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Visual Arts Learning Activity Types1,2

 

Using technologies in the visual arts has created new possibilities for student learning. Digital technologies, such as graphic design software, animation tools, and photo and video editing applications, offer students opportunities to create, construct, design, communicate, connect, present and reflect as part of their visual arts learning. How can teachers and students choose among the many educational technologies available, such as arts-related software, Web 2.0 tools, and mobile apps? In what ways can visual arts educational goals be addressed by selecting appropriate technologies for classroom-based learning activities? How can activities for visual arts learning be developed that make appropriate use of educational technologies?

 

To be effective in visual arts-related learning, technology integration strategies must align with how teachers plan educational experiences, rather than designing instruction around the use of particular technologies. The 75 visual arts learning activity types that appear below are designed to assist teachers in planning learning opportunities for students that appropriately integrate technology, pedagogy and visual arts content. After teachers and students have identified the learning goals for a particular unit, lesson or project, learning activity types can be selected from the taxonomy below and combined in ways that will most effectively help students to address those goals. The visual arts learning activity types are subdivided into two primary categories that can assist students in building their knowledge of visual arts content, concepts, processes, and techniques: Explore and Respond.

 

The 45 Explore Activity Types

 

The 45 activity types in the Explore category are subdivided into three sub-categories. Twelve activity types provide opportunities for students to build Awareness and/or Conceptualize understandings related to visual arts. The 18 Apply activity types challenge students to apply their knowledge of the visual arts using a variety of processes and techniques. The Create/Design sub-category includes 15 activity types that offer students opportunities for creative expression. Collectively, the 45 Explore activity types embody traditional conceptions around aesthetics, art criticism, art history and production, as well as honor new and emerging media, visual culture and postmodern ideas.

 

The Build Awareness/Conceptualize activity types, which are identified with 12 verbs—view, gaze, listen, collect, exchange, visualize, brainstorm, research, identify, play, record, and visit­—help students to develop awareness of art works and the cultural, social and historical contexts within which particular artifacts are situated. As the contents of Table 1 indicate, teachers have a wide range of technology options available to assist students in building visual arts conceptual knowledge and understanding through exploration by listening, collecting and researching. In developing an appreciation for the visual arts through viewing and gazing, students can explore aesthetic, sensory and critical perspectives upon art works. This allows them to develop conscious awareness, which contributes to arts appreciation and learning.

 

Other activities in this domain include listening, collecting, and visiting appropriate venues for arts-related learning. These activities assist the development of visual, cultural and multimedia literacy skills. This includes consuming, processing, conceptualizing and re-conceptualizing arts-related information, which leads to responding to art works, while considering students’ prior personal experience and knowledge as related to the content they are exploring. Learning activities that allow students to work individually or collaboratively around recording, exchanging ideas, visualizing, brainstorming and ideating are also included in the table below. Ideally, students will engage in learning experiences that feature a variety of learning activity types in the Build Awareness/Conceptualize category.

 

Table 1: Build Awareness/Conceptualize Activity Types

 

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

View

Students observe/access static, print-based, digital and animated media from teachers, guests and peers; synchronous and asynchronous, visual or via multimedia images

Augmented Reality/computer-mediated reality environments, mobile apps, Web-based digital archives, timelines (e.g.,Artsonia, ArtStore, Artcyclopedia, Google Art Project), presentation sharing services, online image and video sharing services, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, Google Earth, Web 2.0 art tools

Gaze

Students discuss issues around gazing such as conceptions of power, reality, natural and stereotypical depictions in visual art

Discussion forums, podcasting and other audio/video recordings and sites, blogs, wikis

 

Listen

Students listen to recordings of arts, artist, art history presentations and lectures; digital or non-digital

Mobile apps, online video-sharing sites, podcasting and other audio/video recordings and sites, Web conferencing tools/services

Collect

Students upload, collect, and bookmark arts resources, artifacts, materials, works, and research

 

Social bookmarking applications, wikis, blogs, mobile apps, online storage service, online image and video sharing services, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Exchange

Students exchange ideas surrounding the creation of art and artifacts with peers and other audiences

Email, mobile apps, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life), Web conferencing tools/services, discussion forums

Visualize

Students visualize imagery and recall experiences and stories; explore ideas to organize information using concept/mind mapping

Concept mapping software, mobile apps, Web 2.0 art tools

 

Brainstorm/Ideate

Students brainstorm ideas of personal, political and cultural interest in their sketchbooks

