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Optional:Orientation­ for VWBPE conference 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, online 3d

  • Jul 21, 2013 · 10:00 AM

Optional elective event - not part of our core education track.
You may hate this.  lol, seriously!

Virtual worlds have been used for remote collaboration for the last 10 years.  But the technology fell into the trough of disillusionment.   Or did it?  For the last 6 years universities have banded together to host a conference devoted to education.  The event usually draws 1,500 educators, which is similar to face to face events for leading conferences such as ISTE.

I will be on as usual, so we can talk and see stuff while we're getting setup:

More details if you're curious:

To join start at this link, and hit next.

Keep hitting ext etc until you see an overhead map of a rectangle island.  I will be online and you can ping me for help and a tour.

I talked to the organizing committee to tell 'em some of us are coming, and they (brilliantly) suggested the virtual ability onboarding area.  This is cool as Virtual Ability is one of the group we support, and they have helped with our conferences on distributed Agile in the past.

If you are curious about what it looks like before going through the hassle of logging in you can watch


The client for this can be hard to use. This orientation will get you ready for the event later in the week.  After this orientation you will be able to navigate, view content, present your brand digitally, and navigate from venue to venue.

See for information on the conference.

But there is a rub.  We use the Second Life platform. This is good because it allows very high bandwidth communication, interactivity, web on a prim etc etc.  It's the most advanced communication platform I've seen in 30 years.   But there are some hazards you should consider before trying it.


  • Ease of use.   3d environments can be disorienting if you are not used to them.  That is why this event will give you an intro and get you comfortable.   Soon you will be as comfortable as the millions of people playing Sims, World of Warcraft, or Halo.   It's just learning another software program, no more complex that Microsoft Project.
  • Branding - The platform can be used for anything.  This means 1/2 the people use it for world class education, and the other half use it for entertainment.  Specifically, this means they go dancing, listen to live music, and loose their pixelated clothes. As project managers we are in the serious category, you have to have a high tolerance incase you see an avatar with upgrade hair and clothes.  Some even play a 'bloodlines' vampire game where they get points for folks they bite, and more points for folks their bitees bite.  But the US government uses these platforms for serious simulations and training.  Like going to a big city, your experience depends on where you visit.  There are other 3d platforms that are branded purely for business with no possibility of fun.   We favor those, but since this is and education conference they have indulged their artist side to a greater degree.


But Second Life is not the only platform.  The conference will host events in CloudParty and also OpenSim at Rockcliffe's campus managed by JokaydiaGrid where we have our course library project build.  In fact, I say tools for distributed teams because I don't care if it's skype, webex, adobe connect,, opensim, sococo, Second Life, Unity, Terf, Telepresence, or Google Hangouts - as long as we can work together without waiting in line at aiport security (though we are happy to do that too when needed).  If you lead with 'Second Life' people will think entertainment and tune you out.  If you say 'virtual tools' or 'distributed tools' instead you'll have better luck.

It's worth the hassle because events are more interactive.  I have met so many PhDs in this environment and taken great courses for free.   So save $1,000 on conference fees, $1,500 on travel expenses, and keep the earth a little greener.  In fact, in spite of the pitfalls I'm interested enough to have taken the one year certification program with some of you, audit the class again, teach a professional course on the subject, and to sign up for a Tech masters degree because it offers further study in this field.

If you would like to learn more about virtual worlds contact AgileBill to take his formal 'Which World are You' course and to review his book on the subject.   You may also join the group 'Agile' in Second Life.   I also look forward to seeing some of the University of Washington Avalumni there!

Further Reading:

Here you can see Bill and Steve discussion Pair Programming using a 3d virtual platform for context.


Join or login to comment.

  • AgileBill K.

    The schedule is posted - I present twice - Thursday July 25 - 5:30 Pacific 8:30pm Eastern at (Builders Brewer) (Thanks Harold for the timezone assist!) and Saturday 3:30 Pacific 6:30 Eastern at University of Idaho. I'll also do a follow up tour in August (looking at 8/31).

    We have over 100 presentations this year. Mine won't be taped but some will.

    Okay, enough on that! For schedule and tips on onboarding see

    Back to our Normal program and final PMI-ACP prep / ICP class on July 31. Thanks!! WHK

    July 21, 2013

  • AgileBill K.

    Harold and I did a good tour of the VAI orientation sim, talk venues, and ended up at Rockcliffe's Library.

    July 21, 2013

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