This year’s conference features two for/against panel sessions discussing virtual worlds and cloud computing.
Chairing the virtual world panel will be Harold Fricker, a past speaker at FOTE08, eLearning Adviser for HE with the JISC RSC South East and Innovator, Entrepreneur, Broker and Train Spotter with a can-do attitude.
The question Harold will be discussing with our panelist is: “Are Virtual Worlds a legitimate vehicle for learning and teaching?” There has been some chatter already on Twitter, search for #fote09vw to catch up with the latest developments.
Fighting the virtual worlds corner will be Pauline Randall, Managing Director of virtual-e Ltd and past speaker at FOTE08. Pauline is a listed Second Life Solution Provider and has carried out virtual world developments for several organisations including a market research company in Florida, the Wales Museums and Libraries (CyMAL) and Imperial College London and on-going projects for Ashridge Business School and the University of Hawaii.
Joining her in the defense of virtual worlds is David Burden, who founded Daden, a Virtual Worlds and Virtual Character Consultancy in 2004 to help businesses and organisations explore the social, educational and commercial potential of virtual worlds. David has a keen interest in artificial intelligence and Daden have an AI platform for use both in SL and on the web.
Questioning the use and purpose of virtual worlds is Dr Alan J. Cann, a senior lecturer at the University of Leicester. Alan certainly threw down the gauntlet with his recent blog post “Virtually Useless” in which he counts the reasons why he hates Second Life and leaves no doubt about which side of the fence he’s standing on.
It seems Harold will have his work cut out, but he’s up for the challenge.
“I’ve primed the panelists to fight their corner and address pedagogical outcomes. Don’t miss the skirmish! This debate is not for the faint-hearted. Please do not try this at home!”
This promises to be a great debate and if you have any further questions our panelist should answer, please tweet them with the #fote09vw hashtag to us @FOTiE.