Collaborative word processors, concept mapping software, mobile apps, notetaking and archiving tools, Web 2.0 art tools, Web conferencing tools/services

Research

 

Used in:

 

Impressionist Artist Fakebook Page (high school)

 

Give Me Shelter (high school)

 

 

Students read and explore  historical information and other arts content, interview, gather, analyze, and synthesize information using print-based and digital resources

 

Social bookmarking applications, mobile apps, online fair use/copyright resources, notetaking tools, online art history timelines and digital archives, collaborative word processors, online image and video sharing services, podcasting tools, Quick Response (QR) Code scanners, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, virtual worlds, WebQuests, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Identify

Students identify vocabulary, questions and research associated with contextual, historical and social dimensions of works of art

Mobile apps, annotation tools, Web-based digital archives (e.g., Artsonia, ArtStor, Artcyclopedia, Google Art Project), Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Play

Students explore various dimensions of play such as those associated with solitary, parallel, associative, cooperative, pretend, onlooker, environmental, fantasy/imaginative play types, historical role play, etc.

Digital and video cameras, digital video and image editing software, mobile apps, educational games, programming language tools (e.g., Scratch), Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Record

Students work collaboratively or individually in developing a live or recorded performance or demonstration including oral, musical, dramatic and visual concepts

Digital and video cameras, digital audio, video and image editing software, Webcasting tools (e.g., Ustream, LiveStream) machinima cinematic production tools, mobile apps, screencasting software, online video and audio sharing services

Visit

 

Used in:

 

Kinetic Sculpture (middle school)

Students travel to physical or virtual field trip sites and perhaps develop their own tours; synchronous or asynchronous

Online art galleries, museums and digital image libraries/archives, WebQuests, digital video editing software, podcasting tools, screen capture software, virtual fieldtrips, virtual worlds

 

As students engage in Explore activities, it is important that they Apply and make connections among visual arts concepts and their own experiences. These cognitive processes represent the ways in which students apply and build upon prior knowledge and visual arts explorations. Such arts-based inquiry, using appropriate embedded educational technologies, helps students to construct meaning while applying critical thinking skills. The 18 Apply learning activity types appear below.

 


 Table 2: Apply Activity Types

          

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

Select

Students choose appropriate objects, media, processes, techniques, and methods in art

Mobile apps, Web-based digital archives (e.g., Artsonia, ArtStor, Artcyclopedia, Google Art Project), online fair use/copyright resources, social networking tools, blogs, wikis, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Practice

Students practice techniques, methods and processes in visual arts individually or collaboratively

Digital photography, digital storytelling software, digital and video cameras, digital printing, mobile apps, online games, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Experiment with

 

Used in:

 

Visualization and Characterization (middle School)

Students manipulate and experiment with media, materials, forms and concepts

Animation tools, augmented/computer-mediated reality environments, digital and video cameras, digital audio, video and image editing software, digital photography, digital printing, digital storytelling software, online games,  photocopier, podcasting tools, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Develop

Students develop arts representations, collaboratively or individually, using different media to represent ideas

Animation tools, digital photography, digital storytelling software, digital and video cameras, digital video and image editing software, concept mapping software, mobile apps, online fair use/copyright resources, image editing sharing services, online sketchbooks, Web 2.0 art tools

Prototyping

 

Used in:

 

Kinetic Sculpture (middle school)

Students design ideas for 3-D fabrication of objects, sculptures and environments in physical or electronic form

3D animation software and printing and modeling programs, mobile apps, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources, graphic design software, virtual worlds

Elaborate

 

Students develop more complex detail, components and concepts in art

Digital drawing and painting tools, digital image editing software, mobile apps, online fair use/copyright resources, online photo editing tools (e.g., Aviary), Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Layer

 

Used in:

 

Give Me Shelter (high school)

 

 

Students layer materials, methods and concepts around cultural and societal influences in art (such as gender, family, environment and religion)

Digital image editing software, digital photography tools, hybrid printing presses and tools, mobile apps, photo and video editing tools, Web 2.0 art and collage tools/online resources

Translate

 

Used in:

 

Graffiti: A Digital Identity

 

Students translate visual, historical, spiritual and emotional symbols and metaphors, plus interpersonally relevant ideas and artifacts in their art works

Animation tools, cartooning tools, digital and video cameras, digital drawing and painting tools, digital storytelling software, mixed media photography and printmaking tools, online fair use/copyright resources, digital image editing software, online sketchbooks, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Transform

 

