Liyan Wang wrote:
> 1) what's your response to the different positions that
> researchers and art teachers seem to take?
This is my 5th year of teaching in a large suburban district with 22
elementary schools, 4 MS's and 3 HS's. Elem. art teachers meet monthly
and are sometimes joined by the secondary teachers. We have had several
joint inservices on using computer technology as an art medium. These
teachers' attitudes would corroborate the findings of your research;
that is some can't wait to incorporate what they've learned into their
teaching, some are reasonably computer literate but skeptical of using
computers as a medium in a "fine arts" program, and some are still
having trouble pointing and clicking. (Have you heard that there are 3
kinds of people in the world? Those who make things happen, those who
watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.) I think you
could safely divide our group of people philosophically into two groups:
1) the "fine artists" who most appreciate the expressive, tactile, and
experiential qualities of art work and art making and tend to reject
what they perceive to be sterile, mechanical, synthetic substitutes; and
2) the "fine and applied artists" who also recognize that literacy in
the "media arts" is vitally important to citizens of (that already
tiresome phrase) the 21st century. Today, literally EVERY art-related
occupation involves the use of some electronic media.
> 2) what motivates you to use ArtsEdNet, and how does this work <or not work for you?
LOVED Christine's phrase, "Artsednet is like an awesome teacher's
lounge…"! I wish I had a few extra hours in the day to sit here and talk
with everyone, and then a couple more to use all the wonderful ideas in
> 3) Any personal stories of your learning/struggling process while using computers in your art teaching>
Computer labs were installed 4 years ago in every building in our
district, with the stated goal of computer literacy for every K-12
child. (Ha!) Secondary schools have been using computers in the art
program for at least that long - some with more enthusiasm than others.
Last week the luxury of this technology finally trickled down to the el.
art rooms and each one finally had a Mac G3 w/ ClarisWorks and KidPix
installed. We also have access to a multimedia cart w/ scanner, digital
and video cameras and KidPix Studio, and we will very shortly have
internet access. Last year I worked on the committee creating a computer
art objectives to incorporate into the regular elem. art curriculum. I
also completed my masters project on this topic in August.
As it stands in this year of contract negotiations, the board's stance
seems to be to put more stuff on the same size plate, ie; teach the
regular AND computer art curricula in seven 40-minute periods instead of
six 50-minute periods. We will oppose this plan in favor of increased
staffing to teach a separate computer art curriculum in six 50-minute
periods. As usual, the short-term, fiscally (but not educationally)
sound "bottom line" is favored to win.
The issue of unequal access will inevitably result due to population
differences. Ex: In one school of 600+ kids, I teach 24 classes in 4
days and will have NO access to the lab because it is booked by 26
classroom teachers. In my other school with half the population, I have
five classes in one day plus an extra enrichment period, and there are
lots of available times in the lab.
On the happy side, I plan to use the new art room computer as much as
possible as an instructional tool and am excited about the possibilities
of expanding the scope of my students' experience with the world through
the internet. I've seen (master's) research projects on teaching
computer art on a limited number of art room computers, so there ARE
ways to divide the pie, albeit into very small pieces. One example is to
generate computer images, patterns, textures to incorporate into
traditional art forms such as collage or printmaking. Another is to set
up "centers." I'm sure OSU must have some projects along these lines
archived. Last year's NAEA conference offered many informative sessions
on art and technology. Watching, and being involved with this
"electronic revolution" continues to amaze and challenge me. One thing
is certain; it's not going to go away!
Linda in sunny and 60°! Michigan