Alvin Graylin of HTC at Virtual World Society Fireside

Alvin Wang GraylinThe Virtual World Society hosts Fireside chats regularly in AltspaceVR and Thurday, January 13, 2021, Tom Furness is bringing Alvin Gray, China President of HTC, makers of the HTC Vive and other VR technology, for a discussion on how reality maybe be vitural but the future of XR is real and here now.

The two will discuss the state of XR technology and look far into the future on what is coming that will change our lives, education, and the workplace.

Mr. Graylin is the China President at HTC, leading all aspects of HTC’s business in the region (Vive/VR, phone, content platform, partnerships and investments) and the company’s SW business globally. He is also currently Vice-Chairman of the Industry of Virtual Reality Alliance, President of the $18B Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance and oversees the Vive X VR Accelerators in Beijing, Shenzhen and Tel Aviv.

Mr. Graylin has over 28 years of management experience in the tech industry, including 20 years in Greater China. Prior to HTC, he was a serial entrepreneur, having founded four venture-backed startups and has held $100+ million P&L roles at a number of public companies.

Mr. Graylin received his MS in computer science from MIT, MBA from MIT’s Sloan School and BS in EE from the University of Washington, where he had specialized in VR and AI. Mr. Graylin is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Educators in VR was honored to have Mr. Graylin join us at several events during the 2020 International Summit, and we’re thrilled to be assisting with the production of this event in AltspaceVR with his return.

Expect this event to fill up fast. For more information, RSVP the event in AltspaceVR and check out our guide on how to attend events in VR. Consider subscribing to the Virtual World Society AltspaceVR channel to keep up with event announcements.

More Holiday Storytelling in AltspaceVR

We are filling AltspaceVR with story this holiday season, bringing together friends and family and making new friends at a time when so many continue to be in lockdown and isolation. In social VR, you are rarely alone.

We have some wonderful stories to share with you this year including classics such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, also known as A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement C. Moore; The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg of a boy’s adventure or dream to travel by train to the North Pole to meet Santa; How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss; excerpts from A Christmas Carol by Dickens ready by Dr. Nancy Bixler PhD over two nights highlighting the descriptions of Dickens’s Victorian holiday time; Christmas at Red Butte by Lucy Maud Montgomery about an orphaned girl who sacrifices her family memento so her cousins will have Christmas; Holiday Storytelling with original stories by the Creative Writing Meetup members; and more.

A special event on December 22 features Ekaterina Semeniuk, aka Gingery, is a reading in Russia of the famous story of Ded Moroz & Summer, Дед Мороз и лето. She is a TESOL teacher in Moscow specializing in foreign philology, the history and development of languages, and co-team leader of the Educators in VR vLanguage Learning team project.

Educators in VR is also bringing together members from around the world to share traditional holiday stories in our special, International Storytelling Event on December 22.

Creative Writing Holiday Storytelling event in AltspaceVR.There are events throughout AltspaceVR for the holidays, and other social VR Platforms as well. We’ve included a few highlights of events from the Virtual World Society and #GETSOCIAL’s Winter Wonderland festival through January featuring a variety of special guests and social events, including ice skating.

Our Production and Event Manager (among other titles), Donna McTaggart, is hosting daily Advent day readings and biblical devotionals for the holidays with her popular Live Loved Christian Devotional events, reminding us of the reason for the season.

Here is an updated list of storytelling events in AltspaceVR. Note, some events featured multiple times in a day.

Come join us in AltspaceVR. If you are new to AltspaceVR, you may join on a VR headset or in 2D on a Windows 10 or Mac desktop or laptop computer. Check out our “How to Attend Educators in VR Events” guide for details.

VR Headset Hygiene and Safety Workshop

Educators in VR VR Safety and Hygiene Workshop.

Evelien Ydo, Team Leader of the Educators in VR’s VR Research Team, and author of “VR Hygiene and Safety: Everything You Need to Know,” which we shared with you recently, has agreed to do a special event on the subject of VR headset hygiene and safety in AltspaceVR Thursday, September 24, 2020.

