Here are some ways we have used the Iinternet in the East Central I.S.D.(
Before we gained a phone line in the art room, I would use Telaport Pro to
download and reconstruct entire sites on hard disk using a Windows 95
machine at home. The platforms in the art room are Power MACs so Conversion
Plus was used to move the directory structure of the sites from the Win 95
environment to a MAC formatted ZIP disk which would work at school. This
practice was a lot of work on my part, but these materials could be used and
re used until additionsand changes at the the origional sites could be
downloaded and reconstructed. Note that large images and maps come in very
quickly if they are moving from a ZIP or a hard drive to memory, compared to
their load time in the online internet server to client process.
We were recently given a phone line, so things are a bit easier, but image
and document load times are slower.
In the High School, where I now work, have a block schedule and classes are
90 minutes. Art students need some variation in the longer learning block,
so the short "off line" surfing plugged into short lectures on subjects
related to traditional art lessons made their time in the class go quickly.
Some of the lessons involved perspective, hispanic artists, women artists,
and children's art.. Other lessons involved
computer art examples which are available on the net. There are sites
with specific lessons and tutorials using PhotoShop, Ofoto, Painter, and
HTML Tutorials. There are FAQs on image file formats,scanning, assorted
hardware and software, etc.
Most of the sites we used were of art work by other students in High School.
My kids could measure themselves and their development with others and grow
with the shared ideas of the other kids their age. On occasion, we would
critique the composition, use of media or talk about content or historical
association of the work by other kids.. We used some of the cartoon and
comic sites when doing a lesson on cartooning.
We use the Web Museum and other locations to do research for student
projects such as the classroom time line of art history ( a written
assignment for my Art 1 students).. Some of the historical topics are not
available in the texts from our school library but materials are available
on the Internet. Many contemporary artists are not yet available in our
library in published hardcopy but information or whole web sites are
devoted to their lives and their work.
Our ceramics students use the internet to view the work of ceramic artists
and images and information on ceramic artifacts which are on the Web. We
also use 'clayart' Listserv messages and other online resources in lessons
about clay, glazes, glaze flaws, firing, and ceramic history and chemistry.
In years pasts, we would use student email exchanges as a reward and
motivational device to encourage the students to do their best in hopes of
having the reward of access to a pen pal their age. The messages were all
taken to the library or to my home machine to be uploaded through one of my
accounts. It was a lot of trouble and we had only sporadic success with the
process. Perhaps now we can connect with other art classrooms and do email
exchanges in connection with our art on the web. Students love to talk to
othe students and now, with a phone in the room, I hope to work more with
this resource in support of learnig. .
In the early years on the net, before the Web was such a huge part of our
experience online, our students were also involved in email coordinated,
international snail mail art exchanges, such as ' Project Ecology', etc.
as one faces the steep learning curves involving electronic imaging and
telecomputing. The Net also helps the sense of isolation dissolve as art
educators talk, share, lurk and learn from one another. I think the fact
that the Net has created a situation where an art teacher on the other side
of the world, or the students of that teacher, can become actively or
passively involved with the process of learning in our classrooms. In
turn, we can share our experiences and the work from our classrooms with
those who can use what we are doing to help with the teaching and learning
at their location. Art education is quietly changing for all of us.