10th Annual VCARA Conference Recap
April 20, 2019, VCARA on iSchool Island in SL

VCARA Blog

Published: August 19, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

The 10th annual VCARA conference held April 20, 2019, was a resounding success!  Keynote presenters and those who shared mini-presentations reinforced our theme, “Sands of Time: Looking Back to Move Forward.”

Keynote Presenters

Keynote presentations were held in the glass pyramid built for the event by Bree Theodore (MLIS 2017).

Our first keynote, Dr. Valerie Hill, Valibrarian Gregg in SL, provided a backward view of the past decade when the VW community of “persistent educators” struggled through the “steep learning curve” required to participate in virtual worlds and, by doing so, revolutionized education and communication by providing library services and programs that evoked a sense of presence and offered a sustainable space for critical thinking and deep learning. Val is the director of the Community Virtual Library in Second Life, Avacon and Kitely.

Our second keynote, Daniel Dyboski-Bryant, Danzig360 in SL, then provided a forward view of the opportunities provided by a new wave of immersive technologies—Virtual Reality—that can fundamentally alter how we think about education and learning.  Daniel teaches, consults, speaks, writes, and delivers training for and in Virtual Reality. He runs Educators in VR, a monthly meet up in AltspaceVR.

Mini-Presentations

Nine presenters provided mini-presentations, 10-minute intensive takes on a topic of their choice, which ranged from Kevin Feenan – (Phelan Corrimal in SL) speaking on Pathways to Digital Leadership and Technology through Erik Moore, (medi Martian in SL) speaking on Using Transactional Distance Theories to move from Training to Operations in Virtual Operations Centers, to Susan Toth-Cohen (Zsuzsa Tomsen in SL) on the topic of Building on Past Experience to Create a New Vision for Education in Virtual Worlds.

The final mini-presenter, Leticia De Leon (Letty Luckswtone in SL) spoke on Immersion as Heart-Dimensional: Confessions of a Storyteller’s Journey to Gamify Learning and then invited participants to a post-conference Immersive Experience, The Queen’s Heroes of the Five Kingdoms.

Plan to attend the 11th Annual Conference in April 2020!  If you’d like to become involved, contact VCARA faculty supervisor, Dr. Pat Franks (patricia.franks@sjsu.edu). Watch our blog for details.