This free workshop will teach you about the basics of VR hygiene and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming flu season. She will discuss detergents, hand sanitizers, face pads, UVC-light, nanotechnology, protocols, and the importance of educating your staff, clients, and/or students.

Hygiene and safety are always important to consider when using VR-headsets and controllers with multiple people. Areas that pose a high safety risk include the VR location-based entertainment industry, showcasing events, VR labs, education that uses VR, larger gatherings in general where headsets are swapped between people, and headsets that are used on a daily basis by multiple people (e.g. when training with headsets). During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that current procedures would not be sufficient anymore. Therefore, updated information about best practices on how to safely use VR-headsets is provided during this workshop.

All are welcome to attend as this event is free and open-to-the-public. If you are currently registered with AltspaceVR, you may go to the event page for the VR Hygiene and Safety Workshop and RSVP. AltspaceVR will send you a reminder an hour prior to the event. You will find the event in-world under Events > My Events. For more details and information, please see our guide on attending Educators in VR events.

BR Hygiene and Safety: Everything You Need to Know” should be required reading for all educators, trainers, and businesses working with multiple headsets and users.

This workshop dives deeper into cleaning methods and methodology. VR headsets and controllers are made of strong but delicate materials. Harsh chemicals may damage the equipment. Cleaning them isn’t hard. It is just a matter of knowing what to use, when to use it, and how to use the various cleaning products and methods.

Evelien will cover:

  • Cleaning products for VR headsets and controllers.
  • Cleaning and sterilization methods and tools.
  • Safety and hygiene protocols and guides for staff and users.
  • Answer your questions and concerns on VR cleaning.

We expect this event to fill fast. Help us spread the word by sharing this with other educators, schools, and businesses. Please RSVP to ensure you receive a reminder by email prior to the event’s start.

Evelien Ydo is a Psychologist and Educational Expert at Serious VR, Coordinator of Learning & Development at Pre-U, Master student at EST, and leader of the Educators in VR VR Research team project. The VR Research Team meets in AltspaceVR bi-weekly with special guest speakers, workshops, and open discussions. She is also co-creator of the VR Rsearch Help Wanted Campaign that continues to spread the word for researchers in immersive technologies to find interview subjects and subjects to complete surveys to assist with their research, often helping them continue with their degree programs that came to a halt this spring with self-isolation and COVID-19. To join the discussions with VR researchers, join the Educators in VR Discord and check out the VR Research discussion channel. If you are a VR/AR/XR researcher and need help promoting your research to encourage participation and data collection, post it in our Research Help Wanted channel.

Empowered You Workshop

vCoaching Empowered You.

UPDATE: New dates are November 9-10, 2020.

Educators in VR is excited to announce another amazing personal and professional training workshop November 9-10, 2020, with Caitlin Krause and CaptainVR Dana-Maria called Empowered You.

This innovative 2-day workshop (4 hours total) invites you to transform your life and work in a meaningful way with two leaders in coaching, person, and professional development. This engaging workshop and training explores mindsets, well-being, and transformation for personal and professional development held in an immersive virtual reality environment, in AltspaceVR. Early bird tickets are still available at USD $10 off the ticket price through October 30, so hurry.

Educators in VR Caitlin Krause and Dana Maria workshop in AltspaceVR.The 2-day 4-hour private workshop in AltspaceVR includes a variety of coaching and personal development techniques such as:

  • Breathing-techniques
  • Ki-training
  • PSYCH-K
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation

These are stressful times, and now is the time to be inspired, to reinvent who you are, how you work, and how you teach and share your knowledge with others in a way that requires you to be at your very best. We are being tested as never before, and now is the time to empower you to your full potential.

Caitlin Krause photoCaitlin Krause specializes in UX design, story, and well-being in XR. She works as a story designer in digital therapeutics with a focus on interactive XR, using mindfulness, guided imagery, HCD, biofeedback, BA, and CBT. Founder of the consultancy, MindWise, Caitlin launched her book Mindful by Design (Corwin Press, 2019) at the World Economic Forum and spoke about the Future of Education, Sci-Fi and Immersive Technology. Her just launched new book, Designing Wonder: Leading Transformative Experiences in Virtual Reality, is a masterful guide on how to create VR experiences with emotional resonance and impact. She introduces a new methodology for on designing meaningful experiences in VR, filled with wonder, exploring the virtual concepts for experiences and education from The Hero’s VR Journey to Maslow Before Bloom. She has been a teacher and curriculum designer for over two decades.

