The Art of Making Meaning With Technology By Shaunna Smith, ARED 7315, Spring 2011
The Makers of Things
Implications for Education
Art Education & Technology
Introduction: The Makers of Things
Throughout history humans have had an intrinsic desire to make meaning.
Art is representation of “an embodiment of things that matter and a testament to the human condition (Delacruz, 2009, p. 26).”
Technological advancements have enabled everyday people to become equipped with the tools to make what they want, when they want, all by themselves (Bull & Garofalo, 2009; Hendrix, 2008).
Introduction: Implications for Education
Whether we agree that “the world is flat” (Friedman, 2005) or that our future workforce needs “a whole new mind” (Pink, 2005), a global market is begging for originality and innovation to flourish from modern technology capabilities.
Creativity and innovation are invaluable skills that will be rewarded in an increasingly competitive global economy(Obama, 2011; Berry, et al. 2010).
There is a need to provide students with the necessary tools to transition from a culture of consumption to a culture of creation(Eisenberg, 2011).
Interdisciplinary standards indicate a need for students to have a capacity for creativity and innovation, whether in the development of thought, verbal communication, or the physical act of making objects to demonstrate knowledge and meaningful self-expression (NCTE, 2010, NAEA, 2011b; ISTE, 2011; P21, 2009).
Introduction: Art Education & Technology SECTION ONE: Implications for Integrating Technology in Art Education New Medium: Technology as friend or foe?
Access: Technology as opportunity or barrier?
Software and hardware.
Community: Technology as collaboration or isolation? SECTION TWO: Meaningfully Integrating Technology in Art Education Purposefully immersing in new technologies. Purposefully selecting a tool that is a pedagogical compliment. Purposefully thinking outside of the “tech”. Purposefully being prepared for technical difficulties.
Implicationsfor Integrating Technology in Art Education
Implications For Art Education
Instill critical-thinking skills and encourage creative problem-solving to further develop the tangible creation of knowledge and provide an enjoyable outlet for student expression (Bull & Garofalo, 2009; Clements, 1998; Roblyer & Knezek, 2003).
Use student-centered, constructivist activities that meaningfully integrate technology and not only provide hands-on opportunities, but “minds-on” opportunities as well (Gregory, 2001, p. 48).
“Given the prevalence of technology in our world – all the designed products we use every day – every student should have a basic understanding of how and why those products are designed and produced. Each student should have a basic literacy of the designed world they inhabit (Foster, 2007, p. 1).”
Considerations should include embracing technology as:
a new medium, an opportunity for access, and a prospect for developing a sense of community (Stoner & Abrahams, 1996).
New Medium: Technology as friend or foe?
Technology is simply another medium for consideration – a new tool for the art educator’s toolkit (Randall, 2010).
Technology integration is also the opportunity to mirror current art techniques while facilitating the development of marketable technology skills for students to be even more competitive in the 21st century workforce (Devaney, 2008; Gregory, 2001).
TECHNOLOGY AS FOE:
“Technology imprisons the very act of free expression (Sabieh, 2002, p. 3).”
Students might resist because they don’t want to embrace their familiar technologies as learning tools for classroom use (Delacruz, 2009).
TECHNOLOGY AS FRIEND:
Technology is “contemporary media rooted in [students] everyday lives (Rowland, 2009, p. 12).”
Educators should approach art, design, and technology with “open minds and a sense of adventure (Wood, 2004, p. 179).”
Access: Technology as Opportunity or Barrier?
Access has two definitions, 1) the reliable physical access of the technology and 2) the opportunities that the technology allows the user to access.
Considerations: Internet, Software, and Hardware
TECHNOLOGY AS BARRIER:
General access to technology tools correlates with administrative support and budgetary considerations.
Creativity may be hindered or heavily influenced by the particular perspectives and examples seen online(Sabieh, 2002).
Anyonecan publish their thoughts online so there is a need to become a critical consumer of information (Diem, 2008).
TECHNOLOGY AS OPPORTUNITY:
Explore and access the world by breaking through time and the four physical walls of the classroom (Sabieh, 2002).
Offer students a motivating and engaging technology experience (Soloman & Schrum, 2007).
Cell phones are a veritable multimedia studio in a pocket (Kendall, 2008).
Modern design processes link to current art practices, such as digital fabrication (Bull & Garofalo, 2009)and digital storytelling (Chung, 2007; Robin, 2008).
Community: Technology as Collaboration or Isolation?
