A group of educators from all corners of the globe have joined together to start an ambitious international art project.
The project centres around a Minecraft mod developed by the social creativity platform Creatubbles, that allows children to take pictures of their artwork and insert it directly into the game.
Organised by Italian CoderDojo champion, Marco Vigelini, schools from 13 countries so far are meeting in a virtual world full of galleries constructed by the Minecraft build company Solari.
The students have been invited to create art about the town, city or country where they live, and share it in one of the eight art galleries built within the game. Those taking part can then walk around the world viewing the artwork of the other children, and if time zones permit, chat with each other in real time.
Marco, who runs free programming workshops and uses Minecraft as a tool to support teaching, said: “For several years I had been looking for a way to mix traditional learning activities with new technology, and I quickly realized that the Creatubbles mod was the missing link.
“So far we have attracted schools from seven states in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Switzerland, Pakistan, Japan, Australia, Poland, Croatia, Nigeria and South Africa. The aim is to show the children that although they may come from different cultures, they are all connected by the language of creativity. Even children from a small village in Italy can share the beauty of the place where they live, and connect with other young people from places they may not even have heard of before.”
Garrett Spicer-Davis, from Creatubbles who created the mod, said: “We originally built the mod because we’d noticed that children were sharing a lot of screenshots of their Minecraft builds on the platform, and we wanted to make it easier for them to capture their builds and save them in their online portfolios.
“Then we thought, why not make it work both ways and allow them to put their creative projects into Minecraft as well? Now students can hang their work in one of the Solari galleries and know that it will be enjoyed by an international group of their peers.”
The first phase of the project will initially run until mid May, and schools everywhere are welcome to contact Marco to take part. If you’d like to try the mod you can find more information about how to install it on the Creatubbles app page.