Through her leadership and organizational consulting, she helps individuals and teams create connection in the midst of complexity and change. She recently created a mindfulness and SEL series in social VR, fusing presence, storytelling, curiosity, and emotional intelligence. Her mission is to empower humanity through connection.

dana-maria-fanekerCaptainVR Dana-Maria is an award-winning life and personal development coach and the Team Leader of the Educators in VR vCoaching and Personal Development team. The vCoaching Team meets weekly on Wednesdays in VR exploring self-improvement, empowerment, and therapy applications in leadership, confidence, and esteem. She 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 a powerful tool for helping people to confront fears, build life skills, reduce stress and boost immune systems, and become more effective in their professional lives and work.

In 2016, Dana-Maria won the Samsung VR Challenge for Best Virtual Reality Idea of the Netherlands, creating a VR application to help free people from their fears, empowering people with VR. She continues her pioneering work to help develop effective virtual reality applications with specialists around the world and make people the Captains of their lives and virtual reality is the most powerful tool to help her with this mission.

This is a rare opportunity to work with these leaders in immersive coaching and self-empowerment. Educators in VR’s goal is to help integrate immersive technologies into education and business, and to do that, we need people willing to be leaders and innovators themselves. This is an excellent opportunity to find that inner strength and empower you.

How to Attend

Tickets are still available and space is limited. This event is designed to be personal and intimate, allowing you plenty of time for questions and interactions with the expert workshop leaders.

Access is through Windows 10 computer with AltspaceVR installed via the Microsoft Store or Steam, or with an Oculus Go, Quest, Rift, Vive, Value, or other tethered VR headset with AltspaceVR in those stores.

If you are currently not registered with AltspaceVR, please do so before buying your ticket. Your AltspaceVR username and registration email address will be required. The username is the one used to log into AltspaceVR.

If you go to AltspaceVR, sign in, and click your profile image, you will see your username and email registration. Once added to the event’s private invitation list, you will see the event listed in AltspaceVR under Events > My Events. If you do not, please take a screenshot of your profile information and email it to us immediately to ensure addition to the participant list.

For more details and information, please see our guide on attending Educators in VR events.

Global HR Summit 2020 Success

Global HR Summit produced by Educators in VR.Educators in VR co-produced the 3-day Global HR Summit with Genius Ventures and BentoHR, September 8-10, 2020, in AltspaceVR. We thought we’d share a few of our thoughts about the event and images here, to help you understand how easy (and challenging) it is to host an event in virtual reality.

Honestly. Skip the Zoom Fatigue and online conferencing tools and go straight to VR. As proven over the past few days, while there are still challenges to VR conferences, the biggest challenge is mental. Once you get past the fears and myths and step right in, to quote the keynote speaker, Nick Vujicic of Life Without Limbs and AIA – Attitude is Altitude:

“It’s amazing to feel like you are right here with everyone, yet I’m right in my own home…to add to the experience, I just heard the garbage truck outside my window, yet I’m here in this room with you from around the world. It’s beautiful!”

This was also a fundraiser for the Virtual World Society. Founder Tom Furness inspired the packed audience with two events and attended most of them, including the social where we hung out in a virtual hot tub solving the challenges of integration of immersive technologies in business and education.

The closing keynote with Matt Fleckenstein of Microsoft Hololens Marketing and strategies, showed us the future of innovation, manufacturing, and education as we enter the world of mixed realities and extended reality (XR). It was inspiring and stunning to realize that the future is here, now.

Will Business Get This?

Educators get VR. They see the potential for connecting with students, breaking down barriers and borders. They see the potential for empathy and relationship building, for collaboration and sharing. They see the dream of unleashing imagination and offering unique problem-solving situations to guide students into the future workplace. The challenge for the teams from Genius Ventures and BentoHR was whether or not human resource professionals and corporate businesses would get VR.