“Learning in the wired world is filled with ‘interconnectedness, immediacy, interactivity, communication, and community’ (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 24).”
Communities foster the humanistic desire to make social connections in order to explore new possibilities and/or foster similar interests (Stoner & Abrahams, 1996).
TECHNOLOGY AS ISOLATION:
Introverted social interactions
Effects of anonymity
Lack of technology skills or lack of understanding of its uses
TECHNOLOGY AS COLLABORATION:
Use Internet or video conferencing tools to communicate with people abroad by sharing ideas or collaborating.
Websites, such as MyOatsand Artsonia, allow students to share and comment on artwork. This builds students’ artistic competencies by allowing them to interact with the global culture and also engage in practicing critique.
MeaningfullyIntegrating Technology in Art Education
Purposefully immersing in new technologies
Purposefully selecting a tool that is a pedagogical compliment
Purposefully thinking outside of the “tech”
Purposefully being prepared for technical difficulties
Technology integration is about transforming the classroom from teacher-centered into a collaborative, learner-centered environment where technology assists the teacher by facilitating and fostering learning.
“Teachers need to know how and why to use technology in meaningful ways in the learning process (Gorder, 2008, p. 64)”.
To meaningfully integrate technology effectively, art educators should proceed with purpose by:
immersing themselves in new technologies, selecting a tool that is a pedagogical compliment, thinking outside of the “tech”, and being prepared for technical difficulties.
Become immersed in new technologies
Borko, Whitcomb, and Liston (2009) point out, there was not much of a learning curve when it came to old “analogue technologies such as the chalkboard (p. 4).” New technologies on the other hand are more complicated therefore, more time consuming to learn, master, and effectively integrate into the curriculum.
Gregory (2001) suggests that educators immerse themselves in current technologies so as to get a proper feel for how to use them and/or to see why others, particularly students, find them so appealing.
Being able to identify a connection between the purpose of the objectives and the purpose of a technology tool allows educators to reinforce authentic connections for student learning outcomes.
select a pedagogical compliment
Educators must utilize technology as a pedagogical compliment and as a vehicle for addressing the information to be taught (Mishra & Koehler,2008; Pierson, 2001).
Some educators are quick to generalize that the chosen technology wound up hindering the creative potential or limiting the possibilities of the students, which is simply a result of it being the wrong tool for the job (Randall, 2010).
Traditional skills, such as line quality, should be addressed and taught prior to integrating technology so that the conceptual understanding can be enhanced by the integration (Devaney, 2008).
think outside of the “tech”
Effective educators need to objectively consider that it is not about the individual technology tool itself, but it is about the skill and content that are achieved through its use (Devaney, 2008).
“Indeed, technology through its ability to allow access to data as well as the ability to communicate in a quick, and inexpensive manner… enhances learning and allows students to ‘think with technology rather than thinking about it’ (Diem, 2008 ,p. 148). ”
“These kids are so technology adept that all you have to do is show them the basics and they just take off (Devaney, 2008, p. 2).”
The concept of “deep play”, as discussed by Voogt, et al. (2009), questions how the tools that are given to students, such as scissors, glue, and paper, affect what is created by them? If someone is taught how to use tools in only one context, will they then be able to translate its uses to other situations?
BE prepared for technical difficulties
Being prepared for hardware or software malfunction, lack of Internet access, or other potential difficulties are key to survival in a technology infused world (Gregory, 2009).
A wise art educator would have a backup plan in mind when integrating technology much like they would if they were teaching a non-technology activity such as a unit that is dependent upon pleasant weather (i.e. what if it rains and I can’t take my students outside to do nature drawings today?).
Honestly addressing difficulties as they arise can allow for an opportunity to foster real world skills, such as collaboration, patience, and productivity. This will allow both educators and students to be armed with the ability to creatively problem-solve their way through a variety of situations.
The wired world has changed the way students think and learn (Diem, 2008; Solomon & Schrum, 2007; Vaz, 2004).
“Technology is fast becoming the new alpha competency – an indispensible skill for the business of 21st century learning (Choi & Piro, 2009, p. 29).”
The integration of technology into art education has numerous opportunities to embrace a new medium with vast potential, provide access to art beyond the limitations of the physical classroom, and foster a sense of a global community.
Effective integration can be accomplished by educators purposefully immersing themselves in emerging technologies, selecting a tool that compliments pedagogy, thinking outside of the “tech”, and being prepared for technological difficulties.
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