Creating and exploring a desert ecology site on the opensim world with middle-school students

Mary Stokrocki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using participant observation methods, I explored middle-school students’ visual literacy introduction to the OpenSim Virtual World, which was hosted by the University of British Columbia. Using their school name theme of the Sonoran Desert, they drew and uploaded their favourite desert creatures and plants on square easel forms/prims, built some dome-structured caves as an installation site, and added pop-up notecards about animal symbolic meanings, as a kind of visual/ verbal literacy. Besides overcoming initial technical problems and experimenting with the Build/Design tools, they contacted biology information sites, to learn about desert conditions, animal plight (poaching/predator/prey/pesticide problems), plant acclimatization, and differing opinions about intervention. When students are guided and given appropriate digital art tools, they can create new worlds and explore ecological problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Education Through Art
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Build tools
  • Desert
  • Ecology
  • Flora/fauna
  • Literacy
  • Virtual world

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Arts and Humanities


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