The obstacles they overcame were tremendous. This wasn’t like a conference where you send out a few emails, post some fliers in the real world and across social media and hope people show up. People had to be convinced that this was worth their time. More than that, they had to know there was solid ROI behind all the virtual reality stuff that their children and grandchildren play games.

Matt Burns of BentoHR, and Navjeet Chinna and Marah Berezowsky of Genius Ventures spent countless hours personally calling speakers and attendees to encourage them to participate. They talked about the potential for virtual reality not just for events but for businesses. They shared the facts and research that backs up their claims, the fact that by 2025, 25% of G2000 firms will use “integrated workplace sensing systems to optimize and personalize the employee experience,” and that by 2025, this will not only become normalized, but 20% of G2000 workers will use “fit for purpose” forms of human augmentation and assistance, expanding into exoskeletons, robotics, AR, VR, and wearables to ease workflow and communication. The technology is here. It is up to businesses to embrace it, and watch their efficiency and productivity improve, and employee attitudes improve as the workplace becomes more interactive and, literally, visually helpful.

The feedback from speakers and participants across the board was amazing. They got it. They loved that they could connect with others from around the world from the comfort of their home or office. They loved the wonder that came with the experience as well as the ease of use. It worked. There is a new energy and interest. Most importantly, this wasn’t Zoom. The ripple has started and is spreading around offices and companies that this is something they need to embrace, and fast. Especially right now.

This event would not have happened if it wasn’t for their dedication. We’re eager to have them present an event soon for Educators in VR to discuss how they overcame the challenge so many of us face on a regular basis: How to convince administration to accept virtual reality as a viable educational tool.

Save Money and the World

As mentioned in our original lessons learned from hosting a VR conference and research into the benefit to the environment for going truly green with virtual reality conferences and meetings, a 3-day event like the Global HR Summit would have cost hundreds if not thousands to attend, and thousands to produce.

For under USD $100, a Windows 10 computer or Mac with Windows partition, or under $500 VR headset, this conference was yours to attend and meet people from around the world changing how business works and bringing together educators, students, and human resource managers, consultants, trainers, and experts to face the future of digital transformation together.

We also saved many trees, and in this time of massive wildfires around the world in addition to the pandemic, protected lives. Seems grandiose, but we heard conversations across the three days of people so grateful they didn’t have to travel right now. There were stories behind that sentence.

Slide Shows Aren’t Why They are There

Due to technical and security issues with AltspaceVR, slides became more than cumbersome to use. The team managing the speakers convinced speakers, many long-time keynote and public speakers, to step away from their dependency on Powerpoint and Keynote, and embrace conversation and storytelling as a way to connect with the audience. We learned this lesson repeatedly over the past two years, and our co-producers were brave enough to go with that premise.

It worked.

While visuals can be helpful, they are more often a crutch, helping the speaker remember what comes next rather than engaging with the audience. The speakers set their fears aside and embraced the conversational style. By the second day, the events started to run a little behind with audience interaction as people became more accustomed to this new format. They loved it. Conversations and imagination were ignited and people wanted to be a part of this.

Educators in VR will continue to push forward and evolve this as engagement thrives in VR.

It’s All About the Event Space – Or Is It?

As Educators in VR expands our conference and event consultation and services, we continue to be challenged with the concept of the event space type.

There is one theory that we need to provide comfortable and familiar event spaces, seats, tables, microphones, screens, auditoriums, stages, etc., to make the audience feel comfortable and transition better to VR. Another theory is that in virtual reality, anything is possible. Why not have events in outer space, underwater, or hanging upside down? There are pros and cons to both.

What many attendees didn’t know is that the event presentation space was custom developed by Microsoft and AltspaceVR for the Microsoft Developer Days conference earlier this year, one of the first annual corporate conferences to be mostly in VR. We were able to work with Microsoft to agree to allow us to use the event templates, and we are so grateful. People enjoyed them.

Global HR Summit Social in the Hot Tub.The social event space was developed and designed by the Educators in VR world building team, one of many we are now offering for rental of VR event, conference, and educational classrooms. We customized it each day with interactables and had a fun hot tub complete with bubbles and fish on the last day. This brought fun and interactivity to the event.

