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Museums and Galleries in Second Life - a Platform for Education

The paper deals with museums and galleries in an online virtual world called Second Life, the forms and ways of presenting museums and the means which museums and galleries use for reaching out to and educating visitors.

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Transcript of Museums and Galleries in Second Life - a Platform for Education

photo credit NASA/JPL: One of Vikings global mosaics of Mars, re-sized & sharpened by Jason Harwell
Veronika Jurečková Mališová, M.A.
Museums and Galleries in Second Life -
a Platform for Education

Petrovskij Flux

Second Life presence of the Spencer Museum of Art, located in Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
blotto Epsilon and Cutea Benelli
Environment of full organic architecture
The name itself - flux - refers to constant change, transforming shapes
Inspired by the Russian mathematician Petrovský, a promoter of the idea of organic architecture
Art not exhibited in real space, but in the environment of Second Life
Rosewood Museum
To commemorate the African-American population of the village of Rosewood, Florida
Burned to the ground in 1923 by members of the Ku Klux clan
Creator: the cultural anthropologist Edward Gonzalez-Tennant from Monmouth University in New Jersey
The history about the race riots
The incidents shortly after the event (7 people survived)
3D visualization of the original architecture of Rosewood
Not so much a museum as it is a monument
Tends to become a virtual open–air museum
Virtual art gallery,
A curator performing under the name Delia Lake
Maya Island
Valdosta State University
US Memorial Holocaust Museum
Refers to the brick-and-mortar museum - http://www.ushmm.org/
Kristallnacht 1938
Reality show
Archival audio, video and photo material in an impressive "authentic" environment
Through the stories of people who lived here, we uncover what happened that night
Art Galleries in Second Life:
„Some people say that Second Life, like other virtual spaces, divides the world, but is that the case? Or it is nothing more and nothing less than an expressive extension of shared space to enrich our lives, a space where we bring the best and worst of us? When we share and celebrate love and hate, joy and sorrow, birth and even death, does it matter whether we do so in a virtual or real environment? In viewing this exhibit, we invite you to become a part of this conversation..."
through play and by encouraging learners curiosity
virtually analogous to an open-air museum
Real tangible evidence of people (museum pieces) is missing
mediating history, documents of historical periods and cultures
affect the mission of the museums
using the methods and approaches of museum education
The presentation deals with museums and galleries in an online virtual world called Second Life, the forms and ways of presenting museums and the means which museums and galleries use for reaching out to and educating visitors.

Second Life is an online 3D virtual world shared by people from all over the world, which is not only for entertainment, but is also used by many institutions, such as colleges, universities, libraries, and last but not least, museums and galleries, as a platform for communication and education.

In this presentation, we focus on the selection of specific examples of successful projects from museums and galleries using the communication environment of Second Life. This includes projects of actually existing brick and mortar museums, museums existing only in this virtual world, innovative collaborative projects with artists and educational projects mediating world cultural heritage.
Second Life 3D virtual world
Created by an American Internet company named Linden Lab
Social network connecting people from all over the world
Over 20 million registered user accounts
Islands created by the user community
Own currency, Linden Dollars
Main Grid for those over 18 years and the Teen Grid for the age group 13-17 years
Akademic organisations in SL:
Second Life Education:
Education and Non-profits
Art - 116 destintions
Education and non-profit - 66 destinations
Science and technology - 16 destinations - museum as well! - but mainly technically oriented - Genome Island
Veronika Jurečková Mališová
Education and Art
Recognized its educational potential
150 universities
Own islands
Teachers - offices, real-time consultation, study materials for downloading
Students can also submit their completed work here through SL
Whole interactive learning programs
Genome Island
- interactive educational program for students of molecular genetics and bioinformatics.
University of Washington
educational environment
form of a virtually created village
mediating the history, science and culture of the Mayans, Mayan way of life
4 different sections focusing on individual areas
agriculture, fishing, astronomy, medicine, religion, writing, crafts, everyday life
virtual presence of brick and mortar museums
or those existing only in this virtual world
innovative collaborative projects with artists
educational projects intermediating world cultural heritage
Numerous art galleries
Projects were intended to convey a message, to instruct, to preserve a memory
Causing visitors to think
Posing questions for consideration
Stimulating visitors' curiosity
Arousing interest in the brick-and-mortar museum
Part of the PR and educational strategy

International character
Creativity, developed graphics
Large target group in the case of the majority of users from the USA, GB and Germany

Sustainability of these projects in the context of rapidly evolving technologies and habits of users in virtual environments
Competition with Facebook, on-line computer games, etc.
Danger of static text display, poor graphics
Bordering on kitsch
Inferior processing in comparison with even many computer games
Preparation of these projects - initial investment for the creation of a virtual museum - financial and time constraints
InSEA European Regional Congress in Canterbury
June24-26, 2013 - "Tales of Art and Curiosity" Canterbury, UK
Full transcript