CyberArts Program Offers Students a Real World Application of Art Education and Technology [Don Mills Collegiate, Toronto]

Article excerpt

Eero Waterman, Rebecca Rose, Una Janicijevic, all students in Grade 11 at Don Mills Collegiate are enthusiastic about the work they and their class have undertaken. Unusual? Perhaps not. Students talking about their work, proud to show a visitor their accomplishments. It's not so surprising. The work, however, is beyond surprising. The program nurturing that work is a model of innovation, co-operation and dedication.

Launched at Don Mills Collegiate, the Cyber Arts Program builds on a number of concepts that many discuss, but few achieve. The combination of art and technology, school and the real world, education and industry all fall into place here. To work, however, the program relies on the full commitment of its constituents.

Students apply to the CyberArts program. To be accepted they must demonstrate academic achievement of 70% or better and commit to a longer school day. Exploration of the arts is fostered through the study of art history and the "masters" and extended through the use of technology as a means of providing new opportunities for artistic expression.

Teachers must be committed to true team teaching. This means accepting another teacher's mark for a project, the sharing of space and resources, working with others to deliver a true cross-curriculum program. The goal is to create an integrated learning experience within a simple framework of art and technology.

Teachers in this program are expected to bring their industry-related experience to the table. Many have worked in areas like film making, desktop publishing, multimedia or graphic arts. The aim is to bridge the gap between theory and real-world practice and better prepare students for future challenges.

Looking around the rows of Apple G3s in the senior lab, it is clear that this is a program striving to stay current with industry standards. …

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