Educators in VR Featured on AltspaceVR Community Spotlight

AltspaceVR Meetup location for Educators in VR

Daniel Dyboshi-Bryant and Lorelle VanFossen, founders of Educators in VR, were featured in a recent article on the AltspaceVR blog, “Community Spotlight: Educators in VR.” The emailed interview introduces the two educators and describes their vested interest in both Educators in VR and AltspaceVR as a virtual social platform and educational space, and discusses their passion for Educators in VR.

Daniel: The idea behind the monthly events is to bring together a community of educators, trainers, researchers, organizations, and startups who meet, share, and learn — in VR — so that we are “walking the talk.”

Each month we choose a topic relevant to VR in education and invite a speaker or panel of speakers to share their insights, experiences, and resources with the community. So far we have covered VR Education research projects from Australian and German universities, presented some start-ups in the field from Finland and the US, hosted a speaker from Australia who is managing and scaling provision of immersive technologies at an organization with 500,000 learners, and heard an expert speak about harassment in VR. Next week, we have a panel of speakers discussing diversity and inclusion in VR and education.

Lorelle: Our goal is to connect the dots between administration, faculty, teachers, and students through our shared experiences and expertise. Grad students connect with educators experimenting with VR training in everything from surgery to automotive mechanics.

Attendees range from trainers to doctorates, and every educator level in between, who specialize in topics such as digital storytelling, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, automotive repair and maintenance, medical research and education, aviation… The ways virtual reality is being used in education is stunning and impressive.

Check out the rest of the article on the AltspaceVR blog.

Educators in VR Meetup on Diversity and Inclusion May 2, 2019

The next meeting of Educators in VR in AltspaceVR is May 2nd, 2019. We have a fascinating panel of speakers for this meetup on the topic of diversity and inclusion in virtual reality and education and training, representing a diverse group of educators and passionate VR enthusiasts.

Brennan Gregory Halton is the co-founder of Equal Reality, a virtual reality developer and internationally recognized immersive technologies expert. Listed on the 2019 Forbes 30/30 Social Entrepreneurs, Brennan has over a decade of experience building augmented and virtual worlds. He helped grow Meta AR Glasses to a valuation of over $300M USD as employee #7. His company, Equal Reality, helps him focus on supporting equality, diversity, and inclusion through virtual reality, putting people in the perspective of minorities to experience discrimination. He is also talented in community building, teaching, and digital content creation.

Alan Chao is a user experience designer, virtual reality enthusiast, and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) advocate. Alan works in technology as a User Experience (UX) designer and is the founder of the popular AltUX, the User Experience Meetup in AltspaceVR. He has also built some of the most popular interactive, and social worlds in AltspaceVR, including the beautiful meditation and yoga space for EvolVR classes.

Asha Easton is currently the KTN manager for Immerse UK. She is responsible for helping to grow the immersive tech ecosystem for the country. Asha is also a VR producer and an active member of several VR groups including: the London chapter of Women in Immersive Tech (WiiT) (Facebook), that helps to support women in the industry, and the VR Diversity Initiative (VRDI), where she has taught workshops to up-skill underrepresented groups in media and technology.

Dr. Peter Bloom is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of People and Organisations at the Open University and Co-Founder of the research group REEF (Research into Employment, Empowerment, and Futures). His research focuses on critically reimagining contemporary power, politics and economic – specifically related to themes of democracy, capitalism, and technology.

We are very excited for this panel on diversity and inclusion, and welcome you to join us.

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. Alan has also built several worlds in AltspaceVR that attract a wide range of visitors, developing innovative virtual entertainment and meeting spaces.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is found in the Google Store for DayDream, Samsung Gear, in the 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 mobile version for use on your Android phone or tablet, or the desktop computer version for 2D access. 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.

Share Your Favorite Virtual Reality Experience

We’ve started a new discussion area in our Educators in VR Discord group called Favorite VR Experiences.

We are inviting our members to share a special experience with virtual reality. It could be your first time in VR, a story about a particular student or person, or maybe a memory that just stays with you.

Already we have the following:

One is my very first experience of VR. Bought a cheap mobile VR headset with no idea of what VR is. Next thing I was in the International Space Station find a virtual tour. Despite the quality, I was blown away instantly. I’ve never looked back. I’m all in.
Daniel Dyboski-Bryant

I think that every time that I get a student or a colleague to try VR for the first time. They just go really quiet for a few seconds, which is then followed by a series of ‘oh wow’ statements for the following few minutes. The ability to bring that level of happiness, enjoyment and enlightenment to individuals is just priceless.
Tim Jackson

Image from Star Chart VR App.

I knew my 80 year old mother would adore virtual reality, so I wanted to engage her immediately. A long time fan of all things outer space, I choose one of the space apps that takes you, literally, out into space visiting distance stars and planets. We were in her large master bathroom and she was standing next to me in her nighty, and I so wish I had a picture of that moment. She put the Samsung Gear headset on and stood next to me, ooing and awing about the journey through the stars, gasping at the speed she could travel through space to stand in front of a planet, reading all the information. She laughed and was having way too much fun – until she started looking in all directions and looked down. “Where are my legs! I don’t have any legs!” She backed away and lost her balance. I grabbed her and caught her nightie, yanking her over against me so she wouldn’t fall back and hit the tub, holding onto her with everything I had. I was so engaged and enthralled with her immersive joy in VR, the sudden mix of terror that I almost killed my mother with VR is something we still laugh about.
Lorelle VanFossen

Come join the fun and share your favorite experience in VR. And we look forward to seeing you at our next Educators in VR meetup tomorrow.

