"New Internet site provides playground for cyberspace kids"

by Ian Dutton, Times Colonist, Victoria, Canada , November 9, 1995

The dodo, which disappeared from the world in the the 17th century, has been found again- in cyberspace. Dodo Land in Cyberspace is a new stop on the Internet, designed to lure kids into the interactive world of the computers and the arts. And unlike the flightless dodo of reality, the cyberspace version helps kids and their imagination take wing.

Tied to the book Journey to Dodo Land, the Internet project was conceived and guided by Della Burford and Dale Bertrand, creators of the book, and the cyberspace stop will be updated every two months.

"It's perfect for kids to do something like this," Burford said, watching a group of students from Marigold School feel their way through the site.
"They do interactive stuff very easily and this is a safe place to go on the internet for kids. "Everything going into the site is edited and it's all being checked to make sure it's the best quality and appropriate,"
" Parents can put Dodo Land on and let the kids play and be safe?"
Marigold is one of five schools which have already subscribed to the Internet stop, and the Dodoland adventure is also available on disk.

The site itself consists of four activity pods:
The Island of Eyes, where the traveller can meet authors and artists and ask questions of them
The Night bubble, where they can interact with kids from around the world to write and illustrate stories;
The Giant Flower Island, an area to learn and share in environmental activities;
The Dragon Ship, rhythms, raps and word games.

The project was developed as part of the Swiftsure Arcade, an internet project underwritten by the provincial and federal governments to showcase creative activities, including writing and visual art.
The project at Marigold School is also running in conjunction with the Community Arts Council of Victoria. Jo Randall-Williams of the arts council said that one of the the group's mandates is to take art to the community and for this access through the schools is ideal. "It teaches the kids that computers can enhance art and may give the children their first contact with art," Williams said, "It also can show them that artists are people who work in the world. Artistic skills are applicable to mant things from architecture to computer design."

Burford, an artist, writer and performer, moved to Victoria not long ago after living in Toronto, New York and the Kootneys. She was raised in Edmonton and Ottawa.

Go back to the New Dodoland