UW Virtual Hub Library: Plans for 3D Information Literacy

by Dr. Valerie Hill (Valibrarian)

Libraries are changing as we enter an era of global participatory digital culture. The physical space of libraries is (and perhaps always will be) valued as a community hub, a learning commons, or a “makerspace”; however virtual spaces are in demand as information seekers now access information on mobile pocket devices and a generation of gamers demand immersive, engaging experiences with media.

Graduates of the University of Washington Certificate in Virtual Worlds are collaborating on a virtual world library alongside a museum which will highlight 3D content. The planning session for the virtual world library space began with concepts about information literacy (IL) in new formats and the importance of personal responsibility for 21st century learning standards.

The UW Virtual Hub Library seeks to deliver 3D information literacy skills through immersion, interactivity, and an aesthetic metaphor for learning through the seasons of life. View the underlying concepts of a virtual world library and make plans to visit once the UW Virtual Hub Library opens. Plans include: metadata as art, digital footprints in 3D, digital citizenship displays, live events on IL topics, interactive critical evaluation of content (to demonstrate how online information may be inaccurate) through a balance of tradition and innovation.


MOOCs and Constructivist Information Literacy

The rise of the MOOCs (massive open online courses) over the past two years has been widespread throughout major universities.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of a MOOC?  What information literacy skills are necessary for learning on a massive global scale in digital culture?

A UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds graduate, Dr. Valerie Hill, joins a panel in Second Life to share a session sponsored by the American Library Association ACRL (Association of College and Research Librarians) Virtual World Interest group.

“MOOCs & Constructivist Information Literacy”

Presented by: Valibrarian Gregg (Valerie Hill), Ilene Pratt (Ilene Frank) and Michele Keba

Sunday October 27, 2013 12-1:30SLT

At the Community Virtual Library Meeting Space in Second Life

SLURL:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Imagination%20Island/99/188/25

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds Class of 2013 Graduation

UW Avalumni celebrated five years of virtual world learning with the graduating class of 2013. The new graduates shared Infoville, the culminating project of the course, as graduates of previous University of Washington Certificate in Virtual Worlds classes, family and friends witnessed a successful completion of a unique and inspiring program.

Valibrarian (Dr. Valerie Hill from the UW Avalumni Class of 2010) created the video with screenshots. Val shared, “I was disappointed to crash repeatedly during the ceremony and festivities, so I tried to get shots on three different computers. The avatars were all “grayed out” making the quality of the shots unusable and the audio was full of clicking sounds! Although frustrating, I believe this illustrates our learning how to move forward through constantly changing digital hardware platforms, updates and formats without letting tech issues stop us. Unable to capture machinima shots, high hopes for filming this exciting graduation event were dashed. I used animoto to create a slideshow and downloaded it into Adobe CS5 to edit with a few lines from the audio speeches.”
The animoto version of the UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds Class of 2013 (without the speeches) is also available.

A look back at the past

Val was able to record last year’s graduation with a tour of the Virtual Media Museum built by the class of 2012. She says, “The Virtual Media Museum may be my favorite machinima edit, so far. Filming the event with night shots made it difficult to really see the environment, even though it added to the realism of the festivities, so I switched to mid-daylight at the end of the tour during the bird flights over the museum. I think this machinima demonstrates collaborative immersion in multi-media as we “fly” through past formats.”

The class of 2011 built the award winning 3D environment Maya Island which Val shares in a machinima called “UW Virtual World Class o 2011 Graduation”. Graduates shared tours of the island throughout the year and dispelled the “end of the world” hype of 2012 surrounding the Mayan calendar. The tours allowed participants to interact with a variety of education resources: hieroglyphics, ancient astronomy, and music and more.

A graduate of the UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds class of 2010, Val shared a mixed-reality machinima of her own graduation (where she was class speaker). Val states, “This virtual graduation was as real as any physical world event from my life and I was honored to have shared it with others through video which led to a colleague across the globe entering the UW program. When Stylianos thanked me for sharing my experience during his commencement address the next year, I realized we were experiencing something that has never been done throughout history- pioneering virtual territory across space for high level academic work.”

