CANVAS: a virtual world for pupil artwork

canvasLearning and Teaching Scotland’s educational games initiative Consolarium has announced CANVAS, a virtual world allowing local authorities to display pupils’ art. Based on the OpenSim application and created by Aberdeen-based company Second Places, CANVAS (Children’s Art at the National Virtual Arena of Scotland) has the appearance of Second Life while being hosted on LTS servers, so affording them far stricter controls than standard Second Life islands. Each local authority in Scotland will have the opportunity to curate one of 32 separate galleries held on the server.

While I understand the use of OpenSim as suitable for adapting virtual worlds to specific uses, I’m still unsure whether pupils (and indeed, local authority staff) will adapt well to the less than user-friendly camera system within Second Life-style virtual worlds. Is a fully 3D virtual world perhaps unnecessary for the purpose of displaying 2D artworks? I can imagine an application more in common visually with the 2D Club Penguin that would allow users to view artworks without the extra complication of navigating a 3D space.

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3 Responses

  1. A very interesting use of the Opensim software to teach children more about virtual environments. Projects like these enrich the Metaverse and introduce people to virtual worlds and their potential.

  2. […] CANVAS: a virtual world for pupil artwork « SeriousGamePlan […]

  3. Tim,
    I am the perosn who came up with this idea and who has managed it’s progression through to the stage we are at now. I was interested to read your thoughts and have been thinking about what you said. First of all, this is an initial attempt to explore 3D virtual worlds. Our focus was on creating a bespoke environment that clearly had a teaching and learning purpose at its heart but that would nor enslave this fantastic technology to ‘traditional methods’. We really like the camera panning function in CANVAS. Zooming in out and looking at art work from various angles is an exciting way for learners to engage with the ir peers work. However, it’s not just about the pictures, there’s so much else going on.

    We believe that their will be a status/self-esteem aspect to learners work being exhibited in Scotland’s National Virtual gallery. Peer asesment and review is at the heart of this with the forum and the chat facility. National galleries and other arts agencies will partner us through the main gallery, bringing art right in to the classroom within a context where learners work is also exhibited.

    This is a strategic step for us in beginning to explore virtual worlds. We are very excited about the potential of this Open Sim and hope to learn lessons in terms of impact on teaching and learning. Thanks for your interest in our work.

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