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In this project we are exploring how to use technology to appropriately support a strongly social type of event - the celebration of the award of degrees to students in a virtual format. Our second worldwide virtual degree ceremony was webcast live on April 18th 2001. The live ceremony included chat, slides and animations as well as audio and video from the Berrill Lecture Theatre in Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom. Apart from staff on stage, the auditorium itself was entirely empty during the presentation - as all the audience were remote!
In addition to the UK based participants, students attended from as far away as New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark and the USA. In this ceremony, students graduated at home whilst baby-sitting, in the office with colleagues and a glass of champagne, and even with a cappuccino in a local cyber-cafe. A student in New Zealand joked that it was so early/late that he was graduating in his pyjamas!