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.

How to Clean Your VR Headset

Cleaning VR Headset with soap and water - copyright Lorelle VanFossen Educators in VR 2020 sm.

Over the past few months, our Educators in VR Discord and Twitter, and Facebook members have discussed and debated how to protect ourselves, fellow teachers, and students from potential contagion with VR headsets.

We’ve debated about cleaning products and the risk of damage on the plastic as well as the lenses, and guessed at what may or may not work. Some teachers haul headsets home and wash them by hand, stripping off the face pads, and even throwing them in the wash machine.

Evelien Ydo has the better solutions.

In her research paper with Serious VR on VR Hygiene and Safety: Everything You Need to Know, she’s broken down the well-researched facts based on expert interviews and scientific data on how to clean VR headsets (HMDs) with detergents and hand sanitizers and using cleanable and disposable face pads, UV light treatments, and nanotechnology.

Hygiene and safety are always important to consider when using VR-headsets and controllers on 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 needed. SeriousVR finds it important to share our knowledge, combined with expertise provided by the VR/AR/XR community, so that we can collectively tackle this problem. This document aims to summarize the most up-to-date knowledge on how to use headsets safely and how to combine this knowledge into tangible procedures…

The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus is able to survive up to 72 hours on plastic (Suman et al., 2020). You could quarantine your headsets and controllers for that amount of time or use detergents to decontaminate. Different detergents have different effects on the survival of COVID-19 (e.g. Kampf, Todt, Pfaender & Steinmann, 2020). Keep in mind that certain detergents will probably leave some residue on the face, for example, detergents based upon chloride, which can irritate the skin or the eyes. Next to that, always follow the instructions of the specific detergent.

Her findings were surprising. One might think that a higher concentration of alcohol in ethanol-based detergents and cleaners would be more effective than less, but results indicate it becomes less potent and may actually do more harm than good on the virtual reality devices.

Don’t forget about cleaning hand controllers as well. Like keyboards and mice, these are prime areas for risk of contagion. Hand controllers need to be cleaned with the same solutions as used for cleaning the plastic on the headsets.

Evelien adds excellent information with protocols on how to educate staff, clients, and students about proper hygiene methods, diving up the protocol instructions for users and staff. Quality graphic versions of the protocols are available through Evelien as described in the article.

Evelien Ydo - Cleaning Headset instructions for users.

Evelien will be presenting a workshop on this subject for Educators in VR in AltspaceVR soon. Watch here, on Discord, and our social media for an announcement.

BR Hygiene and Safety: Everything You Need to Know” is a must-read and share article for your school, class, and businesses to ensure you are taking the right steps to protect and reassure everyone.

Evelien Ydo.Evelien Ydo is a Psychologist and Educational Expert at Serious VR, Coordinator of Learning & Development at Pre-U in the Netherlands, 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 Research 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.

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.

VR Research Help Wanted Campaign

Help VR Researchers campaign image..

The Educators in VR VR Research Project Team meets every other week in AltspaceVR to discuss tips, techniques, and the challenges of researching in and with VR, and features guest speakers reporting on their ground-breaking research projects. All researchers are welcome to join and learn about the innovations being done in spatial technology research. Today’s VR Researchers Meetup features some exciting news.

Introducing the VR Research Help Wanted Campaign

Educators in VR represents researchers around the globe challenging and testing the concepts and efficacy of VR, AR, and XR in education, training, the workplace, science, and life in general. We support researchers exploring the uses and impact of VR in therapy and socialization, integration of AR into commerce and manufacturing, development of VR for workplace training, benefits for senior and elder care and memory stimulation, and exploring the benefits of social VR for collaboration – the list is long and we want to support our researchers, especially now.

Researchers don’t have access to their labs, subjects, or even their computers. Many have their research projects, even their graduations, postponed as the world continues to deal with the current and future challenges of the pandemic of COVID-19/coronavirus. For the few given permission to continue their research, they are often challenged by the inability to collect enough information.

Educators in VR is stepping up to help.

We’ve created a new channel in our Discord called Research Help Wanted in the Research category. If you are doing research in VR, AR, XR, and related topics and industries, and you wish to spread the word and allow us to help you spread that word – or survey – post there and our team will do our best to help.

Or consider using it to find interview subjects, or whatever help you need.

We have an amazing VR Research team lead by Evelien Ydo ready to answer your questions at their regular events and meetups or on the VR Research Discussion channel.

To help you get started, here are some of the research studies and projects you may help with right now.

This is just a few of the studies desperate for your assistance to support their research and move forward in their academic studies and careers. Help a VR researcher today!

Thanks to Keith Kenyon and Evelien Ydo for inspiring this campaign. We look forward to sharing the news of your research and our members and the public participating in your research projects!

April 2020 Events and Workshops

Educators in VR is busier than ever as the world stays self-isolated, working from home, reaching out to virtual reality and Educators in VR to help provide resources, consulting, and training on producing and hosting virtual events in VR.

This past month found us busier than ever as we moved from the success of the 2020 Educators in VR International Summit into consulting, training, and production support for schools, governments, businesses, and conferences changing from real-world to virtual.

Michael McDonald of Gold Lotus and the Educators in VR 24 Hr English Lesson in VR.We also had a very successful first-ever 24 Hour English Lesson and fundraiser with Michael McDonald of Gold Lotus, an Educators in VR sponored and produced event that raised over 2,000 Euro for Red Cross Italy Lecce and had hundreds of attendees across 3 virtual platforms in those 24 hours. Well done, Michael!

In addition to our regularly weekly Educators in VR workshops on Tuesdays in AltspaceVR, we have special events, open discussions, and great news for you. We’ve also updating our Educators in VR events calendar on Google to help you find all our events across multiple platforms, including our Educators in VR AltspaceVR channel. For a look at all the events across the VR metaverse, check out the VR Events by VRevents.io.

Educators in VR Workshops and Trainings

Educators in VR Workshop with Sonya Haskins, esports and VR games expert.Tuesday Weekly Workshops: We meet in AltspaceVR and the workshops are free and open to the public.

Educators in VR International Summit - Workshop.Training Workshops: Educators in VR is dedicated to providing training programs and workshops for educators, learners, researchers, and anyone interested in creating educational events in VR. The workshops are a combination of free introductory programs and paid workshops.

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