For those that were there last year, we had a very interesting combined Second Life Educators Conference (SLEDcc) and Second Life Community Convention (SLCC) in Florida in September. Apparently the educators involved in the SLEDcc have taken the decision to organize their own seperate event in response to online feedback at a time and place to be determined. As SLEDcc organizer Jonathon Richter wrote:
and what appear by many to be incompatible reasons for attending the
conference. While many educators in Second Life also really enjoy the
social aspects inworld and the richness of the full community brought
together, the need for scholars to have a conference that can be
supported by their institution (by supporting academic outcomes) has
seriously conflicted with others' perception of SLCC as active fun and
Since the education sector is one of the most vital and growing parts of this virtual world, it does make sense for educators to have their own separate gathering. But for SLCC proper, this seems like a pretty big loss for them.
I have long felt that virtual worlds were going to get so big and diverse that we were going to need more niche conventions and conferences for the different sectors, where more in-depth discussions and trainings could occur. After all, there is already a business-oriented virtual world convention that happens every year.
Read the full message from Jonathan after the jump…
After many sweet and agonizing months working with you on SLCC 08 and turning to plan for 09, we've decided to host our own separate Second Life Education Conference. We want to encourage all educators to go to SLCC for social reasons, but after reviewing such feedback as found here , we underscore the felt impression that an academic peer-reviewed Second Life conference on so-called "serious" application of SL be best cultivated elsewhere.
The Education community and other SLCC conference goers have different and what appear by many to be incompatible reasons for attending the conference. While many educators in Second Life also really enjoy the social aspects inworld and the richness of the full community brought together, the need for scholars to have a conference that can be supported by their institution (by supporting academic outcomes) has seriously conflicted with others' perception of SLCC as active fun and debauchery. While these strands are not necessarily mutually exclusive, 😉 I believe the challenges by the Future United Board to find clear leadership to frame how these constituents can co-exist and support one another has allowed acrimony and irritation to spread to a point that is potentially irreparable for all sides involved.
We don't want to spoil SLCC! We don't want to be the reason that the others can't have fun. After discussion with Claudia and Pathfinder and many of you, we believe that to best serve the interests of the SLED Community, that a Second Life Education Conference should best stand on it's own.
Thus, we've decided to move ahead with planning for SLEDcc at another location at a time most appropriate to educators. We have enjoyed being a part of SLCC and working on the Future United and have deep affection for all parts of SL – the LIVED EXPERIENCE is as great in every way as is learning, teaching, and training. We understand that by moving SLEDcc away from SLCC that we are losing out on the greater SL Community and while sad about that, believe that you might understand the myriad reasons why this makes the most sense. We hope we have your support in this and will do everything we can to direct people to attend SLCC for celebrating the great community that is found in Second Life.
Soon, we'll have some announcements on our "plan to plan" and would like to get your input and many volunteers to develop this new stand-alone event. We understand that, because of the times within which we now must live and learn, that the SLEDcc needs to carefully balance betwixt multiple goals and do our best to achieve them.
Second Life Education has a LOT to offer the world. We hope you'll continue your innovative and hardworking efforts to realize our many transformational dreams…. and to do your part to step up and contribute to the many important pieces that are needed for this emerging Community of Practice to thrive and evolve.
Wainbrave Bernal (aka Jonathon Richter)