10th Annual VCARA Conference Schedule – 4/23/19


Published: April 20, 2019 by Alyse Dunavant-Jones

Join VCARA for our 10th Annual VCARA Conference at 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. SLT (Pacific) Tuesday, April 23, 2019! This year’s theme is inspired by Ancient Egypt: “Sands of Time: Looking Back to Move Forward.” Come dressed as yourself or in your favorite Ancient Egyptian attire.

How to Attend the Conference

The conference will begin at the large pyramid keynote platform on iSchool Island in Second Life (SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SJSU%20SLIS/180/62/33).

  • For instructions to join and participate in Second Life, visit our Getting Started page.

You can also attend the conference through our Zoom simulcast:

  • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://sjsu.zoom.us/j/926315807

  • Or iPhone one-tap:

    • US: +16699006833,,926315807# or +16468769923,,926315807#

  • Or Telephone:

    • Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location)

  • Or an H.323/SIP room system:

    • H.323:

    • Meeting ID: 926 315 807

    • SIP: 926315807@vip2.zoomcrc.com

10th Annual VCARA Conference Schedule – Tuesday, April 23, 2019


5:45 p.m.: Special Introduction by Master of Ceremony Dr. Pat Franks

5:50 p.m.: Special Announcement(s)

5:55 p.m.: Awards Ceremony for:

  • The person who participated the most during VCARA’s VWBPE Immersive Experience in March 2019.
  • The person (non-VCARA member) who has participated in the most VCARA Conferences over the past decade.


6:00 – 6:30 p.m.: Valerie Hill – (Valibrarian Gregg in SL) - Keynote Title: Ten Years as a Virtual World Librarian Educator

  • Abstract: Valerie has served as a librarian in Second Life and other virtual worlds since 2007. During the past decade, digital culture revolutionized education and communication with instant access to information on mobile devices and a plethora of apps. This cultural revolution put virtual worlds on the back burner because of the “steep learning curve”. Persistent educators have documented best practices for using virtual worlds for teaching and providing library services and programs with the advantages of contructivism, a sense of presence, and a sustainable space for critical thinking and deep learning.
  • Bio: Valerie received her PhD in Library and Information Science in 2012. Valibrarian (in virtual worlds) is the director of the Community Virtual Library in Second Life, Avacon and Kitely.  She served as a school librarian for twenty years and taught language arts and information literacy at all grade levels from kindergarten through college. She is currently an information literacy consultant with a research focus on the intersection of information literacy and libraries with virtual worlds and digital culture and a professor at Peninsula College.

6:30 – 7:00 p.m.: Daniel Dyboski-Bryant – (Danzig360 in SL) - Keynote Title: May you learn in interesting times… Education with and in VR

  • Abstract: Many factors are converging to create a ‘perfect storm in the classroom’. A new wave of immersive technologies stands to fundamentally alter how we think about education and learning.

It’s no longer a question of: “Should we get involved?” but “If we don’t start now, we might get left behind!”

What opportunities and challenges lie ahead as we set off on this grand adventure? Let’s find out together…

  • Bio: Daniel has been an educator for 23 years. He speaks 5 languages, teaches and trains ESOL and VR at Coleg Menai in North Wales, UK. He consults, speaks, writes and delivers training for and in VR. In his free time, he runs Educators in VR, a monthly meetup in AltspaceVR, as well as the associated Discord server, where a growing community of educators teaching in and with VR meet, discuss, share and learn together.


7:00 – 7:10 p.m.: Kevin Feenan – (Phelan Corrimal in SL) - Presentation Title: Pathways to Digital Leadership and Technology

  • Abstract: Understanding the leadership role educators have in the promotion of digital literacy, and technology appreciation, starts with an understanding that where we are today is not simply a reflection of where we have been, but finding the path of least resistance through the myriad of options available today and expected for tomorrow.

Given the challenges keeping pace with rapid innovation poses for digital leaders, participants will be able to review various pathways to better prepare their learners for the complexity of managing evolving technology and how to align their digital skill requirements with appropriate technological options.

  • Bio: Kevin is a senior management consultant, researcher, and author in the fields of information management, business processes, and education technology. Kevin’s 30-year career includes consultation for government, public, and private organizations. Kevin serves on multiple Boards of Directors including being the President and founder of Rockcliffe University Consortium for the promotion of new technology methods in education.

7:10 – 7:20 p.m.: iSkye Silverweb in SL – Presentation Title - Really People, Virtually Mentors

  • Abstract: For some of us, real and virtual worlds cross over, and for others, “RL is separate from VL.” But a helper in one world is a helper in all. We mentor because we are born helpers - it’s in our DNA!
  • Bio: iSkye has served as a mentor since 2009, first with Virtual Ability, then also joining the White Tiger Mentors. She continues to help people who are new to virtual environments and/or to communities where they arrive.

