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The VLearn3D Mission

The VLearn3D Initiative began in December 1998 as part of the Contact Consortium to address the current trends and needs of educators who are developing, adopting and pioneering virtual environments for education. The goal of VLearn 3D is to provide immediate access to people, tools, resources and ideas that can help them make quick progress in this emerging field. In September, 2000 through a volunteer effort, VLearn3D is opening its first 3D education world and online libary, "Bibliotheca Vita Futura."
The CCon V-Learn Initiative seeks to:

Identify Individuals and institutions who have made a commitment to using shared virtual spaces in educational settings.
Provide a much-needed worldwide network hub for these individuals and institutions by offering an evolving V-Learn3D annotated resource center online.
Provide educators, students, administrators and others with a forum for regular online and inworld communication and collaboration.
Encourage the creation of a growing virtual educational community by presenting and supporting regular events, seminars and collaboration opportunities inworld and online.
Assist educators and students in adopting and using virtual world technologies through a growing multi-disciplinary network of experts.
Acknowledge ongoing programs and chart their continuing growth and evolution.
Support innovative educational programs, learning modules, conferences and seminars whose focus is the development and dissemination of shared virtual spaces for learning.
Pursue grants or other funding for the support of collaborative research and development of V-Learn3D environments.

The VLearn3D Committee

Bonnie DeVarco, Co-Chair
Bonnie DeVarcoBonnie is a researcher, writer, educator and virtual world developer. As a member of the Board of Directors of CCon.org, she founded the VLearn3D intiative in 1998. During the past fifteen years she has participated in a broad range of educational programs and publications both online and offline and has developed web sites and 3D multi-user virtual environments that turn digital resources into useful educational tools including VHS, V-UCSC, BioLearn and others. She serves as research and development coordinator for the UC College Prep Initiative and currently produces local and global events through UCSC's "Tech Innovation 2000." She holds a BA in cultural anthropology and carried out her graduate studies in dance ethnology at UCLA and archive management at UC Berkeley. From 1989 to 1995 she was chief archivist for the Buckminster Fuller Archives, recently acquired by Stanford University.

Margaret Corbit, Co-Chair Margaret
Margaret CorbitCorbit is a member of the staff at the Cornell Theory Center(CTC). She researches and writes articles describing many aspects of the science conducted at and/or supported by the CTC for its online publications. Corbit also coordinates the development of the online informal science education sites which include online science books and special online exhibits. As part of her longtime commitment to get 3D data files and illustrations onto the net in a useful way, she founded and currently develops Cornell Theory Center's SciCentr world in Active Worlds and in the AWEdu Education Universe. Corbit is on the board of directors for the Contact Consortium and hosted the first V-Learn Conference in May of 1999.

Bruce Damer, Advisory Committee
Bruce DamerBruce Damer: President and CEO, DigitalSpace Corporation, Director, Contact Consortium, author "Avatars" (Peachpit Press, 1998), "Virtual Worlds" (Perseus Press, 1998). Bruce Co-directs the Contact Consortium, a 35 institution research and development consortium bringing virtual worlds to the net. He is a visiting scholar at the University of Washington HIT Lab and a Silicon Graphics Vanguard of Visual Computing. Bruce holds degrees in Computer Engineering, Physics and Political Science. He is the author of AVATARS! - Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet.

Patrick McKercher, Advisory Committee
Patrick grew up in S. California, working in a variety of hunger and development organizations on reservations, in cities, and in Mexico and Guatemala. He studied literature and rhetoric at San Diego State University before receiving a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, writing a dissertation on Kenneth Burke and his parallels to General Systems Theory, which laid the groundwork for a new cognitive basis for rhetoric. Currently he teaches writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, investigating the educational potential of digital technologies and how they can be used to build bridges to the public schools.

Andrew Phelps, Advisory Committee
Andrew is an Assistant Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) serving in the Dept. of Information Technology. He began work in 3D coming from a traditional art background, and holds BFA degrees in both computer graphics and traditional painting. He has been published in numerous animation trade magazines and technical publications. While completing his MS in Information Technology, he became increasingly interested in multi-user virtual world spaces and currently researches the intersection of a number of long-standing and emerging technologies including database systems, VRML, Java, and the External Authoring Interface (EAI). He also currently serves as EAI Working Group Co-Chair for the Web3D Consortium and is actively involved with numerous other VRML, V-net and X3D initiatives.

Mandee Tatum, Advisory
Mandee TatumCommittee Mandee is currently the Vice President of Education Technology for Activeworlds.com since 1998 and the coordinator and founder of the AW Education Universe, AWedu, launched in Sept. 1999. She holds a masters from London School of Economics and has taught English as a Foreign Language online for two years. Mandee has been developing virtual education centers since 1996.

Penelope & Craig Twining, VLearn World & Library Architects
Penelope and Craig Twining are leading 3D and multi-media designers based in the U.K. Through their company, Active Art Design, they have developed and built many multi-user worlds both in Active Worlds and in the Awedu including educational worlds in the U.K. and USA. The Twinings have donated their architectural expertise to establish a free building set for new AWedu users available in Babel world and are the architects of the Vlearn World and Library in AWedu.

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