VR vs VW in Education Smackdown
A Recap of the October 15th Main Event

VCARA Blog

Published: October 16, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

If you missed the VR / VW Smackdown, you missed not only an informative session—but quite an entertaining one. The two sparring partners—Alyse Dunavant-Jones enthusiastic about the current efforts in and possibilities for Virtual Reality in education and Bethany Winslow defending the track-record and value of experience in Virtual Worlds—did justice to their positions. By all account, the bout ended in a draw!

The bout took place in a new, fantastic fighting ring donated by our own Bree Theodore.

Dr. Valerie Hill, the referee for this match, kept the combatants on track by enforcing rules that required each to address the criteria for immersive environments (according to a recent, unpublished VCARA survey):

  1. Persistence
  2. Accessibility
  3. Open Educational Resources (OER)
  4. Community of Practice
  5. Building Independently and Collaboratively

A summary of the presentation by Val reveals:

There are many differences and similarities between virtual worlds and VR. And there’s something to be learned from both mediums. For educators to prosper now and in the future, we will need more than a passing acquaintance with both. We need to get our hands dirty and consider and practice pedagogy and design within these worlds, not just understand and experiment with hardware.”

A video will be posted to YouTube by SJSU iSchool alumna Marie Vans when ready. In the meantime, enjoy some of the images from the event.

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