The Symposium

About The Symposium

Posted July 2nd, 2007 by NMC

Symposium poster

In August 2007, the NMC is planning a very special, one-of-a-kind event — a week-long online symposium on the topic of creativity to be called the Symposium on Creativity in Second Life. The first in a series of conferences and events exploring virtual worlds of all kinds, the symposium is intended to redefine the way we think about online conferences.

As such, the Symposium on Creativity will be held entirely inside the virtual world of Second Life, and will make full use of the wide range of affordances offered within this virtual world.

The week-long symposium, which will run August 12-18, 2007, will take place at the new NMC Conference Center sim in Second Life that adjoins the original NMC Campus. Activity It will feature self-paced, hands-on studio sessions in machinima, fashion, sculpture/modeling, and virtual photography, including access to expert instructors; breakout sessions on topics like basic and advanced building concepts, avatar design, scripting, machinima, and photography; discussions of educational aspects of virtual worlds; creative teaching techniques; and much more.

The week-long symposium will include six major components:

  • Studio Sessions — self-paced, hands-on studio sessions in machinima, fashion, sculpture/modeling, and virtual photography with access to expert instructors;
  • Breakout Sessions — highly interactive 90-minute sessions on topics like basic and advanced building concepts, avatar design, scripting, machinima, photography, creative teaching techniques, and more;
  • Featured Sessions — keynotes, panel discussions, tours;
  • Learning Exposition — a showcase of easy-to-learn techniques, links to educational sites, and video learning;
  • Parade of Sims — a set of tours led by the people who built and created some of the most sophisticated islands in Second Life;
  • Social and Arts Events  — a special series of exhibitions and performances intended to be both fun and to stimulate your own creativity.

Planets

The symposium is planned for a global audience, and as such, breakout and other conference events will be scheduled at a variety of times, including times friendly to North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Participants will benefit from in-world instruction and interaction, resources on the flat web, and plenty of practice time. Featured keynote sessions will open and close the symposium, and the week will include social and arts events, tours, and a showcase where participants can demonstrate their new skills and show off their projects.

This symposium is informed by the NMC’s Educational Gaming Initiative, an effort launched in the fall of 2005. The initiative supports research and projects that focus on ways the engagement of games and virtual spaces can be applied to learning and online interactions, and on activities that stimulate the use and experimentation of these technologies. As more organizations and institutions develop a presence in the 3-D web, and as more visitors venture into virtual worlds, these spaces are already having an impact teaching, learning, and creative expression.

The focus of the Symposium on Creativity in Second Life therefore is to provide a forum to explore how creativity can be applied in the educational use of Second Life.

The symposium will provide a place where beginners can practice basic skills, more advanced builders can refine their techniques, and practices centered on the educational use of virtual worlds can be shared. The symposium is designed as a blend of hands-on instruction, self-paced practice time, demonstrations, performances, discussions, and peer review.

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