The team behind the Global HR Summit was determined to introduce HR professionals to this new medium as it is game-changing for their industry and the workplace. Offering a familiar transition was wiser than throwing them out into space, floating in the air surrounded by stellar objects on their first adventure into VR.

However, this audience was very savvy, getting the point of the potential of virtual reality communication and interaction immediately. By day two we were hearing participants ask questions about the event spaces and why the limits weren’t pushed more.

It was so exciting to see their enthusiasm for seeing how far VR and virtual worlds could go to not just emulate the real world but push the boundaries of imagination in meeting spaces. Producing and hosting more than 600 VR events a year to introduce VR to educators and the education industry, we are so ready to embrace that mindset!

It Takes a Team and a Village

The Educators in VR Production Team is long experienced in VR and virtual event productions, from classroom design and development to hosting thousands of attendees from around the world. Working with the teams from Genius Ventures and BentoHR was a delight as they took our advice seriously, yet were willing to make this their own as well, which we respected. As always in this innovative space, lessons were learned on all sides.

Much thanks goes to Tom Furness of the Virtual World Society, our Educators in VR production and video crew, and everyone at Genius Ventures and BentoHR. Together, we embraced the technology, overcame the obstacles, introduced dozens of people to this new way of interacting and connecting, and started a conversation that will be continued for years to come.

The key characteristic it takes to produce and host events in VR is belief. You have to believe this is possible. Only with belief in the future and potential of this technology will we move into it willingly. It’s here. Now. We just need to walk into the virtual light together.

Here are some highlights from the past three days.

Global HR Summit Starts Tomorrow

Global HR Summit Banner

Tickets are still available for the Global HR Summit staring tomorrow and running for 3 days in AltspaceVR.

I explained this innovative summit in a LinkedIn article and in our original announcement about what it means to Educators in VR as well as educators, trainers, and students around the world.

Teaching thousands to prepare for the future of web technologies, today, as co-founder of Educators in VR, I prepare educators, trainers, and students of all ages and experiences in XR technologies, moving beyond the web to immersive and spatial design, development, and deployment. That’s the job of teachers. We prepare people for the future, one arriving faster than you can imagine. It is already here.

…As an educator working with college job services, internship programs, and a trainer for schools and businesses in VR/AR/XR and web technologies, I’ve seen first hand the power of HR to connect and influence. So have you.

According to the IDC 2020 future of work predictions (PDF) and other supporting research, by 2025, 25% of G2000 firms will use “integrated workplace sensing systems to optimize and personalize the employee experience.” They predict by 2025, this will not only become normalized, but 20% of G2000 workers will use “fit for purpose” forms of human augmentation and assistance, expanding into exoskeletons, robotics, AR, VR, and wearables to ease workflow and communication.

Global HR Summit - Speakers.

We are seeing directly how immersive technologies like VR and AR is changing lives and the workplace, and the Global HR Summit is your opportunity to learn, discuss, and meet experts in HR, job hiring, training, and education to learn how to prepare yourself, your students, and your schools for the future workplace.

This is a fundraiser for the Virtual World Society, a non-profit focused on global educational outreach programs and innovations, with the goal of raising USD $250,000. Additional donations are welcome.

Tickets are available now, and Educators in VR student and educator members are entitled to a discount as in FREE TICKET by using EDUCATORSINVR in the coupon of the ticket order.

Get your tickets now for the in-world AltspaceVR experience or to watch the private YouTube livestream.

Book Launch: Caitlin Krause “Designing Wonder”

Book Launch Caitlin Krause Designing Wonder ASVR Tile

Educators in VR is proud to announce our first book launch event in AltspaceVR September 17, 2002, with Caitlin Krause of MindWise consultancy to launch her new book.

Designing Wonder: Leading Transformative Experiences in Virtual Reality by Caitlin Krause is a masterful guide on how to create VR experiences with emotional resonance and impact.

Redefining the rules as usual, she introduces a new methodology for how to design meaningful experiences in VR, filled with wonder, exploring the virtual concepts for experiences and education from The Hero’s VR Journey to Maslow Before Bloom. The book is about experience design from education to corporate training, and those specializing in social groups in VR.

