We learned recently that Google Poly would be closing as of June 30, 2021. Uploads will be turned off April 30. As a 3D creation and viewer tool, students and educators are easily able to create low-poly objects with in-VR tools and share them with others, expanding the range of 3D objects available for education.
Many artists, creators, educators, researchers, developers, and historians have uploaded “irreplaceable” cultural artifacts to the service and consider it to be a “cultural museum” of 3D and VR history. They are demanding the archive be preserved and continue to be curated in some way. A petition on Change.org is inviting signatures to encourage Google to open source the Poly platform. We encourage you to join.
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.
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.
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.
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
Of 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.