Using digital technologies to learn about art

By | 2017-08-17T20:10:05+00:00 May 11th, 2017|For teachers|0 Comments

Let’s face it, digital technology isn’t going anywhere. It’s seeped into every aspect of our lives, whether it be social, professional and in our classrooms. What was thought to be unimaginable 20 years ago is now at at the tips of your students’ fingertips. Here’s some reasons to embrace digital technologies as an educational mechanism for teaching art.

We’re all familiar with the incessant saying, “get off your phone!” at the dinner table and in the classroom. But, do your students really have to? The internet and social media has changed the way the audience views the art world, and likewise the way art is shared worldwide. Arts organizations now have access to a profound number of internet and mobile tools to showcase artists, promote exhibitions and educate schools, groups and guests. A study by the Pew Research center found that 99% of organizations that received grants from the National Endowment of the Arts have a website, and 75% are active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flikr or other social media platforms.

Collaborative String Painting with 2nd-5th Grade by Dooley (USA)

Collaborative String Painting with 2nd-5th Grade by Dooley (USA)

The free, digital tools that art oganizations provide are a great way to make learning interactive and fun for your students.

Here’s some great resources that you can use in your classroom:

The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian offers students the chance to learn and explore! The museum offers a wide array of topics, from watching a livestream of the zoo, to building your own sod house and even an interactive journey through American art. There are activities that integrate art with core subjects, such as math, science or sociology. For example, one activity asks students to decorate Day of the Dead shrines, while another explores history through literature and hands-on activities. There is a wide variety of activities and difficulty levels for your to choose from, so your students will never run out of stimulating material.

La ragazza Rossa by ARTY2H (Italy)

La ragazza Rossa by ARTY2H (Italy)

The Metropolitan

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a section dedicated to elementary education called #metkids. The site has a map of the different halls and exhibitions in the museum. Students can press a red or yellow circle to see the work of art, learn about it and even receive instructions on how to create it themselves. There is a fun and engaging time machine feature that allows students to choose their own time period and geographical location to explore art. Your students can even watch various educational and instructional videos to complete their own projects.

The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art also has their own Kids Zone. Here, kids can click on many of the options for interactive fun! For example, students can design a moving sculpture on their mobile, or use the collage machine. There is even a section for teachers that is packed with resources, like interactives and lesson plans. Teachers can use this site as a secondary source of information while covering a topic, or even base an entire lesson on one of the many activities on this site.

The Museum of Art

The Museum of Art, otherwise known as the MoMa has an Art Safari section for students. The Art Safari guides students through their adventure, exploring animals an art. One section allows students to write their own stories, in the context of the art given on the page. The project is interactive and can be done as a class. Or, students can create their own art, while learning about some masterpieces and art movements along the way. And guess what! Students can even display their own art to share with the world!

Untitled by Hossainy (43Y Egypt)

Untitled by Hossainy (43Y Egypt)

The Tate Modern

The Tate Modern has a great student-oriented section called Tate Kids. This has a student gallery, games, videos and a section filled with creative projects. Students can share and interact with other students’ art, and see Tate Modern’s artists’ collections as well. There’s even a featured artist and a gallery of the month! Games include Cuboom (learning about Cubism), Art Detective (discovering facts behind mysterious object found in Britain) and an Art Lab! There are tons fun instructional videos, such as How to be a street artist and How to be a screen printer. Hours upon hours can be spent exploring this site and creating the art projects offered here.

Looking for a place to showcase your class’ amazing galleries? Creatubbles is a safe, encouraging space shared be creators all around the world!

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Tish Seabrook. Copywriter at Creatubbles. Writer and former university lecturer. Interests: edtech, STEAM, arts integration.