Magazine article School Arts

Do You Hate Technology?

Magazine article School Arts

Do You Hate Technology?

Article excerpt

Ask yourself: Why do you use technology? How would you like to use it? What are your fears about technology? How do artists and art educators use digital technologies? How does electronic/digital media change our experiences, and therefore, our perceptions and expressions?

When I ask art teachers these questions, patterns of beliefs emerge, such as perceptions of computer technology as cold, sterile, and impersonal. Moreover, art teachers tend to express a lack of confidence in working with computers or state that their students will know more about technology than they do. Many art teachers perceive computer technology as useful for finding, storing, and presenting content, but less suitable for creating art. Commonly expressed is the statement: "I hate technology." The emotional state of hate is often associated with disillusionment and misunderstanding.

The Element of Play

Most art teachers do not have time to keep abreast of the latest version of software in order to integrate computer technology into their art lessons. Moreover, software approached in a step-by-step manner is detrimental to motivation, creativity, and learning for transfer beyond the particular school project. Art teachers know that becoming familiar and confident with any medium requires time for exploration and play, which, in turn, leads to motivation to develop skills for meaningful artwork. Similarly, students need time to explore new media technologies such as digital cameras, scanners, and software programs.

Technologies in the Artroom

Show students how to use the help menus and tutorials, and how to pull down menus and search for the small icons that extend each option into further options. Also, when introducing new technology, provide opportunities for students to teach, first themselves, and then to prepare (with visuals and text) a how-to handout for classmates, which is also a way to assess their understanding. …

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