vLanguage Learning UniVirtual Experience Conference July 29-30

One of the oldest Educators in VR Teams is our popular vLanguage Team, exploring the techniques, process, pedagogy, and methodologies of teaching language arts in VR. The Educators in VR vLanguage Team is hosting their annual UniVirtual Experience conference Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, 2022, and all are welcome to join.

UniVirtual Experience 2022 ASVR Event Banner vLanguageTeam.

Language learning techniques impacts all educational fields, making it the ideal focus for those wishing to learn more about teaching in VR. The researchers and teachers that make up our vLanguage Team are innovative pioneers pushing the boundaries of teaching and learning in virtual reality. The UniVirtual Experience conferences are unlike other conferences as they focus on deeper discussions and interactivity with the audience, exploring a topic collaboratively.

If you are a language teacher or exploring language and communication teaching in virtual reality, don’t miss this 2-day conference.

All events are free and hosted on AltspaceVR and Frame VR. Access to these platforms is free and you may access in a VR headset or 2D on a laptop or desktop computer. Please register with the platforms in advance to ensure timely entry to the event.

Note: Please click the links to the events to see the times in your time zone. Some events have strict audience size limits, first come, first served.

The following is a summary of the events, followed by a detailed explanation.

For information on how to attend an Educators in VR event, see our How to Attend a VR Event Guide. To keep up with the Educators in VR UniVirtual Experience events in AltspaceVR, subscribe to the Educators in VR Channel and to our Educators in VR Google Calendar of events, workshops, classes, and conferences.

Friday, July 29

vLanguage Learning Educators in VR Team Project.vLanguage UniVirtual Experience Social: The event begins with a social gathering in AltspaceVR to meet others passionate language learning, language teaching or just thinking of starting a new language. You can meet new friends, get to know each other better, meet our Educators in VR and vLanguage team members and ask them any questions.

Michael McDonald of Gold Lotus teaches an Educators in VR Intro to Language Learning in AltspaceVR standing on a cafe check out.The Future of Language Learning in VR Worlds: Teaching languages in virtual worlds — does it sound like something futuristic? Desktop virtual worlds are technology of the past, yet some educators have been using it for ages? The future is VR and the future is now. Join us for an interactive panel discussion about the past, present, and future of language teaching with modern technologies with our special guests: Nergiz Kern, Heike Philp, Doris Molero and Helena Galani.

  • Nergiz Kern is Head of Research at Immerse, the first social education app in the metaverse bringing the excitement and effectiveness of language immersion directly to its members around the world. She is also an independent EdTech and language education professional who specialises in immersive language learning in the metaverse, with her first steps in virtual reality taken in 2008. She has taught, trained teachers and ‘lived’ in virtual reality, where learning is active, immersive, experiential and social.
  • Heike Philp is CEO of let’s talk online sprl, a technology support provider for language learning and events in real-time. She is co-initiator of EU funded LANCELOT (virtual classroom) and AVALON (virtual world) and the CAMELOT project (machinima for language teachers). She is founder of the Virtual Round Table Conference and co-owns EduNation in Second Life.
  • Dr. Doris Molero, Ed.D is passionate about language learning, instructional design, and related educational technologies, specifically 3D Multi-User Virtual Environments for situated, experiential learning. She has been involved in virtual worlds since 2007 after an invite to join Webheads in Action for EVO Village and has long served with VWBPE, Camelot project, Edunation, NANEC, Virtual Pioneers, INDIRE on edMondo, SLMOOC, and VWMOOC. Roleplaying in virtual worlds taught her about creating and telling stories in communities as Avilion, Sylvhara, and Artstonia. Her latest adventure is a Transmedia Storytelling language learning series called Virtually Anywhere.
  • Helena Galani holds an R.S.A. Diploma, M.A. ELT (Applied Linguistics), and certification in teacher training and advanced ICT skills. As accredited TESOL/EAP educator, tutor and online course creator, Helena has been blending and flipping her classes in Virtual Worlds, teaching at EAP (University of Nottingham) and EFL training teachers for INDIRE on edMondo. As moderator during EVO ViLLAGE & vLanguages, Helena presented on the usefulness of designing games, Interactive Scenarios and Transmedia Storytelling experiences in VWs for ELT/EAP. As EduNation resident and CAMELOT Award winner in 2015, Helena supports the educational value of VR and virtual worlds through learner and teacher machinima with a specialty on the value of 3D VWs and machinima in language teaching using Transmedia narrative to bring educational material to life in OS, SL and VR applications.

