Educators in VR Events for September 2019

Educators in VR - June 2019 Meetup in AltspaceVR.We have so many things planned for September with Educators in VR, you might need a road map to keep up with us. To get you started, here is a quick summary for you to add to your calendar. We’ve some amazing diverse speakers and presenters to help you consider a wide range of options for integrating virtual reality and augmented reality into your teaching.

Monthly Meetup

Educators in VR meets monthly in AltspaceVR with a special guest speaker and topic. The one-hour meetup is usually the third Thursday of the month.

September 19, 2019 – Matt Cook of the Virtual World Society: Matt Cook is working with a volunteer group to teach students at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School to develop their own STEM-based eductional VR experiences in Seattle. A graduate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and Project Engineer at RATLab LLC, he is developing virtual reality curriculum and VR content for research projects to push the envelope on VR in education. He is a senior advisor for the Virtual World Society.

October 24, 2019 – Mina Johnson-Glenberg of Embodied Games : Mina Johnson-Glenberg is a cognitive psychologist, game designer, STEM specialist, and research professor at Arizona State University and president of the award-winning learning technology company, Embodied Games, LLC. The Embodied Games lab has been at the forefront of creating “embodied” and kinetically-active games using sensors and motion capture technologies. Dr. Johnson-Glenberg will be speaking about accessing educational quality of VR modules with a newly developed Rubric Alpha Version. She presents nationally and internationally and has published in peer-reviewed journals on VR and STEM education. Her most recent work was on Frontiers in Robotics and AI. You will not want to miss this meetup.

Weekly Workshops

We offer free weekly workshops in AltspaceVR and other virtual social and educational platforms to encourage educators to expand their knowledge and skills in virtual, augmented, and extended reality. These workshops are free and open to the public. See our information on how to attend Educators in VR events.

September 10, 2019 – Immersive Classroom: Climate Change: Lorelle VanFossen will be presenting another immersive classroom experience in AltspaceVR on climate change associated with oceans and glacial melt. These are open discussion events exploring how to build and teach within immersive environments and discuss the various educational topics such world building spaces offer. The event is free and RSVP is recommended.

September 17, 2019 – Educators in VR 101: Daniel Dyboski-Bryant will be presenting the basics of virtual reality for educators and learners in AltspaceVR. We offer this free program for those considering integrating virtual reality in the classroom and those new to the experience, or a refresher course on the basics. We recommend RSVP soon and arrival two minutes before start time as the event often fills quickly.

September 24, 2019 – Immersive Classroom: EvolVR: Jeremy Nickels of EvolvVR (Facebook) is a long-time educator and leader in immersive education leading meditation and yoga programs weekly in AltspaceVR for over 2 years. He’s worked with world builders to develop custom worlds and event spaces, pushing the limits of virtual and guided instruction in VR. He will be sharing his expertise on developing innovative virtual programs that connect mind, spirit, and body in an immersive experience. Continue reading

Virtual Reality Pioneer: Tom Furness

Tom FurnessIn November 2015, Tom Furness, considered the grandfather of virtual reality, sat down with the team at Voices of the VR Podcast for an in depth interview called “#245: 50 years of VR with Tom Furness: The Super Cockpit, Virtual Retinal Display, HIT Lab, & Virtual World Society.” It’s still worth a listen and read.

Tom Furness has been thinking about virtual reality longer than most VR users have been alive. He built some of the first helmet-mounted displays for the US Air Force, and what would become the Super Cockpit. Leaving the military, he helped found the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington in Seattle, and created the non-profit, educational association, the Virtual World Society.

The Super Cockpit design by Tom Furness for the US Military.

From the University of Washington Faculty bios:

[Tom Furness] is the inventor of the personal eyewear display, the virtual retinal display, the HALO display and holds 19 patents in advanced sensor, display and interface technologies. With his colleagues Dr. Furness has started 27 companies, two of which are traded on NASDAQ at a market capitalization of > $8 B (USD). In 1998 he received the Discover Award for his invention of the virtual retinal display.

In addition to his academic appointments, Dr. Furness was the Chairman and President of the first Augmented Reality Company: ARToolworks Inc. recently acquire by DAQRI. He also runs his own ‘skunkworks’ company: RATLab LLC (RAT = rockin’ and thinkin’) where he and his colleagues develop advanced technologies for spinoff companies. His current projects deal with developing pulse diagnosis as an early warning system for cardiovascular disease and the start-up of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families.

Tom is also co-inventor of the SPM (spectral matching) technology licensed to Visualant Inc. He continues to serve as a Senior Scientific Advisor for the company and recently received the 2013 SPIE Prism Award for his invention of the ChromaID technology.

Projects by the Virtual World Society include helping 28 sixth grade students at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School in Seattle, overseen by a team of University of Washington engineering students, build virtual worlds that teach STEM subjects related to gravity, light, scale, and momentum. Continue reading

Educators in VR: News You Can Use for 29 March 2019

Our active Educators in VR Discord group shares news and information you can use about virtual reality in education at all levels, including corporate training and education. Here are a few of the treasures shared this week.

Brags on Our Members

VR Stats and Facts

Continue reading

Educators in VR meets VCARA – Virtual Worlds in Education

Virtual Worlds like Second Life have been used by pioneering educators for over a decade. Now many are looking to immersive VR as a new tool for their work.

On Tuesday 23rd April, Educators in VR co-founder Daniel Dyboski-Bryant gave a keynote speech at VCARA’s 10 year anniversary conference in their iSchool Island in Second Life. He spoke to about 40 VW attendees about the opportunities and challenges of education in VR, and highlighted that virtual world (VW) educators are at an advantage when approaching VR, as they are in many ways ahead of the game. As such, VW educators can bring their experience with them to help VR educators find their way. Many of the issues VR educators are currently dealing with have already been grappled with by VW educators.

Daniel Dyboski-Bryant giving a keynote speech

“Now is an exciting time for VR and education as we see the arrival of 6dof standalone headsets such as the HTC Vive Focus plus and the Oculus Quest. Couple these with 5G and a traditional education already under increasing pressures and we could be about to witness the ‘perfect storm’ in the classroom. With immersive remote teaching and training fast approaching there is a real vision for the democratization of education on the horizon.”
Daniel Dyboski-Bryant

The challenges and hurdles involved in getting started and making it work at scale were also discussed. This area is so new that much of the work is still exploratory. Resistance to adoption in schools can still be challenging and the awareness and experience of good VR is still lacking. There are many promising signs as well. One is that there seems to be considerable funding available for those who know how to apply for it.

One surprising recommendation Daniel made was the need to train ourselves in the exact opposite direction of tech. He suggested that the more powerful this immersive technology becomes, the more we need to develop habits and skills around completely unplugging. Daniel has been meditating for many years and finds that he seeks stillness and breathing even more now, just to balance out the stimulation afforded by these new technologies. There is magic to play with in VR, but it needs to be wisely approached.