VW leaders establish New Zealand
virtual worlds’ education group
ascilite 2009 …. he is one of Australasia’s leaders in
virtual world tertiary education.
The New Zealand Virtual Worlds Group (NZVWG), an independent, not-for profit association for people interested in virtual worlds and their use for education in New Zealand has grown out of the recent ascilite (Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education) 2009 conference held in Auckland, New Zealand.
The four-day conference, the leading Australasian forum on computers in education, saw a number of presentations on the successful use of virtual worlds – particularly in Second Life – for learning, including an impressive keynote address by one of the Australasian leaders in virtual education, Dr Scott Diener (pictured above), of The University of Auckland.
The conference in the Owen Glass Building at The University of Auckland was attended by delegates from across the world and the leaders of virtual world education in New Zealand, Diener, Dr Clare Atkins, of NMIT (Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology) and Terry Neal, of Blended Solutions.
The formation of the group followed a symposium initiated by the SLENZ Project team about the future of Virtual World education in New Zealand and what could be done to promote and encourage it, which was led SLENZ Project co- leader, Dr Clare Atkins (pictured right), and grew out of subsequent conversations between Atkins, Diener and and SLENZ Project co-leader Terry Neal (pictured left).
“The group has been set up to further education in multi user virtual environments and virtual worlds in New Zealand,” Dr Atkins said. “We will be looking not only at teaching in MUVEs but also how other aspects of education including administration, libraries, marketing etc., can benefit from virtual worlds.”
Initially the group will operate from a Google Group which has been set up “to get the initial ideas flowing,”Atkins said, noting that, as yet few, if any concrete decisions have been taken on anything except the pressing need for such an association.
Although the group has been formed by members of the SLENZ Project, which was funded by Tertiary Education New Zealand, it is independent from that project and also virtual world platform independent.
Issuing an invitation to New Zealand educators and others interested in virtual world technology and education, Atkins said, “”We would like to encourage you to be part of these early discussions! We need everyone’s ideas, thoughts, comments etc. We hope you feel like joining us.”
The two aspects of the creation of the group that the founding team was most set on, she said, were:
- It should be independent and not for profit. Although institutions/organisations may choose to support the association in some way it would not be affiliated with any particular one.
- It should encompass the broad spectrum of virtual worlds or MUVEs and interpret education in the broadest of terms – all sectors, all aspects.
To join one should go here.
Filed under: Distance education, Education, Education in Second Life, Education in virtual worlds, Second Life, Sl Conferences, SLENZ Project, Virtual Worlds Tagged: | ascilite, ascilite 2009, Blended Solutions, Clare Atkins, NMIT, Owen Glass, Scott Diener, SLENZ Project, Terry Neal, The University of Auckland, Virtual Worlds