AltspaceVR student created gallery of Unity animation projects.Gamification in XR Language Learning: Many have heard about the advantages of learning languages through games, and many teachers have incorporated games into their language teaching or learning journey. XR games and apps allow language teachers to try new kinds of interactions, learning tools and environments. Does this mean that immersive games makes learning languages more engaging, fun and memorable way compared to regular game-based language classrooms? Let’s talk about advantages of applying XR games as new language learning environments with our special guests: Jack Ratcliffe, Lance Powell, Stephanie Wössner and Malcolm Lee.

  • Jack Ratcliffe is CEO of realiaXR, a AR/VR start-up building Noun Town, a fun VR game designed to create strong second language learning outcomes. It is inspired by his PhD research into embodied second language acquisition in virtual reality.
  • Lance Powell was an early member of VR First, Istanbul’s original VR lab, a blogger, and a contributor at Glitch Studios. He studied Cognitive Science department at Bogazici University where his primary courses of study included Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and he has explored social VR platforms extensively to learn how design practices effect community management and discourse analysis to understanding harassment in these environments and how it may be prevented. He has built proof-of-concept tools using Convolutional Neural Networks and Natural Language Processing that continue to evolve.
  • Malcolm Lee is a neuroscience graduate with a background in business, research, and technology startups. His work experience includes project management, business development, biological research, and language learning in the classroom setting. In addition, he has experience managing small teams to create UX/UI design projects, databases and meet company-wide goals. He is passionate about how the brain learns, language learning, and helping others uncover their learning gifts by creating new gaming and VR technologies.
  • Stephanie Wössner is known as the PetiteProf79 and a freelance consultant and speaker for future-oriented learning. Her main areas of expertise are Extended Reality, Game-based Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Design and Futures Thinking, as well as the Metaverse. She is also interested in Blockchain, NFTs and crypto currencies and is enrolled in a Game Studies program. She used to be a foreign language teacher and is currently working full-time for the Landesmedienzentrum Baden-Württemberg as team leader for innovation. Stephanie firmly believes that education has to change fundamentally and that it is up to teachers to actively participate in this change. This is why it is necessary to break new ground and to rethink the role of the teacher, reevaluate the purpose of education in general and challenge the current educational system..

In ENGAGE XR, on the room walking up a ramp into a photo sphere of a moon valley with Educators in VR Training.Educators Ready for the Metaverse? Stereoscopic vision began in the 1830s, beginning of gradual development of VR technology. While gaining popularity today, it is still not spread widely enough in many educational fields. Now is the time. Don’t wait. The benefits of implementing XR technologies in education seem obvious, but is the technology already there? Are educators ready? When will they be? What stops us from implementing it at every corner? What doubts do we have? What fears? What limitations? What can be done to help education evolve in its best? Let’s talk about it at our discussion panel with special guests: Dr. Basiyar Rodney, Dr. Angelina Dayton, Lauren Ava and Erna Kucanin.

  • Dr. Basiyr D. Rodney is Associate Professor of Educational Technology at Webster University and Chair of the Dept of Teacher Education. He is recognized as a visionary, preparing a new generation of caring, reflective, equity-minded and innovative teachers, and exploring ways in which digital technologies accelerate self-regulation and student learning. An evangelist for the advancement of democratic learning environments to promote social justice and equity, focusing on technologies to provide for traditionally under-served and marginalized learners. His research interests include structured video and evaluation systems for improving teaching, the internet of things in learning and applications and tools for teaching. Born in Kingston Jamaica, Dr. Rodney attained a BA and MSc at the University of the West indies, completing his doctoral studies at Florida Atlantic in the US.
  • Dr. Angelina Dayton is known as TheVRLady and is Chief Research Scientist at the Virtual World Society and an Aspen Institute Tech Policy Fellow. She has previously been an XR user-experience designer, speaker, consultant and trainer. Angelina has degrees in Anthropology and Education from UC Berkeley and Stanford and a Human-Computer Interaction Professional Certification from MIT. Some of her current passion projects involve XR curriculum and training in rural Native communities. She has spent her career helping industry understand large-scale deployment and mass adoption of emerging technologies. She is the mother of seven and is a children’s magician in her free time.
  • Lauren Alva has over 15 years experience as a designer, creator, and educator creating engaging, learner-centered experiences online and in virtual reality that address the unique needs of adult learners. She developed much of her teaching, training, and design experience while working abroad in higher education. Her work is guided by UDL principles and she strives to cultivate learning environments of equity and inclusivity whether online, in virtual reality, or in person. Her work as a Learning Experience Designer with Global XR Academy experiments with new ways to engage learners through immersive learning and XR tools. Lauren spent nearly a decade teaching and designing courses at a university in Istanbul, Turkey. She is now based in the US and works as a Learning Designer at Meta.
  • Erna Kucanin is a VR content and curriculum developer at Global XR Academy (GXRA) and teaches in the EAP Program at the School of ESL and Immigrant Studies, George Brown College. She is currently completing an MA at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, in Curriculum and Pedagogy with a collaborative specialization in Knowledge Media Design and a research focus on XR technologies and English Language Learning.

