Let's talk about the Playground.
First, it's important to remember that the ISTE SIGVE Virtual Environments Playground has been a feature of the huge annual conference hosted by the Mother Ship, the International Society for Technology in Education, since 2007, when it was called the "Second Life Lounge." How many years will it have been held once we convene our annual meeting at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, June 25 in the San Antonio Convention Center? Seven, by my count.
I'm not going to outline the history of this event here, because that's been done (albeit in pieces--maybe we do need to pull all that together, hmmmm) elsewhere. Suffice it to say that it's appeared in many configurations, from a three-day series in which we hosted 35 back to back presentations with no transition time on two "stages" to a single day event (see http://sigve.iste.wikispaces.net/Virtual+Environments+Playground+2012+Schedule for last year's events schedule), to this year's half day event. We've always tried to keep it exciting and dynamic because its topic, how educators are using virtual worlds for learning and teaching) is so.
This year, we have 3 and a half hours to work our magic. Will this limited "supply" and the unknown quantity of "demand" for information about virtual worlds in education serve to bring us a new batch of interested educators or will it thrust us into the shadows amidst the hundreds of concurrent events at a conference which can draw tens of thousands of education-field attendees? Who knows.
What we do know is that we are shaking it up this year. The format has morphed into one that will certainly be a challenge to maintain and present, but will as certainly provide a show.
This year, we are hosting six Learning Stations, and they will each be ongoing the entire span of the 3 1/2 hour ISTE SIGVE Virtual Environments Playground. Each will also be "personed" by a recognized thought leader in the use of each of the themed topics. Each will be featured at a more or less certain time slot at our main presentation area, via an ongoing Google Hangout onscreen, hosted and facilitated by Lowly High Grand Poobah (Chair) Elect, Kae Novak. These stations and their facilitators (the first name in each list is the primary facilitator and the estimated Hangout feature time is in parentheses) are:
1. Second Life! Scott Merrick, Andy Wheelock, with others (tentatively 1:30 ti 1:55)
2. Quest Atlantis/Active Worlds! Bronwyn Stuckey, with others (tentatively 2:00-2:25)
2. WoW/Games! Peggy Sheehy, with others (tentatively 2:30-2:55)
4. Madly Miscellaneous! Cynthia Colongne, Gord Holden (remotely from Canada), with others (tentatively 3:00-3:25)
5. OpenSimulator! Andy Wheelock, Kitely's Ilan Tochner remotely from Israel), with others (tentatively 3:30-3:55)
6. MInecraft! Marianne Malmstrom, with others (tentatively 4:00-4:25)
Following the Playground we will hold our Annual Meeting in the same space, from 5:15 to 6:45.
The event along with others during the ISTE Conference, will be streamed into Second Life at our ISTE SIGVE HQ at http://tinyurl.com/sigvehome and live on YouTube via the Google Hangout. In Second Life, our stalwart Gridjumper, Beth Ghostraven, and Bluebarker Lowtide, will be holding down the fort. This global share of ISTE is something we've done for years now, so if you can't be there, or even if you are at another session at the Conference and want to see what we're up to, join us at HQ. See you there, one way or another!