Thursday, December 5, 2013

Symposium Held At Virtual Ort Library in Second Life!

On Dec. 3, the "other" Ort Library on the FSU BobCats Islands sim in the virtual world of Second Life was the venue for the symposium Virtual Expanses: Expanding Virtual Education. The symposium was organized and hosted by Peace Dragovar (Dr. Minnie Ladores, FSU Educational Technology Coordinator, Education Professions Dept.) and Florian Blaisdale (Dr. Sean Henry, Library Webmaster/Coordinator for Library Instruction). Among the thirty attendees were several FSU undergraduate and graduate students studying Educational Technology and Online Instruction.

The Symposium featured lively, interactive presentations by three inspiring leaders in the field of virtual education:

  1. Lyr Lobo (Dr. Cynthia Calongne, Professor and Chair of Emerging Media at Colorado Technical University) - Lyr presented strategies and resources for gaming in education. Many of Lyr's recent presentations can be viewed at

  2. Diantha Petrov (Lori Wahl, Instructor of Clothing, Textiles and Design at the University of Idaho Consultant) - Diantha spoke about successes and strategies with Second Life for distance education, and disccussed future ideas and the challenges of creating immersive learning environments.

  3. Spiff Whitfield (Andrew M. Wheelock, K-12 Educator, Leader in the International Society for Technology in Education's Special Interest Group for Virtual Edication, and Founder of Virtual Pioneers) - Spiff shared his adventures as a "Virtual Pioneer,"visiting historical sims and reimagining how history can be taught in virtual worlds. A video of his recent keynote address at the 2013 Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference is accessible at

In addition to the stimulating presentations, Florian Blaisdale hosted a trivia game with linden cash prizes for attendees in the Game Tent outside the Library. The Symposium came to a sparkling conclusion with dancing to beautiful music provided by FSU's own Dhrua (Dr. Sally Stephenson, Associate Professor of Education Professions).

The Virtual Expanses Conference on FSU's Second Life BobCat Islands was an astounding success, but just wait until next semester!

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