Sketching iLRN 2020 in VR: The Inception of Graphic Recording Events

Matthew Magain Chief Doodler
Read Time: 2 mins

In the movie InceptionLeonardo DiCaprio is swept into a world-within-worlds that results in a convoluted storyline something akin to Alice in Wonderlandmeets The Matrix.

Last week I had my own Inception moment, when I had the good fortune to take visual notes at a conference all about VR (virtual reality) … using, of course, a VR headset.

The Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) is a global community of educators who are pushing the boundaries of how XR (eXtended Reality, which is becoming the accepted umbrella term for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality technologies) is shaping the field of education. The iLRN 2020 is the annual online conference for this community, and it seemed only fitting that conversations about VR should be captured using VR.

PictureUsing my favourite sketching tool, Tilt Brush, I was engaged to capture some of the bigger group conversations that happened during the somewhat audaciously titled “Grand Challenges.” As if the technology setup of live streaming my visual notes to YouTube as they were being created, and then funneling that feed back into the virtual world in which the conversation was happening wasn’t ambitious enough, the topics that the group tackled were equally ambitious:

  • tackling systemic racism
  • fighting climate change
  • curbing the spread of infectious diseases, and
  • bridging the digital divide.


Picture Picture

I’m pleased to say that the technology held up, and the end result was definitely a hit with attendees. Participants commented that seeing their conversation visualised into 3D scenes injected excitement and optimism into the group. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out in the end!

A huge congratulations to Mark, Jonathon, and the rest of the iLRN team and associated volunteers for successfully running what they envisioned to be “the Woodstock of conferences”; I was very grateful to be a part of the event.

PictureYou can explore all four virtual scenes from the iLRN 2020 conference on Google Poly using a VR headset (or you can just view them in your web browser) by following the links below.

I also created some walkthrough videos, like the one below. Enjoy!

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