There are numerous worthy causes out there for which people have a huge amount of passion.

Chief among them is education and the desire to share knowledge with others. There is a special satisfaction that people get from helping others succeed in life. Whether it is as a parent, teacher, mentor, or peer; building communities through the exchange of knowledge and wisdom is the cornerstone of everything that makes being human, human.

This conference is no exception given that no conference of this type is truly free. It takes the dedication of many volunteers to help coordinate the multitudes of activities scheduled. It also requires generous donations from sponsors who are committed to the pursuit of education. Helping with either in-kind contributions or cash in hand provide back-end technology, infrastructure, software, and network access which are the backbone of a virtual conference.

Thanks to our generous benefactors, the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference continues to be a huge success going into our eighth year. Contributions help support things such as:

  • Website and domain name hosting;
  • Transcription of presentations for persons with hearing disabilities;
  • Preservation of archival materials;
  • Real-time live streaming of presentations and events;
  • Software licenses and subscriptions;
  • Royalties and licenses for copyright materials;
  • Tools, textures, sculpt maps, and mesh objects;
  • In-world tools, scripted objects, and animations;
  • Social activities, and
  • Many many more.

What we can accomplish during our conference is directly impacted by the amount of funds we raise throughout the year. Notwithstanding the low cost of program delivery, the fact that this free conference is a direct result of those generous sponsors who help support the 3500 volunteers, presenters, and participants. Our current budget, including all direct financial and in-kind contributions, is less than $10,000USD, which is scarcely one US dollar, per person, per day.

As a result, it is our privilege to recognize the following sponsors, both financial and in-kind. Without their help, this conference would not be possible.

Thinkerer Studios: Virtual Outworlding is Selby (Thinkerer) Evans’ blog, which provides a wide-ranging collection of articles with Q&A and FAQs for new people in virtual worlds. Well known as one of the longest running blogs covering topics related to both Second Life and OpenSim, and as a resource for arts, culture, video, and education, it is a must-read for creators of virtual content.

AvaCon Inc.: AvaCon, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the development of 3D immersive and virtual spaces. Avacon holds conventions and meetings to promote educational and scientific inquiry. Avacon provides support for entertainment events including performances, lectures, art, music, machinima, and more.

Virtual Ability, Inc.: Virtual Ability, Inc.® is a non-profit corporation. Its mission is to enable people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in online virtual worlds like Second Life. Virtual Ability supports community projects, research, and consultation to a wide variety of organizations and businesses that seek to diversify their accessibility options.

Agile Dimensions: Bill Krebs’ Agile Dimensions blog is the education portal for Agile focused project management learning and training. Agile Dimensions uses a proprietary 3D learning methodology which accelerates the learning curve, allowing project managers to become more productive.

Builders Brewery: Builders Brewery is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer school on a serious mission: to bring quality, free education to students within virtual environments. Established in early 2008, the Builders Brewery is proudly recognized as one of the busiest and most loved premier schools for content creators in a Virtual World. From scripting, building, animation and photograpy, to mesh, business marketing and texturing in 3D, the topics are endless. In addition, Builders Brewery runs one of the largest content creators’ help groups encouraging intelligent builds and innovations to improve the visual and structural integrity of Second Life and other virtual environments.

University of Idaho:The University of Idaho has a strong direction toward integration of scholastic programs with virtual environments. Departments including Food Science and Toxicology, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and School of Family and Consumer Sciences together have invested over one million dollars in virtual collaborative education and research.

University of Washington Alumni: The UWAvalumni (University of Washington Avatar Alumni) champion innovation and online education in virtual worlds.

From their headquarters at the UW iSchool island in Second Life, they continue to promote the use of virtual worlds for synchronous immersive learning, enterprising research, and leading creative exploration of emerging technologies.

Whole Brain Health: Run by Lynne Berrett and her husband, the Ageless Mind Project helps people explore a holistic approach to the interrelated well-being of body, mind, and spirit. Inspiration Island is their 3D learning center in Second Life with paths running in many directions where you can swim, do yoga, meditate, find your way through unusual mazes, and join discussions related to whole brain health.

Rockcliffe University Consortium: Established in 2006, Rockcliffe is one of the oldest educational establishments in the metaverse dedicated to the development of best practices in education, research, and services using virtual collaborative tools and 3D technologies.

Rockcliffe is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. It serves as a think-tank and support system for instructors, colleges, and universities. Its members are able to take part in any of the myriad of projects that Rockcliffe is actively engaged in exploring, including virtual environments, Mobile and Cloud based technologies, gaming and simulations, voice/video conferencing, and social media groups and forums.