Conference in Second Life attracts 1,642 educators

By Scott Pachilis
Around The Town Editor

Photo courtesy of Dr. Anthony Curtis
Participants attend a presentation by Dr. Laviece Ward from Wake Technical Commmunity College in Second Life as part of the 2011 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference.

The 2011 UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference was named a major success as 1,642 educators were in attendance across three days of presentations and workshops, according to conference director Dr. Anthony Curtis. Dr. Curtis is a Professor in the mass communication department.

The conference was held in the virtual world of Second Life at facilities of the North Carolina Community College System, UNC Pembroke, NC State, the University of Texas and other institutions.

"The conference went extraordinarily well this year, and the presentations all were well received by the audiences," Dr. Curtis said. "There was an excellent turnout and people made strongly positive remarks afterward."

A total of 25 institutions sent 53 presenters who delivered 41 academic presentations over the three day span.

UNCP hosted and produced the conference with support from the UNC System. The theme was "Learning Forward: Teaching Technologies for Engaged Learners."

The program showcased effective teaching and learning practices using emerging technologies. The conference attracted education professionals from all grade levels and geographic locations.

"The presenters were from 11 University of North Carolina System institutions and from North Carolina community colleges, K-12 schools, universities in other states and a European university," Dr. Curtis said. "A total of 1,642 faculty, staff and students from many schools attended the presentations."

Dr. Cynthia Calongne, professor of computer science at Colorado Technical University, kicked off the event April 12 with a keynote presentation on "The Journey into the New Frontier II."

This conference marked the 12th annual UNC TLTC since 2000. It was the third one held in Second Life. The 13th annual threeday conference will be held on April 12-14, 2012. The conference committee is also planning a one-day conference this summer on July 12, 2011.

The participating schools outside of the UNC System were Wake Tech Community College, Randolph Community College, Virginia Beach Schools, University of South Carolina, State University of New York Albany, Mississippi State University, San Jacinto College, Angelo State University, University of Texas, University of Houston, University of the Incarnate Word and Masaryk University of the Czech Republic.