Join Educators in VR as we celebrate the launch of this ground-breaking book that we expect will change how you design and develop virtual worlds and play and teach within them.

Caitlin Krause photoCaitlin Krause specializes in UX design, story, and well-being in XR. She works as a story designer in digital therapeutics with a focus on interactive XR, using mindfulness, guided imagery, HCD, biofeedback, BA, and CBT. Founder of the consultancy MindWise, Caitlin launched her book Mindful by Design (Corwin Press, 2019) at the World Economic Forum and spoke about the Future of Education, Sci-Fi and Immersive Technology.

She has been a teacher and curriculum designer for over two decades, diving deeply into virtual reality experiences in education, the next stepping stone in educational and business training tools. Through her leadership and organizational consulting, she helps individuals and teams create connection in the midst of complexity and change. She recently created a mindfulness and SEL series in social VR, fusing presence, storytelling, curiosity, and emotional intelligence. Her mission is to empower humanity through connection.

Educators in VR is thrilled to begin our first in a series of book launches in VR, helping authors and researchers host innovative book launch experiences in virtual reality at a time when such public access is limited. This is an rare opportunity to connect in an immersive environment and celebrate authors with an international audience.

Space is limited. RSVP today for the open-to-the-public book launch with Caitlin in AltspaceVR. For information on how to attend an event in AltspaceVR and in VR, use our handy step-by-step guide.

Educators in VR Events: July 13-19, 2020

Educators in VR has a busy week planned with great special guests, partner events, and team project meetups and events. Remember, we announce these events regularly on our Educators in VR Discord group, Facebook, and Twitter. For events in AltspaceVR, consider subscribing to our Educators in VR event subscription channel to receive regular reminders of upcoming events there. For events on ENGAGE VR, check out their Events schedule, and we will update you on our projects on other social and educational platforms as they happen.

VR Research Team for Educators in VR.July 14 – VR Researchers Team: We begin the week on Tuesday with the gathering of the VR Researchers team members and general audience to discuss research in immersive technologies, how the research is going, where to start, and where to find key research. Also, check out their VR Researchers Discord Channel in the Educators in VR Discord.

Don’t forget that our #research-help-wanted campaign helps publicize your research across our social media platforms. If you have a research project that needs to reach a wide audience, post in the #research-help-wanted and discuss it in the #research-projects channel and at the above meetups.

Global HR Summit 2020.July 14 – Weekly Workshop: A few hours later is the Educators in VR Weekly Workshop with Matt Burns of HRBento discussing the upcoming HR Global Summit, July 28-29, in @AltspaceVR. He will be talking about preparing students, HR companies, and professionals for a future integrating VR/AR/XR. The Global HR Summit is in AltspaceVR, and ticket proceeds benefit the Virtual World Society, a partner of Educators in VR. The next HR in VR Meetup is Thursday, also in AltspaceVR.

Educators in VR vCoaching and Personal Development Session in AltspaceVR.July 15 – vCoaching and Personal Development: Wednesday features CaptainVR’s Dana-Maria, leader of the vCoaching and Personal Development Team Project, with special guest Fabian R-CANE Schlosser, a renowned expert in music therapy for relaxation and stress reduction. Fabian’s work and research developed a Stress Reduction Method with music therapy being used around the world. You may learn more about his work on his website, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Check out the vCoaching and Personal Development channel in the Educators in VR Discord for more information and resources, and access to the videos of past meetups and workshops.

Cyberbullying Team Project with Educators in VR.July 15 – Cyberbullying Team Project Meetup: Later on Wednesday is the next Cyberbullying Defense & Protection Team Meetup with Eric Segal (ZenPanda) of NEST, Network of Emotional Support Teams, as she takes us through the journey of cyberbullies and bullies in general, to help you understand the types, styles, prevention, treatment and training, and how to protect yourself from harm. With an increase in hate and racism acts IRL and online, this regular meetup group is ideal to help you learn more. We’ve information on cyberbullying here on our site and will be adding more, and we have resources and discussions on our Cyberbullying Channel on our Discord.