Students transform everyday objects and spaces into works of art

Animation tools, projectors, time lapse photography, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Alter

Students alter pre-existing works of art in physical or electronic formats

Digital image and video editing software, graphic design software, online fair use/copyright resources, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources, photocopiers

Interact

Students explore interactions among art concepts, text, images, media and environments individually and/or with peers through themes in art

 

Augmented/computer-mediated reality environments, discussion forum, email, live blogs, mobile apps, collaborative word processors, polling tools, QR code scanners, social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video, virtual worlds, Web 2.0 art and collage tools/online resources, videoconferencing tools

Appropriate

Students explore social issues and events through adopting, borrowing, recycling and/or sampling man-made visual culture concepts, found objects and ready-made art

Online fair use/copyright resources, digital image editing software, scanners, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, virtual worlds, Web 2.0 art resources

Predict

Students make predictions about art media experiments and concepts

Discussion forums, online games, collaborative word processors, polling tools, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Extrapolate

 

Students use specific details to predict how new artistic methods and possibilities will build on previously identified concepts

Graphic design software, mixed media photography and printmaking tools, mobile apps, photo editing tools (e.g., Aviary), Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Juxtapose

Students juxtapose random or intentional concepts, images and other media together from different contextual sources and/or historical periods in creating original artwork

Collaborative word processors, presentation software (e.g., Prezi, Slideshare, Powerpoint), video and image editing software, moviemaking software, virtual worlds, Web 2.0 art and collage tools/online resources

Recombine

Students create mash-ups that recombine various arts media and concepts, either in physical or digital form

Audio/video editors, audio editing software, photo/video cameras, video and image editing software, digital photography tools, online fair use/copyright resources, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Recontextualize

Students recontextualize familiar images in relationship to images, texts and symbols not normally associated in art

Video and image editing software, graphic design software, projection technologies, Web 2.0 art tools

Curate

 

Used in:

 

Impressionist Artist Fakebook Page (high school)

 

Students select multiple works and organize them in an art exhibit or a series of works in a collection

Online galleries, timeline applications, wikis, Web2.0 art tools/online resources

 

When students engage in Creating and Designing—some of the highest levels of visual arts learning activities—they are exploring a range of traditional and new visual arts media, materials, creative concepts, themes and processes. This learning can be facilitated with use of appropriate educational technologies to support imaginative inquiry, personal expression and authentic meaning-making. Creating and Designing frequently require that students use materials and accompanying process skills as they develop artistic and perceptual awareness. This helps students to develop visual language that fuses materials and media exploration, mark-making and concept-building. These processes are important to the communicative and expressive aspects of students’ artistic development. The 15 Create/Design learning activity types appear in Table 3 below.

 

Table 3: Create/Design Activity Types

 

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

Design

 

Used in:

 

Impressionist Artist Fakebook Page (high school)

 

Graffiti: A Digital Identity

 

 

Students work collaboratively or individually to create a design (e.g., a set, advertisement, poster, cards, graphic design, typography, logo, fashion design, lighting/architectural design, storyboard, magazine) that demonstrates what they learned

Digital imaging editing and graphic/Web design software, image editing software, e.g., laser/inkjet printers, mobile apps, QR code scanners, Web2.0 art tools/online resources

 

 

Create a 2D work

Students work collaboratively or individually to create a 2D work (e.g., paintings, comics, cartoons, batik pieces, mixed media, giclée prints, drawings, sketches, photographs, photo montages, postcards, illustrations, sequential art works) that demonstrates what they learned

Digital cameras, digital printing tools, digital photography tools, graphic design software (e.g., Illustrator, Photoshop), hybrid printing presses, image editing software, laser/inkjet printers, mobile apps, photocopiers, printers, Web2.0 art tools/online resources

Create a 3D work

 

Used in:

 

Kinetic Sculpture (middle school)

 

Students work collaboratively or individually to create a 3D work (e.g., fashion designs, mobiles/kinetic art, fiber arts, mixed media, weavings, altered books, tile works, mosaics, pop-up books, jewelry/metalsmithing artifacts, assemblages, models, puppets, sets, sculptures) that demonstrates what they learned

3D printers and software (e.g., Google Sketchup), digital image editing software, digital storytelling software, mobile apps, Web2.0 art tools/online resources

 

 

Create a portfolio/ sketchbook

 

Used in:

 

Graffiti: A Digital Identity

Students create and document ideas, works of art, documents and other artifacts in sketchbook and portfolio formats

