Home News Release Loyalist College at Forefront of Virtual World Education Platform

Loyalist College at Forefront of Virtual World Education Platform

May 23, 2008

Below is the original news release published at the time of this event. While some references are no longer current, the article provides details about important milestones in Loyalist’s history.

As the development of virtual worlds expands, and the potential for this medium is more fully realized, Loyalist College continues to be recognized as an international leader in designing and developing virtual world experiences that enhance educational opportunities. The months of April and May were testimony to this as Loyalist representatives participated in four virtual world conferences.

Ken Hudson, Manager of Academic and New Media Services, and Mark Kirkpatrick, Director of Information Technology Services, joined 1,200 participants at Virtual Worlds 2008 in New York City. This was followed by the Federal Consortium on Virtual Worlds at the National Defense University in Washington DC, at which Mr. Hudson presented Loyalist’s Canadian Border Simulation as part of the conference program.

“I really enjoyed presenting to this group,” said Ken Hudson. “The audience consisted of senior representatives of major branches of the U.S. government including the Military, the State Department and NASA, who were interested in learning ways to use virtual worlds for training. They were serious and eager to learn about Loyalist’s most successful learning simulation to date, which was our border simulation for our Justice Studies students. This exercise consisted of Second Life individuals crossing the border into Canada and gave our students an excellent opportunity to practise the interviews they would be required to conduct in their future employment. The multitude of possible scenarios served as a valuable training tool. The success of this Second Life exercise was evident in the improvement in the students’ grades and their enthusiasm for the class. They were excited with the speed at which they were able to learn and their increased level of confidence.”

At the end of April, Ken Hudson and faculty member Lorne Thompson attended the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) Conference in Banff, Alberta. Professor Thompson presented information regarding the leadership exercises that the students in the Child and Youth Worker program completed in Second Life and Mr. Hudson conducted an overview of Loyalist in Second Life, including the border simulation exercise.

Mr. Hudson participated as a keynote speaker in The Leading Learning Conference, which was held in Toronto in May. Participants were able to draw on Loyalist’s experience in Second Life and explore the implications for kindergarten to grade 12 education. In his address he explored the present day benefits and challenges of using virtual world technologies for education, and looked forward to how these platforms can become valuable tools in the expansion of learning opportunities.

Ken Hudson and Mark Kirkpatrick were also invited to showcase Loyalist’s Second Life expertise at Orion@5 at MaRS in Toronto in March. The event was a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Orion network, a broadband giant of which Loyalist College is a member. The Hon. John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, was among the distinguished guests.

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Media Contact:  Marilyn Warren, Communications, Loyalist College, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2332; e-mail:  or Ken Hudson, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2435

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