7:20 – 7:30 p.m.: Budd Turner – (Josain Zsun in SL) - Presentation Title: When you can no longer log in.

  • Abstract: When a person dies, their digital footprint persists.

Digital providers assume ownership of Intellectual property (IP) created on their servers.

Advanced planning is needed for adding Trusted Friends and/or family members access to digital accounts.

Everyone needs to learn provider policies and legal requirements for establishing a “Legacy” path of ownership or transfer.

Passing your digital footprint when you can no longer login.

  • Bio: Budd is a retired Secondary Science/Technology educator and ~Ten year Second Life resident

7:30- 7:40 p.m.: Erik Moore – (medi Martian in SL) – Presentation Title: Using Transactional Distance Theories to move from Training to Operations in Virtual Operations Centers

  • Abstract: Security Operations, Emergency Command, Network Management, and Mission Control are often done from centers that spend a great deal of capital creating interactive spacial designs in ways that facilitate situational awareness, interpersonal communications, and joint attention in agile and intuitive ways. Room designs include large video displays, glass walls, specialist computer workstations and carefully controlled spacial relationships. The value of these centers is demonstrated by how much companies invest in these rooms including those in telecommunications, security, and logistics. This presentation explores several virtual world operations center used to train students for work in real world centers. The virtual rooms presented were designed using communications theories including the Transactional Distance Theory of Michael G. Moore. These theories have proved very fruitful in comparing functional capability between virtual center designs, and also against other forms of remote incident response and command collaboration such as videoconferenceing and chat groups. The resultant designs have been analyzed in higher education measuring student outcomes using a variety of contextual modes of learning like classroom-based learning and distributed online courses. This presentation reviews those comparisons and proposes new strategies that the speaker is currently working on to move these digital spaces from training to fully operational spaces.
  • Bio: Erik is affiliate faculty with Regis University in the graduate program of Cybersecurity, teaching classes including malware reverse engineering, forensics, and defense. He also helps train cyber defense teams. As the Co-Vice Chair of the International Federation of Information Processing working group 11.8 on information security education, he authors peer-reviewed articles on information security education, systems virtualization, and virtual worlds. During the day he is Executive Director of Academic Computing at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, a school district in Colorado overseeing datacenters, a regional fiber optic network, device fleet operations, user applications, and cybersecurity in addition to helping develop inspiring technical curriculum. He was an Associate Dean of Engineering and Information Sciences at DeVry University, a Founding Co-Director of The Colorado Front Range Center for Information Assurance Studies, and an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado. He builds virtual world models to solve problems like classroom design, security response collaboration, and physical security training. He writes books on philosophy such as The Visual Philosophy Language 1.0, and he chair’s the board of a small non-profit at CenterForAReasoningSociety.org, promoting better personal and societal reasoning through K12 workshops and professional development programs.

7:40 – 7:50 p.m.: Andrew Wheelock – (Spiff Whitfield in SL) - Presentation Title: The Islands of Enlightenment Projects

  • Abstract: This presentation will highlight the ever developing islands of Enlightenment Projects. These projects began by creating history recreations and now explores areas of art and architecture as well as literature. We use the OpenSim platform hosted on our own servers, which allows us to create a safe place for students in the area. I will discuss all of the projects we have worked on and are hoping to develop.
  • Bio: Andrew is a technology integrator in Western New York. He works with schools throughout the area to help them use technology to enhance learning and productivity. He has a blog called, Coffee with a Geek where he interviews amazing educators from around the world. Lastly Andrew is the project director of the Islands of Enlightenment Project. https://www.coffeewithageek.org

7:50 – 8:00 p.m.: Bethany Winslow – (BethanyTheVirtualVersion in SL) – Presentation Title: Burning Man in Cyberspace: Makerspaces and Communities of Practice in Virtual Worlds

  • Abstract: Too often the definition of makerspace defaults to the limited assumption of that space being physical. Virtual worlds, however, present a unique opportunity for communities of practice to develop across educational institutions and beyond physical boundaries. Virtual worlds offer adventurous participants the opportunity to build objects and worlds, as well as relationships. More importantly, this challenges all of us to work with ever changing media creation tools, expand and redefine digital literacy, and ultimately fosters global digital citizenship.

In a brief overview presentation, Bethany will provide a glimpse at the development of two libraries on two different grids using an open source virtual world platform, OpenSim. The purpose for the libraries, (on Kitely and Avacon grids), are to help orient educators who are new to virtual worlds outside of Second Life become more familiar with how to travel between different OpenSim grids. Along the way, she’ll weave in details of her own journey getting involved with the Community Virtual Library, learning to build and hyperjump, and make a strong case for the relevance of describing what educators and librarians are doing in virtual worlds as akin to Burning Man.

