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Lesson Plans

Re: PAINT...Windows 95--on my soapbox!! (long)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lily/Clair Kerns (CWKerns)
Sat, 27 Jun 1998 09:26:40 -0500

Wake up, folks! With all the fuss and bother about getting technology into
the classroom, many of us have forgotten something....
Technology in the Art Room isn't just about getting even one computer, or
about Mac vs Pc, lab vs classroom, internet access, teachers' lack of
computer literacy, training and support. It isn't just about keeping
records, filing lesson plans, electronic portfolios, art resources on the
net, e-mail for sharing, support and for collaborative projects (is _anybody
_doing these???)--valuable as these things are...

Technology in the Art Room is about creating art. And that means graphics
programs. Graphics programs aren't the only art tool needed in the art
room, nor are they necesarily the most important. Maybe you limp along
without a ceramics component to your curriculum--your students are being
cheated. Maybe you have access to only a few art reproductions (and most of
those from calendars you have purchased from your own pocket)--your students
are being cheated. No access to a computer graphics program with
expressive, creative capability (and I don't mean clip art or Kid
PIX!)--your students are being cheated out of an expressive, creative tool
and cheated out of knowing about something that is an integral part of their
daily life--and the ability to use that skill in the future.

Most people (including a lot of art teachers, unfortunately) have no idea
whatever of the graphic power of computers. They see that power every
day--advertising, movie special effects, TV, the house they live in, the
clothes they wear and the furniture they sit on, the books and magazines
they read or the car or bus or bicycle that is their transportation.
Computer graphics have become an integral part of our world.

But commercial art and technical drawings aren't the only things produced
with computer graphics programs. Digital artists are going through the same
kinds of problems of being accepted as "real" or "legitimate" art that
photographers had to struggle with. If all the next generation knows about
computer art is the clip art and the commercial stuff (and this is not to
devalue that in any way), then those who find computer graphics an
expressive and powerful artistic tool will continue to struggle for
acceptance as artists.

We hear a lot about the visual component to learning, and those who learn
best visually--how many of your classrooms or labs have a graphics program
on their computer? Is anyone (besides Carolyn Roberts who has already
shared with this group--thanks, Carolyn) teaching teachers and students to
use what they do have as an integral part of their classroom learning
process? What most of them have, I suspect, is the simple program (e.g.
Windows' Paint) that comes with their computer--it's better than nothing,
folks. If that's what you've got in the here and now--let's make sure it's
being used.

It's time for art teachers to get aggressive about being sure that their
students have an opportunity to use every available visual creative
resource. Demand that they have access to creative computer graphics in
both lab and classroom and that your teachers are visually literate--If you
don't, who else will?????

Sorry, folks--you just got too close to my soapbox...

Lily Kerns