Our school hosts virtual world events as part of our Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration. Managed by Dr. Pat Franks and written by current students and alumni, this blog highlights lectures and events held on iSchool Island in Second Life, including the annual VCARA Conference. This blog also reports relevant events hosted by other education and information groups in virtual worlds. For more information about VCARA and its members, visit our website:



iRLN 2020 intro to VCARA & CVL

Published: June 27, 2020 by Dr. Pat Franks

Bethany Winslow welcomed visitors to the VCARA/CVL Showcase at the iRLN Conference with a video greeting.

She is speaking from the VCARA XR Research Lab on the iSchool island. If you’d like to visit in Second Life, contact Dr. Pat Franks for an appointment and/or instructions.


Recap VCARA Spring 2020 VR Field Trip

Published: April 4, 2020 by Dr. Pat Franks

Time travel in Virtual Worlds is so much easier and faster than in real life–and thankfully we don’t have to worry about social distancing!

Friday, April 3–in only one hour–the “Friends of VCARA” visited:


VWBPE Conference–Panel on Criteria for VR/VW

preceptor Amat

Published: March 26, 2020 by Dr. Pat Franks

This past year the VCARA team has turned their attention to comparing the capabilities of Virtual Worlds (e.g., VCARA and CVL) to social Virtual Reality (e.g., Sansar and VR Chat).

Attend the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference session, Survey Says! Developing Criteria for VR Courses, to learn of the results of our preliminary research.


VW vs VR “Smackdown” — Round 2 — YouTube
Enjoy the show!


Published: March 7, 2020 by Dr. Pat Franks

Last October, VCARA hosted a Virtual Worlds vs Virtual Reality Smackdown event that was so popular, it was taken on the road–presented as part of the OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC).

If you missed the events on VCARA and OSCC, you can still learn from the presenters by viewing the YouTube Video. Enjoy!

VW vs VR “Smackdown” — Round 2 — YouTube


Virtual Pioneers Tour in SL
February 23 at 5 p.m. SLT - Tour of Museum Island

Published: February 16, 2020 by Dr. Pat Franks

Please join the Virtual Pioneers and John Noone (JohnNoone Resident) and Morgan Darkrose for a Tour of Museum Island.

Museum Island is an archaeological site, an artistic idea of Carlolello Zapatero an Italian artist & graphic designer. His passion for cultures and civilizations of all world, led to this creation of 3D historical and architectural art.


Tour of Nonprofit Commons Library–Fun was had by all!

Published: November 19, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

The Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration (VCARA) and the Community Virtual Library hosted a tour of the Nonprofit Commons Resource Library in Second Life on Sunday, November 17. 


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

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!


Virtual Reality vs Virtual Worlds “Smackdown”
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. SLT (Pacific)

Published: October 14, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

Join us for a lively debate on the merits of virtual worlds and virtual reality! Our first presenter, Alyse Dunavant-Jones, argues that “VR is the future, and the future is now!” Our second presenter, Bethany Winslow, cautions that “Regardless of what VR platforms are used in the future, designers of effective immersive learning with VR must know the history of virtual worlds in education as well as have some hands-on experience in using them.” The sparing partners will be moderated by Dr. Valerie Hill, the director of the Community Virtual Library in Second Life, Avacon, and Kitely. 


2019-2020 is the Year of Virtual Reality Exploration in VCARA


Published: October 7, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

The Virtual Center for Archives and Records Administration on SJSU’s iSchool Island has been hub of activity over the past 10 years. Just some of the events and activities being delivered with text and voice chat were: guest speakers, field trips, banned books exhibits, Halloween parties, Holiday balls, jousting events in Tudor Times, meet-ups at the Pub (or coffee bar for tea-totalers), conferences, and much more. Courses have been taught in this immersive environment, with many opportunities for educators to experiment with the tools that were available at the start and the many that became available over the years—including camera functions, media on a prim, and ability to customize avatars, build on the spot, transfer objects to other players.


The Best of Archiving’19: Lisbon Recap
Presented by Dr. Marie Vans

Published: September 10, 2019 by Dr. Pat Franks

Marie Vans image

Marie Vans, a senior research scientist with Hewlett-Packard Labs in Fort Collins, Colorado, and an iSchool alumna presented an informative and entertaining presentation recapping some of the events of the Archiving ’19 Conference held by The Society for Imaging Science & Technology at the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo in Lisbon, Portugal.