Virtual Reality vs Virtual Worlds

Several UW VW Avalumni have been exploring virtual reality tools alongside Suzette Lewis, graduate of the UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds Class of 2012.  Valibrarian (Dr. Valerie Hill) and Suzician (Suzette Lewis, doctoral student at UW) presented a session on virtual reality and the future of libraries at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference in March 2016.


Currently, virtual reality developers face a challenge of providing the collaborative experience of interactivity for learning that one finds in virtual worlds, such as building together and sharing content. VR developers are scurrying to build immersive experiences and the potential is obvious.  Suzette shared the new HTC VIVE with Val who was able to visit a beautiful simulation of Icelend and a program for drawing and painting in 3D.  Val quickly made a rainbow with a pot of gold and found the Tilt Brush program intuitive.

Children enjoy building in Minecraft and now have the option to enter Minecraft in 3D  using virtual reality systems, such as GEAR VR. The educational potential for Minecraft has been documented in recent research articles and more research is needed before recommending virtual reality platforms for those under the age of 13 due to lack of understanding about cognitive development in relation to VR.

Teachers and librarians will soon be exploring virtual reality systems and the UW Avalumni believe evaluation for best practices is crucial.  Choosing the best tool for curriculum content will be necessary as digital citizenship once again brings new challenges to 21st century students.




Aspirations are Dreams You Work On Together – UW Avalumni Exhibit at SL12B


Aspirations are Dreams You Work On Together! Please visit the UW Avalumni Exhibit at the Second Life 12th Birthday Celebration / SL12B!

Dreams are lofty goals that when shared and worked on collaboratively become amazing gifts and tools that all can enjoy. Gathering a team who shares your aspirations to educate, uplift, and innovate can make dreams come true.

At this Makers Space Workshop, the Avalumni construct shared aspirations that start as imaginative dreams. Together they research, collect, curate, script, and construct amazing projects and presentations that encourage virtual world use worldwide and connect communities.

Virtual worlds afford the possibility of fantastic dreams to become reality. Yet, the reality is working together is the dream we all have had collectively. The UW Avalumni have successfully obtained in Second Life and want to encourage others to learn more and work together. The UW Avalumni, University of Washington Virtual Worlds Program Avatar Alumni, champion innovation, immersive learning, enterprising research, and lead creative exploration in virtual worlds.


This year’s theme for the SL12B Community Celebration is “What Dreams May Come.”

Special thanks to Raven, Sparky, Suzician, Val, and Zinnia for contributing to the SL12B Avalumni Exhibit!

Thank you, Jordanna, for the apple pie!

UW Avalumni at Second Life’s 10th Birthday Celebration!


Visit us at as part of the SL10B Celebration!

Onward and Upward! The balloons fly looking forward and remember the importance of looking back to those trailblazers who have gone before and lead the way. Filled with history and promise for the future, this exhibit honors the pioneers and educators of University of Washington Virtual Worlds Program and UW Avalumni who created a community that embraces active education, enterprise, inquiry, and creativity while fostering cooperative responsibility through collaborative scholarship, persistent exploration, and the encouragement of excellence. The build will include slideshows of snapshots over 2009-2013, kiosks of Avalumni projects, information about the University of Washington Virtual World Certificate Program, and hot air balloons to encourage visitors to reach for the stars!

The UW Avalumni and University of Washington Virtual Worlds Certificate Program champion innovation and education in virtual worlds by building professional communities in education, business, nonprofits, government, and the Arts.

3D Math Exhibit and LIVE Tours

Daniel Patterson (Cooper MacBeth in SL), graduate of the UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds Class of 2010, will share examples of interactive 3D math on March 7th and April 17th at the Community Virtual Library.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Texas Library Association Second Life Community Group and is displayed at the new CVL Exhibit Area on Imagination Island in the virtual world of Second Life.  Imagine walking through a billion cubes!  Math can be visualized in 3D and this exhibit illustrates how virtual worlds can provide educational experiences beyond those in the physical world.
Landmark to the Community Virtual Library Exhibition

Class 2012 Graduation Machinima

uwvw class 2012 graduation mvm2012

The Certificate in Virtual Worlds offered completely online by the University of Washington since 2009 is no ordinary e-learning program.

  • It was designed and is being taught by a deep thought leader and a proven business innovator, a rare combination, Randy Hinrics, CEO of 2d3d.
  • It applies what it preaches: It challenges participants to the extreme so as they achieve their goals and exceed their expectations.
  • It brings together a flexible, global learning team.

The result time and time again confirms that learners

  • assume ownership,
  • invest voluntarily long hours ,
  • reach stunning results and
  • enjoy the process whole-heartedly.

Being in the position to have experienced the program in the last two years as Student first in 2010-11 and Mentor this year, I have observed an even deeper impact on people:

I have witnessed in myself and in others the formation of virtual trust, deep, solid human relationships, effective virtual collaboration in global scale. Isn’t the inspiration of positive personal change and growth the holy grail of education in any form and kind? It’s not the technology, it’s the proper skillful application in the right context. As research has proven, 3D Virtual Immersive Environments are all about Transformation. The potential is there, it’s up to innovators and leaders in all sectors and organizations to use them effectively.

Time for action:


The University of Washington is creating a strong global community of virtual worlds experts who are speer heading innovation. If you are interested in participating in the Class of 2013, start here and if you have questions, contact Randy Hinrichs at

Cross posting from Alive Learning blog.

UWVW12 Graduation & Spring Show – New Museum of Virtual Media Launches in Second Life

graduation washington certificate avalumni island second life uwvw mvm2012

The University of Washington’s Certificate in Virtual Worlds (UWVW) Class 2012 graduation is today, June 7th 2012, and it features the opening of the Museum of Virtual Media. Students designed and built the Virtual Media Museum in Second Life as described in Chapter 2 of the book Infinite Reality and presented in Natural History magazine. The Museum of Virtual Media consists of twelve interactive exhibits:

  1. Landing Point
  2. Storytelling
  3. Graphics
  4. Sculpture
  5. Theater
  6. Manuscripts, Printing and Movable type
  7. Photography
  8. Cinematography
  9. Electricity
  10. Broadcast Media
  11. Computer and Internet
  12. Virtual Media of the Future

Utilizing the unique affordances of 3d virtual immersive environments, each Museum exhibit applies different 3d instructional design methodologies including storytelling, gaming and learning archetypes to stimulate learning through agency, interactive guided experiences, exploration, tours, active participation and knowledge creation.

museum of virtual media second life uwvw mvm2012

It was a great pleasure and honor serving as a Mentor to this extraordinary group of talented people from around the world along with the magnificent Anna Gadler Pratt and scripting wizard Michael Thome.
Adrianne, Allison, Cooper, Chimera, Leela, Magnus, Merlin, Nany, Ryland, Suzician, Tapio, Zorreau you rock!

The graduation ceremony starts at Thu June 7th, 6pm PDT/SLT | Fri, June 8th, 2am GMT in UW Avalumni Island, Second Life. Don’t miss it!

I will be streaming live the opening on the web and covering by twitter under hashtag #MVM2012

Check out here the official press release about the launch of the Museum of Virtual Media and help spread the word around!