Virtual World Society Fireside Chats in AltspaceVR.July 16 – Virtual World Society Fireside Chat: Thursday is the Virtual World Society Fireside Chat with Tom Furness & Ben Lok, award-winning professor & founder working with virtual storytelling & communication skills. He teaches a variety of courses at the University of Florida’s Computer and Informational Sciences and Engineering Department, and is co-founder of Shadow Health, an educational company focused on using virtual humans and mixed reality to train communication skills within VR and human-computer interaction. He received the UF Innovator of the Year Award (2019), a UF Term Professorship (2017-2020), the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Faculty Mentoring Award (2016), a NSF Career Award (2007-2012), and the UF ACM CISE Teacher of the Year Award in 2005-2006. He and his students in the Virtual Experiences Research Group have received Best Paper Awards at IVA 2019, IEEE VR 2008, and ACM I3D (Top 3, 2003).

Look What’s Next

There is plenty coming up with Educators in VR, and here are some highlights.

July 28 – Special Event with Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab: Dr. Geraldine Fauville from The Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab has been working on an innovative VR educational project working with 200 6th to 8th grade girls in VR or 2D studying ocean acidification and marine environmental issues. Their insights on immersive learning, assessments, and outcomes help us all understand the power of VR in education.

Underwater event space for iLRN 2020.July 28 – Weekly Workshop on Building Virtual Worlds for Events and Education: Educators in VR has spent the last two years building custom worlds and event spaces for classes, workshops, and conferences. This special workshop will introduce you to the challenges and features necessary in an immersive classroom and VR event spaces. In September, we are launching a new feature to rent those virtual world spaces for your own events, classes, workshops, and conferences. The worlds will be available individually and in packaged kits, and you will be seeing a preview of some of those spaces. The event will begin in our Educators in VR Training Center and move through some fascinating social worlds.

ILRN Conference 2020.July 28 – iLRN2020 Conference Lessons Learned: Join Educators in VR with the iLRN (Immersive Learning Research Network) team for a discussion about the lessons learned from producing their first virtual conference, iLRN2020 in VirBELA and AltspaceVR. Migrating a conference for less than one hundred attendees to one featuring thousands, and incorporating the IEEE conference standards and requirements for their attendees, is a huge undertaking, from choosing a platform to implementing the top notch speaker and event program. Join us as we discuss the lessons learned and how to bring a real-world event to VR and virtual.

Steve Brambury event in ENGAGE July 2020 for YOUNGA.July 26 – CPDinVR in ENGAGE VR: As part of the amazing CPDinVR Third Anniversary events with Steve Brambury, Educators in VR’s Daniel Dyboski-Bryant will be interviewing the co-founder of Students in VR, Angelina Dayton, and Kelly Lovell of Bridging the Gap Ventures, part of the team along with Educators in VR producing the upcoming YOUNGA Take-over of the United Nations student-led event, September 28-29, 2020.

July 28-29 – Global HR Summit: The Global HR Summit is July 28-29 in AltspaceVR, bringing together HR professionals, experts, and consultants for their first all VR conference. Produced by Educators in VR, Matt Burns of BentoHR and the Thinking Inside the Box podcast, and ticket proceeds benefit the Virtual World Society, a partner of Educators in VR. The next HR in VR Meetup is Thursday, also in AltspaceVR.

Global HR Summit produced by Educators in VR.

YOUNGA 2020 Speakers.September 28-29 – YOUNGA Take-over of the UN: In collaboration with Educators in VR, Students in VR, and Bridging the Gap Ventures, YOUNGA is a take-over of the United Nations, student-led event held in ENGAGE VR. The event will feature student leaders and experts along with industry and corporate leaders and activists solving the world’s key problems with leadership panels, virtual master classes, fireside chats, and immersive VR performances, engaging cultures and societies around the world. Registration is open to participate in this ground-breaking, VR event in ENGAGE VR as celebrities and students call upon the United Nations to help solve the challenges the world faces together.

October 2020 – National Bullying Month: This is the second anniversary of the Educators in VR Cyberbullying Month in conjunction with National Bullying Month. This year, we have a month-long series of workshops, classes, meetups, and trainings on the subject open to everyone, and potentially some master class programs and trainings as well to help us all learn from experts on reducing harm and being prepared against the bullies who follow us from the real world to online and VR social platforms. We have information and resources from last year to update you, and join our discussions and plans on the Cyberbullying Channel in Discord. We’re always looking for topics and expert speakers on these subjects.