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.

VRX2019 Conference – Amsterdam

One of our founders, Daniel Dyboski-Bryant, presented last week at VRX 2019 in Amsterdam to about 70 industry professionals about the opportunities and challenges of VR in Education. Daniel is the Project Lead – Exploring VR in Further Education, Remote Learning and Language Learning – at Coleg Menai, North Wales, UK. His background is in English Language Teaching where he teaches refugees and migrant workers and he is now focusing on immersive technologies to explore this field in education.

Representing his College and Educators in VR, he had many conversations throughout the event about the future of virtual reality in education. He also made contact with experts and businesses on behalf of Educators in VR and made the following arrangements:

  • Hewlett Packard added Educators in VR to their new HP Reverb headset testers team, ready in June.
  • Xennial Digital will grant access to test their content for testing to members.
  • Finnish Company 360MediaHouse offered testing accounts for their 360 online editing platform.
  • Funding potential for RemoteVR Classes and Academics at conferences and expos.
Daniel Dyboski-Bryant trialing the Magic Leap with Xennial Digital content.

The industry is working hard on driving adoption and building quality content across the spectrum of education. Educators in VR members are on the cutting edge of that industry with our experience and expertise in delivering quality virtual reality experiences, research, apps, and training across multiple age groups and disciplines.

An interesting area of growth of LBE (Location Based Entertainment) as a means of reaching and marketing to new customers offers an opportunity for education to collaborate with companies. We believe that our global members are key players in offering LBE experiences and education. Don’t you?

More conferences and expos are coming up, and we’d like to have Educators in VR represented at these events. If you will be attending or speaking, please let us know how we can help you spread the word. Thanks!

Submissions Requested for Scenes and Screens Festival

Scenes and Screens Festival: Speculative Realities (Year 2) is currently accepting submissions for papers, film, performance, and VR installations. The subtopics for this year: Degrees of Freedom, Moments of Inertia, and Presence of Mind. Held on August 2nd-4th, 2019, the works presented at #SAS2019 will be documented and archived by AltspaceVR and then provided to the artists involved as their takeaway.

Applications for Scenes and Screens Festival should be received by no later than 11:59PM PT, May 15th, 2019. Chosen works will be notified of their selection by June 30th, 2019.

This event is free and there are no entry fees. All are welcome to submit and participate.

Last year’s showcase brought together international talents and artistry on the theme hyperconnect. There is a tremendous need for artists looking for representation, but it takes time and money to apply to residencies, other festivals, things to get a foothold in the art world. This festival offer an opportunity for little or no cost to share their talents and showcase them globally via AltspaceVR.

Come share your talents in virtual reality!

For more information, please visit AltspaceVR Scenes and Screens Festival 2019.

May 2019 Meeting of Educators in VR

Educators in VR Meetup 2018 in Altspace - emojis to celebrate the first event.

The next meeting of Educators in VR is May 2nd, 2019. We are finalizing our topic, so stay tuned, but make sure you get us on your calendar. Check the AltspaceVR events calendar for the time for your time zone and to RSVP.

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 found in the Google Store for DayDream, Samsung Gear, in the 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 mobile version for use on your Android phone or tablet, or the desktop computer version for 2D access. 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.

Next Meetup is March 21 with Joe Millward from TAFE NSW

TAFE logo and building sign in Sydney.The next meeting of Educators in VR in AltspaceVR is March 21, 2019. Joe Millward from TAFE NSW will be joining us to talk about how to scale up provision of VR in education.

TAFE NSW is Australia’s leading provider for more than 1200 education and training courses with over 500,000 students attending on campus, online, through distance learning, or in the workplace. Established as an independent statutory body under the TAFE Commission Act 1990, the original NAFE NSW started over 130 years ago in New South Wales as a vocational project, helping to educate workers during the Depression and following the World Wars. Today, they provide educational and counseling to multicultural, aboriginal, and migrant populations across Australia. Their information and communications technology courses are expected to grow by 75% over the next ten years to serve the digital economy. They even have a Wikipedia page with details about the courses and areas and topics they cover.

Come join us March 21, 2019, in AltspaceVR for an informative discussion on how they meet the growing need for virtual reality in education.

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. Alan has also built several worlds in AltspaceVR that attract a wide range of visitors, developing innovative virtual entertainment and meeting spaces.

You may attend as a guest or member using the free AltspaceVR mobile app or 2D version. AltspaceVR is found in the Google Store for DayDream, Samsung Gear, in the 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 mobile version for use on your Android phone or tablet, or the desktop computer version for 2D access. 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.

Infographic on Social VR Bystander Intervention: Five Useful Tactics

Jessica Outlaw of The Extended Mind: Culture and Behavior in XR spoke at our last Educators in VR meetup and discussed VR communities and bullying, harassment, and learning to cope with social interactions in virtual reality. She has shared with us her infographic on Social VR Bystander Intervention: Five Useful Tactics to help us not only learn how to deal with cyberbullying in VR education, but to teach our students.

infographic on Social VR Bystander Intervention: Five Useful Tactics.

Check out the rest of her resources at The Extended Mind: Culture and Behavior in XR.