Videogames, Virtual Worlds and Real Learning

Videogames, Virtual Worlds and Real Learning October 26, 2009, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Dodson Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC  (and via Live Podcast)

Panel Speakers:
* Eric Meyers, School of Library Archival and Information Studies, UBC
* Dr. Kathy Sanford, Associate Dean of Teacher Education, University of Victoria
* Liz Merkel, Doctoral Candidate, University of Victoria.

Every day millions of children and youth login to virtual environments where they play, socialize, create and explore a digital landscape as avatars or “virtual characters”. By the end of 2011, researchers estimate that 80% of active Internet users will be using virtual worlds. While virtual worlds are undeniably popular among children and youth, they have attracted the attention of anxious adults, teachers and librarians. Parents and child advocates suggest that videogames are dangerously addictive and even toxic to real-life pro-social development. Others decry the blatant commercialism and commodification of childhood experience.

Researchers Dr. Kathy Sanford and Liz Merkel from the University of Victoria and Dr. Eric Meyers from The University of British Columbia will share what they have learned about the nature of videogaming and virtual worlds. Dr. Sanford has focused her research on the videogaming of adolescent boys while Dr. Meyers as a participant and observer has explored the virtual play spaces popular with children and designed for home use, such as Club Penguin, WebKinz, Woogi World, Panwapa, Millsberry, Second life, BarbieGirls, Pixie Hollow, HandiPoints, and Sifaka World. Virtual worlds are not just playspaces, but the focal point of a great deal of information work. The implications for school and library professionals are worthy of our attention especially as we celebrate learning and National School Library Day.

This special event has been sponsored by UBC’s School of Library Archival and Information Studies in collaboration with the UBC Education Library and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

A live podcast of the panel presentation will be available so that participants off campus may join with us for this exciting National School Library Day event.

To access the Live Podcast select this web link to go to the viewer 5 minutes prior the event, or any time during the event.

Username:  SLAIS
Password:  mediasite

Air Date: 26/10/2009 4:30 PM PDT
Duration: 1:30:00 (h:mm:ss)

Please select the speech balloon to view the “ask” text box to submit questions to the event moderator.  Your question may be answered during the live event if appropriate.

To view the video or slides full screen, select the box with arrow icon found above each display panel you wish to see.

You may be asked to install “Silverlight” on your preferred web browser – a brief installation taking 20-30 seconds after your acknowledgement, and is only required once.