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apples and oranges


From: Pam Wellington (loveart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 05:23:58 PST

I teach high school art and it is the students who are highly motivated to
learn to draw and paint and use clay. I have yet to meet a student who is
not computer literate, but I have absolutely no problem in any of my visual
arts classes with media.
I agree that many TEACHERS, especially older ones like me (50 something),
are not computer literate, but I have always kept up with all technology as
best I can. The use of the computer, scanner, digital camera, and software
programs is part of my responsibility as a visual arts educator. But I have
no problem with my students being able to effortlessly move back and forth
from one to the other. They actually get more pleasure in a good drawing or
painting than they do with what they take to the computer. For me in my
district, it is the administrators and parents who need to be educated and
convinced, not the kids. And as far as the language of kids, they also
speak, write, read, and draw all the time. Cell phones, Blackberries, and
digital cameras don't replace those things, and never will.
It is like saying that no one will ever again compose a rock song or play a
guitar because they now have an iPod...makes no sense and is confusing the
medium with the act of creativity and communication itself. As I said
previously, it is like saying that a paint brush can replace a painting. An
iPod can never replace a human being playing a guitar. It's apples and
oranges. However, I agree with both you and Larry S, that we are
RESPONSIBLE for learning the media of the 21st century; it's not just a
suggestion or a good idea, it is a necessity if we are to stay in the fight
for arts education and prevent ourselves from becoming dinosaurs.

Pam Wellington
Art Dept. Chair
Boiling Springs High School
Boiling Springs, PA

" It is the students we need to =
be convincing, not the administration. We can reach our students through a=
rt and technology if we are willing to understand and use their tools. Unl=
ess we embrace technology and the needs of our students, we will and should=
be replaced. "