As an art educator, no matter how many times my colleagues and I asked for chrome books, we were turned down by our district. It's too expensive they said! Only core classes need chrome books!
Well, guess what? It wasn't too expensive, they were able to do it when they had to. And now we will all benefit from the technology available to all teachers and students, if only we will continue to use it!
The benefits of using technology in the visual arts classroom:
Traditional art materials and methods will always have their place in middle and high school art classrooms. But now we also have technology! If we can balance traditional in-classroom instruction with the new digital tools students have learned over the course of the last year, we all win. Why?
Digital resources build confidence
Digital resources allow students to make art more quickly and easily. If they make a mistake, they can just "undo". This is an important aspect for students who get frustrated or bored with more traditional art production. Allowing students to develop art digitally builds confidence and that can spill over into their traditional art!
This includes students with disabilities, who can use technology to make art with a degree of success they might not otherwise achieve.
Digital resources are an amazing planning tool
Having students plan or create a digital piece of art as a part of the creative process can provide huge leaps in understanding and quality of student's artwork. Students lose the fear associated with putting paint to canvas, or pen to paper and can open themselves up to all the possibilities that are before them. Once they have something they like, it is easier for them to implement their art onto canvas or paper!
Create access & opportunities for ALL learners
Technology has an enormous potential to address disparities in the visual arts classroom. It allows students to see and experience high-level art at a relatively low cost. Virtual field trips, online research, famous artist biographies and digital escapes all provide an accessible and engaging way for students to learn about and experience art.
Promotes collaboration and engagement.
Technology like digital escape rooms in the art classroom is key to helping students share ideas and collaborate while learning important concepts of art and artists.
Examples of Technology in the Visual Art Room
Digital Escape Rooms
ResearchGate found that educational escape rooms can provide an enjoyable experience that immerses students as active participants in the learning environment. Additionally, they give learners the opportunity to engage in an activity that rewards teamwork, creativity, decision-making, leadership, communication, and critical thinking.
Click below for Visual Art Digital Escape Rooms
Interactive Google Slides Activities
According to a 2019 survey of over 2,000 art teachers in the U.S., 52 % of art teachers wanted to incorporate digital arts into their curriculum, but they don’t know where to start. The natural entry point is digital art and the most accessible tool is available on every student's chromebook, through Google Drawing and Google Slides.
Virtual Field Trips
The ability for students to travel to a world famous museum with the click of a mouse is the very definition of democratic access to high level art.
Online Art History and Research
Art history provides an excellent opportunity to develop the essential skills and talents that lie at the core of a good visual arts education, including informed and critical reading, writing, and creating.
Assign Distance Learning as homework
Homework can benefit the visual arts student as much as any other content area. Now that you have distance learning tools and materials, why not use them as projects for students to work on from home?
As we move back into our classrooms and welcome our students back to in-person learning let's not forget the new and previously unimagined and powerful ways of teaching art to our students.