Val wonders if the UW Certificate in Virtual Worlds Class of 2009 archived photos from the first graduating class. She says, “I remember when I first heard of the course offered from the UW Ischool. I met a librarian at the American Library Association Convention in Chicago in June 2009. Having just finished the course, she highly recommended I enroll because I was researching the use of virtual worlds for education and libraries for my doctorate. Then, I remembered that I had met the instructor (Randy Hinrichs) in Second Life at one of the camp fire learning sessions on ISTE Island. I remember right-clicking on his profile and seeing that he was associated with the University of Washington. We conversed about SL, education and librarianship.. The ability to right-click on a person and read about their interests is a great tool for professional networking (pre-twitter). Twitter is like a fast-paced virtual world without any immersion or any of the artistic appeal of a creative 3D environment. Today, we live in participatory digital culture in a default mental state of distraction. I have no idea what the future holds for virtual worlds as I see education rapidly embracing MOOCs and mobile devices. I do know that I am thankful to have participated in a high level virtual world program, sponsored by a well-respected school of information (my profession), that no quick app or massive webinar could possibly deliver.”

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


Visit us at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SL10B%20Astonish/64/175/22 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.

Math in 3D: Exhibit & Tour by UW Avalumni Cooper MacBeth

Visualization of math in 3D presents opportunities for student learning that are not possible in the physical world.  For example, a person cannot easily picture a billion cubes or walk inside them and manipulate them physically.  In a virtual world, millions and billions of objects can be rezzed and compared.

Cooper MacBeth (RL Daniel Patterson) has been researching cognitive thinking and math instruction and recently displayed his work at the Community Virtual Library in Second Life.  Shots from a live tour at the CVL Exhibit and the “Sushi Bar” learning space can be viewed in Valibrarian’s machinima.  Watch and learn math in a new way!


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Gamification MOOCers Meet-Up in Second Life

Coursera is offering a MOOC on gamification, a topic that fits well with virtual worlds.  Those familiar with virtual worlds understand that a virtual world is NOT a game, but that game elements can be embedded in simulated, immersive environments.

Classmates enrolled in the spring Coursera Gamification MOOC plan to meet as a study group in SL at these times:

Tuesday  5pm SLT
Wednesday  3pm SLT
Sunday  1pm SLT
Coursera classmates and other interested individuals are welcome to attend
Thousands of people have enrolled (is it really over 50,000?)!  About 18,000 students of the MOOC completed the first week’s survey.  We will share what we hope to learn and how this course fits into our experience in virtual worlds.
Meet upstairs above the reference desk on Imagination Island.
Place:Imagination Island, Community Virtual Library Exhibition Area




Virtual World Meditation: Are you Ready for Spring Break?

The American Library Association ACRL Virtual World Interest Group Meeting for March 2013 will focus on an interesting topic:  meditation in a virtual world.  Educators, librarians, and really everyone could use a relaxing change of pace at times. 

You are invited to listen to a presentation and experience meditation in a new way.

Where:  Imagination Island (the new home of the Community Virtual Library)

When: March 24th noon-1pm SLT

Topic:  Virtual Meditation

Donavan Vichi will present a session on meditation techniques in virtual worlds.  Take a break from your routine and enjoy some well deserved relaxation as we experience virtual world meditation and listen to this interesting topic.
No need to be a group member to attend.  All are welcome.


Oberon Octagon (Donavan Vicha) oversaw the design and construction of a sim for the American Library Association. He served as admin for sim for three years, consulting for another two years before it closed due to funding issues. Beyond his professional interests, he has received a certificate from the Christos Center for Spiritual Formation as a spiritual director. He helps facilitate the training of spiritual directors in the ChristosChicago branch and is on the board of directors of Christos. He has taken his experience inworld with an appearance at the 2012 International Spirit Festival and gave a series of talks on Happiness and Spiritual Disciplines at the Island of Nirvana.


Professional journal: http://diehard03.blogspot.com/

Relevant Memberships

Association of Virtual Worlds





ACRL VWIG Convener 2012-2013