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Re: [teacherartexchange] button clicks, black canvas, and square sculptures

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From: Jeff Pridie (jeffpridie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 16 2006 - 17:21:43 PDT


Jen,

(> Pulled Quotes:
> "With technology these days, what I see happening is
> that "everyone"
> is an artist.")
>
(> "What disturbs me is the little innovation in what
> the technology can
> accomplish and where do we take it to? What is our
> responsibility to
> make the new and emerging come into the frame of
> artistic thinking?
> The software does allow everybody to click a button
> and " make"
> something and sometimes those easy clicks even
> enthrall me. The chore
> is to teach some decision making about those button
> clicks. As they
> are clicking through those buttons we need to be
> very aware that
> guidance and forward thinking with those buttons is
> the aim. I have
> to teach less and less about the buttons, but I have
> to teach more and
> more about decision making and problem solving.")

Like any tool, pencil, paintbrush, airbrush etc. a
computer program has to be looked at, experiemented
with and evaluated as what purpose it can serve
students in the classroom. Yes, a program has the
buttons, menus and directions that a student can do
the programmed results but the key is to get the
students to see the other possibilities. I always
take a new program and go through every point of it
before turning students loose on it. When I sit with
students in the computer lab and we have gone over all
the buttons and menus I move the students away from
the computers and have them brainstorm the
possibilites they see in enhancing their art
production and how this program can help them do that.

(> When any new medium is becoming the "norm" in the
> art-world I think it
> tends to be a little intimidating.)

I see countless Art Educators who fear the technology
for a variety of reasons. Some because they do not
want to admit they do not know how to make it work.
Others they would use it but do not have time to learn
it. Finally those who resent technology because they
feel it will take away from creativity and the
production of art. They fear the "insta-art" it might
develop.

The challenge is how it is used. As Art Educators we
must teach how to use it, we must offer the direction
this tool goes. We must give this tool some rules and
be open to its possibilities. What happens to art
because of technology will be our doing not the box on
the desk with a mouse attached to it.

(> We know that's not true. Art is not just about
> making a "pretty
> picture". Those first people that created those
> things in the
> questions above deserve credit on their originality.
> It's about being
> that first one who saw something in that unique way.
> And get people to
> stop and THINK.)

I have my students take original photographs and use
filters to invision what the image may look like in
watercolor, oil paint, ink pen, charcoal, pastel and
the list goes on. The student can play with values,
contrast, change colors, stretch, shrink the image to
help them make decisions on the final image they
re-create in pencil, paint, clay. The key here is:I
FACILITATE THEIR JOURNEY TO UNDERSTAND THE TECHNOLOGY
AND THE POSSIBILITIES IT CAN OFFER THEM IN THE
PRODUCTION OF ART.

Jen I believe technology is the "new tool" in the
palette of todays art room. The key is training
teachers how to use this new tool and helping them
understand how to take it beyond the buttons and the
base program. The other important factor is helping
teachers to keep pace with the students they are
teaching so that both can be on the same playing
field. Technology is in our present and will be in
our future.

Jeff (Minnesota)

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