Web site authoring assistants, blogs, wikis, mobile apps, presentation software, collaborative word processors, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Create a virtual artifact

Students work collaboratively or individually to create virtual artifacts (e.g., apps, digital stories, podcasts, digital art, digital images, computer-generated imagery, animation, robotics, games, interactive designs, flipbooks, virtual environments, simulation) that demonstrate what they learned

3D programming environments, animation software, augmented reality applications, audio editing software, digital and video cameras, digital imaging and graphic design editing software, digital storytelling software, machinima cinematic production tools, audio editing tools, podcasting tools, moviemaking software, virtual worlds

Create a film

 

Used in:

 

Visualization and Characterization (middle School)

 

Give Me Shelter (high school)

Students work collaboratively or individually to compile still images, videos, music, sound and narration to create films in a variety of forms (e.g., video, productions, machinima films, video art, 4D and/or video mixing artifacts and sequential art) that demonstrate what they learned

Audio editing software, digital and video cameras, green screen software, machinima cinematic production tools, mobile apps, video sharing services, screen capture/ screencasting software, moviemaking software

Create an animation

Students work collaboratively or individually to create clay, stop motion, rotoscope or digital animation artifacts that demonstrate what they learned

3D animation software (e.g., Maya), animation tools (e.g., StopMotionPro,iStop Animation, Animate Clay, Stop Motion Animator), flash-style animation tools, mobile apps, Web 2.0 art tools

Create an exhibit

Students work collaboratively to create real time/physical or virtual/digital collections of art works and artifacts

Mobile apps, online art galleries & digital image archives, collaborative word processors, video and image editing sharing services, blogs, wikis

Create an installation/ conceptual work

Students work collaboratively to create conceptual/new genre/experimental/ interactive works, installations, site-specific art, and non-traditional works

Digital and video cameras, digital imaging software, digital and time lapse photography and video tools, projection technologies, video sharing services

Create a mural

Students work collaboratively to create and document site-specific public and community works

3-D printing and modeling programs, digital and video cameras, digital and time lapse photography and video tools, projection technologies, video sharing services

Create a game

Students work collaboratively or individually to develop a game, in paper or digital formats, to help students learn course content

Digital imaging tools, game design software, hybrid printing presses and tools, mobile apps, programming language tools (e.g., Scratch), Web site design software

Synthesize

Students will blend a variety of artistic themes and concepts to create a hybridized new media work

Animation tools, digital imaging editing and graphic design software, digital photography and video tools, drawing/painting software programs, machinima cinematic production tools, mixed media photography and printmaking tools, online photo editing tools, podcasting tools

Perform

 

Used in:

 

Visualization and Characterization (middle School)

 

Students engage in material-based or digital experiences related to improvisation, performance art, dramatizations, and simulations

digital and video cameras, machinima cinematic production tools, video sharing services, virtual worlds, Web conferencing tools/services, discussion forums

Record

Students work collaboratively or individually to create recordings based on scripts surrounding art concepts, stories and class content

Audio/video editors and recorders , podcasting tools, webcasting/broadcasting tools, collaborative word processors

Publish

Students work collaboratively or individually to publish their art work for themselves, peers, or other audiences

Desktop publishing, digital storytelling software, mobile apps, image sharing sites, video sharing services

          

 

The 30 Respond Activity Types

 

The 30 Respond activity types are organized in three subcategories: Describe, Analyze/Interpret, and Evaluate. The Describe subcategory is comprised of eight activity types that help students to define, label and explain various types of artwork. The 17 Analyze/Interpret activity types support students in making meaning from artwork in a variety of ways. The 5 activity types in the Evaluate subcategory challenge students to critique and assess visual art. Together, these 30 Respond activity types extend the conceptions that the Explore category activity types address, but encourage more depth in reflection, response and evaluation.

 

When children begin to develop artistic language, their writing and speaking emerge out of the visual imagery they create. Although creating and designing are important aspects of visual art, students can also benefit from other kinds of arts-based communication activities that help them to develop verbal and non-verbal language, including the use of speaking and writing when describing their learning. Expressing aesthetic and critical perspectives through description can be an important outcome of visual art learning. Describing can also be an engaging enterprise for students when combined with other types of learning activities.