  • Bio: Bethany began volunteering with the Community Virtual Library in 2018 and is the project lead for CVL’s Hypergrid Resource Libraries project. Her areas of interest include instructional design & training, digital citizenship & literacy, the open source movement & crowdsourced knowledge (wiki), the Creative Commons, and any other forms of radical collaboration that are disrupting traditional education.

8:00 – 8:10 p.m.: Cynthia Calongne – (Lyr Lobo in SL) - Presentation Title: Blast from the Past: Games in Virtual World Education

  • Abstract: Presenting highlights from our virtual world game simulation designs, their goals, and what we learned from them.
  • Bio: Cynthia is a Professor of Doctoral Studies at CTU and since 1996, teaches computer science, game and simulation design, robotics, and virtual world studies. At Virtual Harmony in OpenSim, she works with her team in the design of game simulations. Prior to teaching, she supported Air Force Space Command as a software engineer and systems programmer. She taught 52 university classes within virtual worlds.

8:10 – 8:20 p.m.: Susan Toth-Cohen (Zsuzsa Tomsen in SL) - Presentation Title: Building on Past Experience to Create a New Vision for Education in Virtual Worlds

  • Abstract: This presentation explores ways that lessons learned in 12 years of developing virtual world education might be transformed to create a vision for ongoing and future work. In my initial focus on project-based learning, I guided health professions students to create health and wellness exhibits including an adapted home for people with disabilities, an accessible playground, and a garden of healthy aging. At the same time, I worked with students to create and present health and wellness topics for consumers in Second Life. Following these efforts, I was invited to work with a team to create a virtual program designed to train interprofessional health and human services students to work with homeless populations. This is my current focus–creating virtual interprofessional training programs focused on homelessness and other underserved populations. Now I am at a crossroads—eager to learn from previous work and at the same time, learn as much as I can about new developments in virtual worlds and virtual reality. Through this presentation, I hope to stimulate ideas about ways that virtual worlds and virtual reality could undergo a process of refinement to create something new, yet with key elements from earlier ventures retained.
  • Bio: Susan has been creating educational experiences for students and Second Life residents since 2007. Starting with a number of successful project-based learning endeavors, she moved to a focus on virtual simulations for interprofessional education (IPE). Presently she is exploring ways to expand IPE through both virtual worlds and virtual reality.

8:20 – 8:30 p.m.: Leticia De Leon – (Letty Luckstone in SL) - Presentation Title: Immersion as Heart-Dimensional: Confessions of a Storyteller’s Journey to Gamify Learning

  • Abstract: Gamification as a means of motivating learners has been around for a long time. The tools may have evolved into more sophisticated ones, but the essential mechanics have not changed. Some might argue that it is the leaderboards and the rewards that are the main attraction, but that is not true: it is the story and the buy in. While the prize may be the end goal, it is the story that keeps us engaged. The story gives us the reason to want the prize. I have designed gamified content online in various platforms: learning management systems, app-based augmented reality, and Second Life. My approach has always been that of a storyteller. Through my journey of several years to gamify learning, I have discovered that immersion is not three dimensional: it is the heart dimensional. In this mini-presentation, I will describe how to engage the heart dimension in gamified content by doing the following: Creating an immersive storyline; Using appropriate tools to advance the story; and Weaving learning into the story.
  • Bio: Leticia teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the Teaching and Learning Department at UTRGV, working primarily with pre-service and in-service teachers. Her research focuses on adult learners and how online immersive technologies impact their learning, engagement, and motivation. She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Virtual Studies, and is working on other service projects with Rockcliffe University Consortium to promote professional development for adult learners.

Post-Conference Immersive Experience

8:30 p.m.: Leticia De Leon (Letty Luckstone in SL) – Experience Title: The Queen’s Heroes of the Five Kingdoms (SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/VWBPE%20Central%201/92/18/21)

  • Description: Debuted at VWBPE 2019, The Queen’s Heroes of the Five Kingdoms engages participants in an allegorical experience that is both storytelling and game. Dr. De Leon will give a special introduction to the experience and how it relates to her “Immersion as Heart-Dimensional” presentation and how the game is structured. Participants will then explore the underwater kingdoms. The game also gives an option to participate in a study. Whether you began the experience during VWBPE or are a new adventurer, join us to save the five kingdoms from a man-made destruction and piece together the story and undergirding real life issues!

For information about joining VCARA in Second Life, please refer to our Getting Started page. To request an orientation to Second Life and VCARA, please email Dr. Pat Franks (patricia.franks@sjsu.edu). To follow VCARA on social media, check out our VCARA on Social Media page. To visit VCARA in Second Life, use the iSchool Island SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SJSU%20SLIS/45/123/33