Virtual Environments Network

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The Virtual Environments Network works to build a community of like-minded educators who learn from and teach one another. The group hosts globally synchronous professional development activities for its members, including a monthly speaker series on ISTE Island in Second Life. The Virtual Environments Network also has a very active online community where members share resources, experiences and projects created by educators and students.

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  • VEN Pioneer of the Year Award Announcement(s)!

    Dear Virtual Environments Pioneer of the Year award nominees and nominators,

    We want to thank you for nominating someone (or having been nominated!) for the ISTE VEN 2018 Pioneer of the Year Award. In past years to date, we have held the announcement of the award until the conference. This year, ISTE has already contacted the recipients with congratulations! As a result, we feel it only right to let everyone know the results (though the official award will be bestowed at the conference proper).

    This year’s ISTE Virtual Environments Pioneer of the Year Award goes to our own Mary Howard!

    Mary has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the integration of cutting edge technologies in the classroom. As a sixth-grade teacher, Mary has students working within an Open Simulator (The Islands of Enlightenment)  platform to enhance her curriculum and ignites students’ passion for learning through game-based experiences, virtual scavenger hunts, 3D building opportunities and more! She has presented for 9 years at the statewide ISTE affiliate conference (NYSCATE) and was recognized in NYSCATE Volunteer Hall of Fame where she serves on the board and planning committee.

    Mary’s ISTE involvement increases every year and this is her 4th year as a presenter. She’s provided two Expert Speaker Series webinars and is an active VEN PLN leader, stepping up into Co-Chair position for 2018-19. Mary was recognized as a 2018 New York State Teacher of the Year finalist.

    Even in a brief conversation with Mary you will recognize that technology is her passion. You’ll also likely walk away with a tip or two that you can take back to your classroom! She shares her experiences with digital VR/AR and other EdTech strategies on her blog, Other valuable insights about Mary’s work can be found at the following links:


    Please congratulate Mary Howard when you see her, be it at ISTE18 in Chicago or online in any of the myriad ways she makes her presence, her experience, and her smile moving forces in the world of educational technology.

    Finally, four other nominees will be honored with Certificates of Recognition —at our annual meeting at ISTE2018  after our Playground (Monday, June 27, at 11:00am)—for their outstanding work in virtual environments. These deserving educators made this year’s decision even more difficult than in previous years.

    Please also congratulate:
    Renne Emiko Brock
    Valerie Hill
    Wayland Scott
    and Barbara Seaton

    All best, y'all, and hugs all around,
    Scott and Andy Read More
  • VEN Poetry Month Event this Sunday!

    Please join us this Sunday at noon Pacific Time for "Making Discoveries with SL Creative Processes," a live collaborative jam with music, poetry and more. This will be cool! JOIN US!

    Cheers, all,
    Scott Read More
  • Don't forget to nominate a deserving colleague...

    ​...or YOURSELF, for the Virtual Environments Network Pioneer of the Year Award for ISTE18!

    All info is at the nomination form. Do it. Do it now! Read More
  • ISTE VEN Pioneer of the Year Award 2018

    Hey all, and happy February one and all. We are open for nominations! This award will go to the nominated human being whose work in both RL ("Real Life") and inworld(s) most embodies the adventuresome and innovative spirit characteristic of a Virtual Environments Network thought (and action) leader. The nominee need not be in an official leadership capacity to be considered for this prestigious award. Who do you think has earned it? Self-nominate if you feel you can demonstrate leadership and innovation in Virtual, Mixed, Blended, or 3D Virtual Worlds realities. 

    Nominations close March 31, so get on it. REALLY! Read More
  • Present at ISTE18!

    Share your own expertise on Virtual Environments and Augmented & 3D Virtual Reality at ISTE18 in Chicago!
         What tools are best? How are they optimized for learning? What works with kids? Can you bring kids to the conference, in person or "in person" virtually?
         Let's ramp this up, virtual friends. Virtual Environments Network's Playground proposal is going in this week, and it has been a rewarding team effort to work on it utilizing a shared Google document: collaboration at its finest.
         At the very least, submitting a proposal for ISTE18 will give you the experience of putting together such a thing for your own professional improvement. Do it! Do it now!

    Visit the conference website and submit a proposal!
    Read More

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