February 2021: We have plans in motion for our next Educators in VR International Summit, but we are breaking the rules again. Keep your February open and we’ll have announcements on this coming soon.

iLRN 2020 Conference Offers Free Tickets

iLRN Conference 2020 - lighthouse.

The June 21-25 iLRN 2020 conference is now free to attend!

Educators in VR is partnered to produce the 6th Annual iLRN Conference in VirBELA and AltspaceVR, fully online in virtual reality.

The conference will feature not only top researchers as keynotes and presenting their research projects, workshops, showcases, and classes, the traditional conference fare produced in a customized virtual world by the VirBELA development team and Educators in VR’s production team in AltspaceVR, the conference features special guided adventure tours, a huge exhibit hall, virtual artists performing live via stream, an interactive and collaborative unconference in AltspaceVR, game night, virtual banquets, and entertainment. You do not want to miss this event this year!

With generous sponsorships from VirBELA, XR Association, The National Center for Science & Civic Engagement, the Center for Immersive Experiences at Penn State University, The Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education, TU Graz University of Technology, and the Journal of Universal Computer Science, the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) announced FREE REGISTRATION for anyone with an interest in VR/AR/MR (XR) and immersive learning. Regardless of organizational and institutional affiliation or sectors, if you are not presenting, get your free ticket now.

According to iLRN, registrations will be accepted until the participant quota is reached, then they will revert to a paid ticketing system. Register immediately to avoid missing out a chance to attend this amazing conference that brings together researchers and developers from around the world breaking new ground in VR/AR/XR research and technology.

Educators in VR is proud to be a part of the iLRN 2020 conference, and we are also looking for volunteers to help support this non-profit association conference. We need and will train volunteers to provide support through moderation, greeting, and video recording and streaming in both VirBELA and AltspaceVR. As a volunteer, you will have free access to the event as well. If you wish to help us support the conference, please sign up with our Volunteer Form. You will need to provide your AltspaceVR username as part of the process, even if you will be working in VirBELA.

Tom Furness and the Virtual World Society in AltspaceVR

Tom Furness Keynote the window - Educators in VR International Conference

Tom Furness is coming back to AltspaceVR on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, and this time, he is bringing part of his Virtual World Society team to share what they are doing to turn the education industry upside down with virtual reality.

We’ve shared our love and passion for Tom Furness and the Virtual World Society here on our site and through our social media channels, and if you missed his presentation at the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit, watch it now on our Educators in VR YouTube channel.

Professor Furness will be discussing the work of the Virtual World Society, and announcing some very exciting news that will impact all of us.

He also brings us some homework and requests our support for some very worthy causes the Virtual World Society is supporting.

First, homework. Before the event, please complete this short 2 minute survey that asks you how you are doing with COVID-19 isolation and how you can help the Virtual World Society and how they can help you. The results will be announced at the event.

Next, you will learn about the generous work the Virtual World Society is doing for the Make a Wish program and other community events and activities. Please support these worthy causes by donating and spreading the word as it takes a community.

Consider joining the Virtual World Society and be among the growing membership determined to democratize and disrupt VR in education.

Tom Furness, Virtual World Society founder.Dr. Tom Furness is a virtual reality pioneer and inventor who has earned the title “Grandfather of Virtual Reality.” He is Professor in the University of Washington Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and the founder of the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington and its sister labs at the University of Canterbury and University of Tasmania. He is known for his contributions developing virtual interface technology and its applications in education, training, medicine, design and entertainment. He and his students and colleagues have spun off 27 companies in the immersive computing space. He is also the general manager and owner of the RATLab (Rocking and Thinking Laboratory) and Founder of the Virtual World Society.

Expect to see Professor Furness and his Virtual World Society team members in and around AltspaceVR and the metaverse more often, but we won’t share any more details. You’ll just have to show up tomorrow and see what all the fuss and excitement is about!

PS: This week is his 77th birthday. To celebrate and honor his life-long work and passion, join the Virtual World Society and let’s make his dreams come true.