11/02/2022 – About the Topic
Each step of societal evolution goes hand in hand with technology advancements that the new generation will learn from, adapt to, and expand upon. The Next Evolution – AWE Nite Chicago showcases this progress by highlighting virtual reality and augmented reality applications across industries. Each year we specifically take a look at how people use this tech for learning, and this year we consider the the topic of Metaversity – Metaverse based University learning.
The pursuit of higher education through attendance at universities has been a critical aspect of society for as long as urban cultures have existed. Going away to college and experiencing a new sense of freedom and self discovery is a large part of the institution of higher education. Online collegiate learning was made popular by website like Coursera and edX, and The University of Phoenix took the concept of an online school to a whole new level. Since then, most universities have adapted to offer some portion of their classes online. The global pandemic and its requirements of social distancing helped usher the trend of the Metaversity – an online, live and interactive, VR based University campus.
With several virtual campus platforms available (eg – Victory XR, Engage XR, Virbela) and universities (eg – University of Maryland, Morehouse College, University of Kansas, Northern Illinois University, and more) rushing to join the new paradigm, we’ll be exploring this topic in depth with some experts in the field. While nothing can replace the experience of physically going off to college and being surrounded by peers, removing the need to be present at a physical campus expands the reach of a school globally.
Join us on November 2nd, to learn how educational institutions are creating and adopting virtual campuses and addressing the social and societal concerns at The Metaversity, at The Next Evolution of Education | AWE Nite Chicago – 11/2 – 5:30pm CDT (6pm CDT in Virbela).
The Next Evolution Hosts
Matt Wren will be moderating the discussion in person while Caroline Dennis will be hosting the virtual portion in Virbela. Matt is the CTO for BUNDLAR and founder of The Next Evolution event series and VRAR Chicago. Caroline is entrepreneur, startup advisor, and advocate from Two-Degrees.io and XRWomen.
What’s the Format
Times in Central Daylight Time (CDT)
5:30-8:30pm at 1871 for the In-Person Program
6:00-8:00pm in Virbela for the Virtual Program
5:30-6:15pm – Networking & Technology Demonstrations
6:15-6:30pm – Introductions & Welcome
6:30-7:10pm – Panelist Presentations
7:10-7:45pm – Panel Discussion with Q&A
7:45-8:30pm – Networking & Technology Demonstrations
We will start with informal networking, then host a panel discussion to answer audience questions, and we end with more networking. We keep it simple and informal – this meetup is about you, our members, and not just a soap box for the host, presenters, or our sponsors. Come and get your questions answered, take your next step in Immersive Technology.
Attending The Next Evolution
For our Physical Venue, 1871 can be found in Suite 1212 on the 12th floor of theMART, which is located on the North side of the river between Wells and Orleans. For easy access, enter through the Orleans entrance on the west side of theMART and take those elevators to the 12th floor. All guests will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID to enter.
Watching the Live Stream
Primary Live Stream | https://awe.live/sessions
Secondary Live Stream | facebook.com/VRARChicago/live_videos
People can join by watching the scheduled live stream where we will field questions from!
You will need to register to gain access to AWE.Live.
Virbela | Virtual Environment | virbela.com/download
We encourage folks to join us in the virtual environment Community Hall by downloading the Virbela open campus client at virbela.com/download. See more about getting started and navigating Virbela below.
The Virbela virtual environment resembles a physical space, so you will be able to talk with other attendees prior to the start of the presentations. To get to the Community Hall once in Virbela, you click the GO TO menu on the top left of your screen >> Pavillion >> Community Hall. We suggest that you arrive no later than 6:00pm and we will get started promptly at 6:15. Please try to get familiar with the technology prior to the day of the meetup, as we will be unable to provide support during the event.
Getting started in Virbela
Signing up for Virbela
Virbela is available on mac, windows, rift and vive.
First, you will want to create your account and then download the program onto your computer by going to their registration page. For Rift and Vive, it should be pretty straightforward in their interface.
- You will need to verify your email address
- Create an avatar
- Log into their “open campus”
Once logged in and in the Virbela open campus area, walk around with your arrow keys and then click the Go To menu on top left of the screen. Our program will be in the Conference Hall, so you will need to click that option to join us.
- PC or Mac, Windows 7 SP1+ or newerMac OS X 10.11 or newer
- Headphones and a microphone
- Power cord plugged in for extended use
Entering the Virtual Venue – Conference Hall
- Log into Virbela
- Click Go To menu on top left of your screen
- Select Campus Locations
- Select Conference Hall
VRAR Chicago Virtual Environment Code of Conduct
Open microphones and/or not using headphones can create an echo effect that can negatively affect others’ experiences
- Please use headphones if you can.
- Keep your microphone on push-to-talk (using the number 1 key)
- Act as if this is a space that you are in physically!
- For the Questions and Answers portion
- Click “Raise Hand” on bottom of your screen
- Wait to be called on
- Ask your question
- Press the 1 key and hold it to open your mic
- Ask your question and wait a moment
- Release the 1 key
- Press and hold the 1 button to open your microphone to speak
- Pressing the spacebar unlocks your view or “head” to look around
- You can click someone’s name and click Go To and automatically walk to them
- Your Go To menu lets you raise your hand, wave, or even dance!
- Click the screen menu on top of your screen once in the Conference Hall to select your preferred ‘view’ to enjoy the program.
- You can toggle between these selections during the program