 

Table 4: Describe Activity Types

 

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

Narrate

Students work collaboratively or individually to tell stories, develop narratives and communicate the concepts and processes embedded in works of complex styles of art; synchronously or asynchronously

Digital storytelling software and tools, moviemaking software, online avatar/voice generator tools (e.g., Voki, Blabberize), podcasting tools, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources, Web conferencing tools/services, discussion forums

Demonstrate

 

Students work collaboratively or individually to demonstrate processes of art making and share examples

Document cameras, interactive whiteboards, mobile apps, projectors, screen capture/ screencasting software, moviemaking software, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Paraphrase

Students restate the meaning  of art works, imagery, other media, or the function of a work of art

Digital and video cameras, discussion forums, online galleries, podcasting tools, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Annotate

Students make annotations in their own and others’ work based on observations and reflections related to relevant course concepts

Annotation tools, blogs, wikis, mobile apps, collaborative word processors, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources

Summarize

Students summarize how a process produces certain results and outcomes

Audio/video editors and recorders, concept mapping software, blogs, wikis, Web 2.0 tools/online resources, discussion forums

Write

Students engage in collaborative and/or individual writing (e.g., blogging, journaling, essays, reports, narratives, written reflections, note taking, test responses, artist statements, screenwriting, game scripting, poetry, creating stories) based on individual and group work

Digital storytelling software, discussion forums, interactive whiteboards, blogs, mobile apps, collaborative word processors, social networking sites, wikis, word processors, online text visualizers and generators (e.g., Wallwisher, Wordle)

Share

Students express their thoughts and feelings about arts-related concepts and works with their peers or other audiences.

Discussion forums, collaborative word processors, mobile apps, video sharing services, screen capture and screencasting software, blogs, wikis, social networking sites

Present

 

Used in:

 

Kinetic Sculpture (middle school)

 

Give Me Shelter (high school)

Students work collaboratively or individually to share their ideas, processes and/or artwork with a group

Document cameras, interactive whiteboards, video sharing services, slide sharing services, collaborative word processors, presentation software, mobile apps, projectors, blogs, wikis, moviemaking software, discussion forums

 

While learning how to make informed judgments about visual arts, students need to experience the analysis and interpretation of art works and ideas. Seventeen different types of visual arts analysis and interpretation (presented in the table below) form the Analyze/Interpret activity types within the 30 types of Respond activities.

 

Table 5: Analyze/Interpret Activity Types

          

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

Identify

Students identify basic vocabulary, concepts, patterns, personal/social/historical meaning and metaphors in art

Web-based digital archives (e.g., Artsonia, ArtStor, Artcyclopedia, Google Art Project), mobile apps, polling tools, Web 2.0 art tools/online resources, WebQuests

Classify/Label

Students classify and label arts media, processes and concepts evident in work according to course content

Collaborative word processors, annotation tools, mobile apps, Web-based digital archives

Categorize

Students sort and categorize works of art according to identified or emergent characteristics

Presentation tools, concept mapping tools, mobile apps, Web-based digital archives

Reflect/Retell

Individually or in groups, students reflect upon and retell what they remember about a visual arts exhibit, series of works, portfolio, and/or other artifacts and concepts orally or in their portfolio/sketchbook; synchronously or asynchronously; informally or formally

Audio and video recorders, discussion forums, mobile apps, polling tools, blogs, wikis

Discuss

In small or large groups, students engage in dialogue with peers about experiences, ideas, aesthetic perceptions, feelings and/or thoughts, synchronously or asynchronously

Discussion forums, mobile apps, social networking sites, blogs /microblogs, Web conferencing tools/services

Connect

Students connect symbols, metaphors and real or imagined subjects in a cohesive work of art  

Digital drawing and painting tools, image manipulation tools, mobile apps, Web-based digital archives, WebQuests

Compare/Contrast

Students compare and contrast how styles, media, elements and cultural/historical/social/other aspects of art are alike and different

Discussion forums, Web-based digital archives, mobile apps, Web conferencing tools/services

Inquire/Investigate

Students investigate aesthetic questions and engage in inquiry surrounding experiences, memories, media and ideas in visual art

Audio editing software, discussion forums, mobile apps, blogs, wikis, WebQuests

Question

Students work collaboratively or individually to construct aesthetic, historical and/or critical inquiry questions related to course material and concepts

Discussion forums, collaborative word processors, web-based digital archives, WebQuests, blogs, wikis

Answer questions

Students respond to aesthetic, historical and/or critical inquiry questions using traditional or contemporary means or through the use of online resources

Mobile apps, podcasting tools, audio/video recording collections, polling tools, word processors

Organize

Students plan a list of topics and ideas before they begin creating their art

Annotation tools, concept mapping tools, collaborative word processors, online sketchbooks, wikis, word processors

