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May 17, 2017

“Wiki Rembrandt” Virtual Museum: Notes for Educators

“Wiki Rembrandt” virtual museum was created as an easy and quick* tool for educators. 

At first glance, this might look like any other little virtual museum with paintings from the well-known Dutch painter Rembrandt - but this is a different sort of virtual gallery: the kind of place where visitors become curators.

How does it work?
It's quite simple: there's a script that allows adding the paintings from a menu onto each canvas. 
However, the space on the wall is limited, and so is the number of pictures of Rembrandt's works to choose from. So, like it usually happens with Real Life museum curators, the visitors' challenge will be to create the best possible exhibition using the resources made available to them. 

Placeholders/canvas inside the building can be modified to create exhibitions on almost any theme, turning students into curators of any particular subject they are learning about. 

The building on Second Life was intentionally made small and with low land impact because of the virtual land restrictions educators are usually confronted with on this grid. Having a smaller/lighter building makes it easier to assign different copies to different groups of students, or even to have several buildings about different subjects 'rezzed' at the same time on the school’s sim.

This experience can be replicated outside of Second Life, on basically any OpenSimulator grid and, of course, using Sim-on-a-Stick. When using an OpenSimulator grid – or Sim-on-a-Stick – virtual land restrictions are usually not so taxing, and the ‘virtual museum’ could be expanded into several rooms and buildings… or even an entire island.

One of the pedagogical advantages of this visitor/curator concept is providing the benefits of an immersive, interactive and collaborative learning environment without burdening students (the ones new to virtual worlds in particular) with the need to learn the skills that will allow them to create an exhibition from scratch – such as building, scripting, texturing, etc. – especially in cases when learning those skills will bring little added value to the subject they’re actually studying.

This building is currently open to the public at Camie Rembrandt's Creative Learning Park on Chilbo (Second Life). SLURL:

About the facilitator/creator of this project:  CM Elias (Camie Rembrandt in SL) is an independent e-learning professional. She holds a BA in History and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (endorsed in E-Learning Pedagogy) from Aberta University and is officially certified as Professional Trainer by the IEFP (Portugal). Camie is the owner of Creative Learning Park at Chilbo (SL) and the sim/island Learning Lab on Craft World.

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