartoon avatar, it’s easy to forget that you are standing with real people with real emotions, sensitivities, anxieties, history and experiences.

The avatars are just masks, malleable, easily changed, sporting a robot or human-style presentation customizable to anything including green skin, red hair, purple eyes, and black shirt and pants with green shoes. Gender, sexual preference, personal characteristics disappear behind these avatars, or are enhanced by choice to represent the real person or their creative spirit or life choices. Just as in the real world, bullying over skin color, disfigurements, tattoos, and any physical differences is unacceptable. Even with limitations in avatar construction, people’s appearance choices are to be honored and respected.

Virtual reality allows you to be you without physical insecurities getting in the way. Avatars may become extensions of the users, their mind and heart embodied. Such fragile selves need protection in VR and the real world to be allowed to explore, develop relationships, and blossom. Continue reading

First Educators in VR vLanguage Learning Event

Our first Educators in VR vLanguage Learning event is Thursday, September 26, 2019, and you are invited to attend and learn about how VR is changing language lessons.

We are thrilled that Michael McDonald of the Gold Lotus project, long-time VR Language Instructor, is heading up our Educators in VR vLanguage Learning team project. He is bringing his vast experience and expertise in teaching language skills in the real and virtual worlds to our Educators in VR workshops, and the first is this Thursday.

Dr Aaron Ralby Linguisticator.The featured guest is Dr. Aaron Ralby of Linguisticator, the Online Language Learning program. Dr. Ralby is a linguist and scholar not just passionate about languages and memory training but changing the world with his innovative projects. Founded in 2011, Linguisticator offers courses in language and memory training, working with a wide range of clients, from diplomats to the UK’s Ministry of Defense to children with special needs such as dyslexia and autism. He is a Germanic philologist and holds a PhD in Medieval Studies from Cornell, an MPhil from Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, an a BA from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in English and Modern Languages and Linguistics.

His program in AltspaceVR on Thursday is “Memory Palaces in VR”, looking at how we can learn languages with memory palaces in Munx VR, his VR platform.

By combining medieval memory techniques with modern technology, we are redefining the way we learn, understand, and retain information in our minds.

Imagine knowing the periodic table in the same way you know the layout of your living room, or being able to recall a president or ruler with the same effortlessness of reaching for a mug when making a cup of tea.

Here are some examples of his work.

To Attend in AltspaceVR

To attend, join AltspaceVR as outlined below. On the events calendar, click the Interested or RSVP button on the AltspaceVR website or in-world.

Educators in VR hosts a monthly meeting with a keynote speaker on educational and industry topics and weekly workshops and special events exploring VR, AR, XR, and MR techniques and projects in AltspaceVR and other VR social and educational platforms.

Join our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and follow up on Twitter for information on meetups and how to become more involved. We publish member brags and news you can use about virtual reality in education across the entire spectrum of usage from childhood education to health and science to corporate.

Educators in VR Meetup in AltspaceVR

We meet in AltspaceVR, a free virtual reality social app and community. You may RSVP on our events page and AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour before the event. AltspaceVR events tend to fill quickly and the limit is currently 40 attendees. We recommend you plan your arrival 2 minutes before the event start time to ensure a spot before the event space fills.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is available for Samsung Gear, Steam Store for HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, and the Oculus Store for Rift, Go and Quest users. If you do not have a VR device, you may also install the 2D version for use on your Windows desktop computer version. A headset and microphone (quality earbuds acceptable) is required to participate. Otherwise please stay muted during the event as the background noise and echoes can be disruptive. For more information on accessing and installing AltspaceVR, check out their download web page.