Represent

Students explore “representin” their artistic voices through their personal histories and cultures of origin in a work of art

Audio editing tools, digital drawing and painting tools, digital photography tools, projection technologies, moviemaking software, WebQuests

Deconstruct

Students explore artistic criticism and deconstruct conventional meaning in visual art works

Mobile apps, podcasting tools, audio/video recording collections, moviemaking software, Web 2.0 art tools, WebQuests

Characterize

Students note and express identifying qualities of visual art processes and works

Annotation tools, Web-based digital archives, virtual worlds

Edit

Students edit their works using various tools

Collaborative word processors, mobile apps, video and moviemaking software, image editing software, wikis, word processors

Revise

Students revise, rework and rearrange elements, deleting  and/or replacing elements

Moviemaking software, collaborative word processors, mobile apps, video and image editing software

Communicate

Students share information with others about art concepts they have seen, expressed or read about related to visual communication 

Blogs, discussion forums, podcasting tools, audio/video recordings collections, blogs, wikis, social networking sites, Web conferencing tools/services

 

Table 6 presents the five Evaluate visual arts activity types, which follow and often incorporate describing, analyzing, interpreting, judging and reflecting acts. A necessary aspect of evaluation in visual arts learning asks students to generate intuitive, informal and formal critical responses to art works and ideas. Evaluation activities can help students to develop understanding and/or reach conclusions regarding specific visual arts ideas and works.

 

Table 6: Evaluate Activity Types

        

Activity Type

Brief Description

Possible Technologies

Assess

Students create assessments, use a rubric/scale and/or question-and-answer formats, and/or use questionnaires, take exams/quizzes/ surveys synchronously or asynchronously; formally or informally

Blogs, discussion forums, collaborative word processors, polling tools, quizzing tools, wikis, word processors

Inventory

Students collect and sort art works that have similarities and/or differences and compare and contrast them

Digital archives, interactive whiteboards, mobile apps, online image and video sharing services, wikis

Argue

Students debate and justify different sides of an issue; formally or informally, structured or unstructured; synchronously or asynchronously

Blogs, discussion forums, wikis, email, Web conferencing tools/services

Critique

 

Used in:

 

Graffiti: A Digital Identity

Students explain and articulate ideas verbally and critically respond to works of art from a variety of social, historical and contextual perspectives

Blogs, discussion forums, Web conferencing tools/services, podcasting tools

Jury/Judge

Students form opinions and make judgments about work, peer evaluations and group critiques

Blogs, discussion forums, mobile apps, wikis

        


Interdisciplinary Explorations

 

When visual arts learning activity types are supported by different technologies, investigative paths to creative and imaginative thinking can be fostered, encouraging interdisciplinary student discovery. This is particularly true when considering the interdisciplinary nature of the visual and media arts. Although educational technologies can be used as instructional support tools, they can also serve as creative outlets that blur the lines between what constitutes tools and media used for artistic expression.

 

Because media arts typically involve combining two or more mediums, interesting social and collaborative dynamics among students can be explored. Blending arts and technologies can facilitate collaborative learning experiences that are supported by the convergence of interactive elements embedded within media arts experiences, such as animations, moving and still images, sound, space, time, sequencing, text and typography. For example, a group of elementary students might create a movie that includes their narrations, interviews and reflections upon drawing, while displaying the processes used to create their works of art through an animated series of images.

 

This example could be adapted easily to learning in other content areas, forging interdisciplinary connections among visual arts and mathematics, language arts, world languages, science and other content areas. Successful visual arts-infused learning is characterized by what Lowenfeld & Brittain (1987) described as “originality, elaborative thinking, risk-taking, complexity, curiosity, and imagination,” (p. 86) all of which are essential to effective learning in multiple disciplines. Exploration and expression in other arts-based modalities (e.g. dance, drama, music) can also be infused into interdisciplinary learning experiences, making this learning interesting, engaging and effective for students with a variety of different learning modality preferences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

Lowenfeld, V. & Brittain, W. L. (1987). Creative and Mental Growth. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

 

 

 


1
Grandgenett, N., Harris, J., & Hofer, M. (2011, February). Visual arts learning activity types. Retrieved from College of William and Mary, School of Education, Learning Activity Types: http://activitytypes.wm.edu/visualarts.html

2
   “Visual Arts Learning Activity Types” by Neal Grandgenett, Judi Harris and Mark Hofer is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
. Based on a work at http://activitytypes.wm.edu.