>In response to the many thoughts and comments on using computers in art rooms,
>I would like to add the following:
>Introducing students to computers and the Internet is obviously an important
>activity since this tool is becoming such an integral part of our lives, both
>personally and professionally. I do believe, however, that we should consider
>using the computer as a tool in education to provide and enable students to
>create experiences and opportunities for which ONLY the computer can do, or
>can do best. Julian's dissertation research and project is an example of
>this, as it would be virtually impossible to create the world-wide
>conversation and galleries without the use of computer technology and the
>Internet (and it's good to see you're FINISHED, Julian! Congrats!).
>At the same time, let's remember that the computer is not the end all answer
>to education. And if we as educators do not make certain that we use this
>tool appropriately and successfully, it could become an abused toy.
>For example, should students use the Internet for research? Sure. But I
>think just as we have always asked students to use multiple types of sources
>to verify or challenge information, so must we require students to use other
>sources besides the Internet. And regarding art-making with the computer, I
>think it is important again to consider what the computer can do best in this
>area... Another example: compare and contrast creating a painting and a
>montage. What materials do we typically use for each? How do these translate
>into the computer? Does the use of the computer truly enable us to create
>with these "media" better, or is it just another way to do it?
>Finally, it also seems critical for us to discuss the problematic issues with
>computers, as well as its many benefits. If we can paint on a computer,
>should we give up the "real" materials altogether? Yes it's great that we can
>email, but what happens (and is happening) to social skills? Yes it's
>wonderful that we can do all of our banking from our home computer, but what
>happens when our computer crashes (because inevitably it will)? Are we able
>to function without it?
>Finally, I would like to say that I offer these thoughts for us to think
>about. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, and I hope those of you do
>or do not will engage in a healthy discussion from your points of view and
>experiences. I am concerned about the comments regarding "crtitqueing"
>others' ideas; if we as a profession do not consider the current implications
>of our actions, or stop evolving, challenging, and changing art education's
>discourses and practices, then the profession will not grow. As a
>professional and graduate student I am aware of the "pains" associated with
>being challenged. However, I am also aware that these challenges are to
>enable me to better question and formulate--and understand!-- the theories and
>practices which I utilize.
>I have been a member of ArtsEdNet for approx. 18 months. If we can discuss
>what to do with broken crayons, pinhole cameras, or nude works of art in the
>art museum, it is my opinion that we should certainly also discuss the
>implications of our actions, both professionally and critically.
>Elizabeth B. Reese
>The Pennsylvania State University