Saturday, July 30

Using VR worlds and experiences to teach languages with quizes throughout the environment.Open Discussion on Language Learning in XR: Join the Educators in VR vLanguage Learning Team of long-time researchers and professional educators as they discuss with the audience the challenges, benefits, pros and cons, and potential for learning in XR, especially in virtual reality. The language learning industry is in high demand with much competition and diversity. We’ll discuss the various options and how these companies maximize immersive education, as well as share insights into the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve explored the various VR and metaverse platforms and apps. We’d love to hear from you, too.

Educational VR Dreams & Failures: Join our poster session dedicated to educational and language learning VR projects to learn what works and what doesn’t in teaching in XR. Our special guests will share their stories about creating and developing their educational projects, what are their goals and dreams, fears and hopes, good and bad tries.

  • Géraldine Perriguey is a practitioner in Immersive Psychopedagogy©, author, speaker, and CEO of XR Pedagogy. She graduated in Virtual Reality & Psychology and obtained the highest distinction for her project: “Study of the denial of the hurricane risk, using VR.” She trains teachers and parents to immersive technologies and supports children to reconnect with the desire to learn.
  • Tom Neuner is an educator and tutor with SessionsVR. He has a B.S. Biomedical Science degree from Western Michigan University. Originally from the United States, he has been teaching English to children, teens, and adults in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for over seven years at a private English School. He also offers private lessons focusing on test prep, conversation, and tutoring.
  • Dr. Cristina Obae is an educational leader and French teacher, passionate about curriculum and technology usage in education. Following a second master’s, MEL, at TAMK, she is determined to continue her lifelong learning journey aiming to develop educational solutions that will support innovation and help humankind’s advancement. Her current focus is VR usage in teaching and the development of a liquid curriculum that will be easily adaptable to rapid learning environment switches through Nedho.

Athens Acropolis by Lida in AltspaceVR - Staircase Entrance.Language Teaching with AltspaceVR Worlds: By immersing students in certain places and settings, the engagement and learning experience is amplified. AltspaceVR offers the ability to build your own virtual worlds for free, and even invite your students to help build or build their own as part of their schoolwork. During our world tour, we will explore virtual worlds built by Educators in VR specifically for language teaching and find out how they might be used in the classroom.

Designing Engaging Immersive Language Learning Experiences in FRAME VR: 2PM PT / 5PM ET / 22:00 UK / 1AM Moscow / 9:00 AM* Sydney
Virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize the way we teach and engage students in the classroom. Join us in Frame VR to explore the language learning escape room VR game, “Seekers of the Lost,” based on a pirate story and used to train educators to use VR in the classroom. The challenges faced by the participants help them learn about pedagogy, uploading assets, embedding polls, links, texts and more. This workshop will discuss the potential benefits of using VR for language teaching as well as the challenges and objectives of the game. Limited to 25 participants. Join us in the Frame VR Seekers of the Lost world and learn about the WebVR virtual world affordances and then explore the game, characters, game mechanics and story elements.

  • Amany Alkhayat is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in the Instructional Technology and Media program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She founded the VirtuaTELL conference at New York State TESOL in 2021. Her research interests include conversational AI, VR for education, and intelligent NFTs. She moderates and hosts training workshops in VR platforms.

Check each link for information on the event in your time zone. For information on how to attend an Educators in VR event, see our How to Attend a VR Event Guide. To keep up with the Educators in VR UniVirtual Experience events in AltspaceVR, subscribe to the Educators in VR Channel and to our Educators in VR Google Calendar of events, workshops, classes, and conferences.

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