I spent most of the two days carrying around a Flip video camera, but was too busy or distracted to use it. Come the banquet, I was foiled by the rather loud band. In the end, I found myself waiting for a taxi at the conference hotel at the very end with Roo Reynolds – Portfolio Executive for Social Media at BBC Vision. So I took the opportunity to ask Roo about where he sees virtual worlds fitting in with his Social Media portfolio:
You can see Roo’s thoughts on ReLIVE, and links to his keynote presentation, here.
EDIT: Sorry about the noise in the background, I was going to provide a transcript eventually… but Roo beat me to it. See comments!
It was a fantasticly enjoyable event, great to catch up with so many people I know and meet some new people involved in a range of exciting projects. Some of the sessions were broadcast online – and the first days broadcast sessions are now available here. My own session from the first day is here, where I talk about some of the issues we had in engaging the SLOODLE community with our research activity – time differences and other things making life a little complicated. OK, not the most exciting topic I’ll admit, but great powerpoint if I say so myself… see the virtual world as you’ve never seen it before.
Highlights were many, but I’ll briefly mention Kieron Sheehey’s presentation. A man who loves technology, but is obviously hated by technology. Sadly not available online. Day two I demo’ed SLOODLE again, which went surprisingly well for the larger group size.
In the afternoon I shared a panel with Paul Hollins & Anna Peachey, chaired by Sarah Robbins-Bell, on ‘Crossing the Digital Divide’ where we discussed a range of issues relating to virtual worlds and accessibility. Recognizing that there were many in the audience with more expertise than ourselves in many of the issues we wanted to discuss (Hello Simon & Rob!) we wisely made this an open discussion sessions with only a brief presentation to raise some issues. A Twitter feed for ‘backchat’ during the session worked very well. This was shown on-screen during the session and shared with the audience joining us online – partly inspired by Paul’s earlier observation that conference participants not on twitter were being excluded from many dialogues occuring in the background.
From where I sat it seemed that this use of Twitter helped keep the flow of conversation going and genuinely helped bring in more points of view and observations from the audience than otherwise would have been likely – so a point or question in Twitter made during someone elses question could be addressed later.
The Open University is pleased to announce a second call for abstract submissions for the international conference for Researching Learning in Virtual Environments to be held at its campus in Milton Keynes on the 20th and 21st of November 2008.
If you are currently researching learning in a virtual world, for example There, CyberTown, Second Life etc, then we invite you to submit an abstract to ReLIVE08. We are seeking presenters and participants who have experience of designing and delivering learning in virtual worlds, and the ability to reflect on and share that experience within an analytical framework. Please note that the closing date for the second call is the 20th of June.
With researchers and practitioners attending from around the globe, this excellent opportunity for networking promises an interesting, stimulating and exciting 2 days. The conference will begin with a reception on the evening of the 19th November, and the first full day will see the opening keynote from Edward Castranova and an invited panel debate chaired by Sara De Freitas, Director of Research at The Serious Games Institute, as well as a varied programme of paper presentations and workshops. The conference gala reception and dinner will be supported by a variety of entertainers, including a digital caricaturist, live music and an after dinner speaker (details to be announced shortly), and the second day of presentations and workshops will be wrapped up by Roo Reynolds. All delegates will receive a conference goodie bag and an electronic copy of the conference proceedings. Selected papers will be invited to submit chapters for an edited book with a major publisher in the field (tbc).