Technology as a Means for Creativity
Technology’s role in advancing and reimagining education is becoming increasingly more significant. A recent report from LearnPlatform reveals that the usage of educational technology (edtech) is growing, with the average K-12 student accessing around 74 edtech products, platforms, and services in 2022. Meanwhile, the report found that teachers interacted with an average of 86 different edtech tools in their line of work during the same period.
It must be noted, however, that edtech is not just changing the mode of instruction through online and hybrid learning. It also opens up greater possibilities for developing creativity in schools and classrooms, mainly through the introduction of digital art classes. In this light, here are the benefits of embracing digital art as a medium for learning and skills development.
Opportunities for STEM integration
Traditional learning methods in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are already being transformed by agile edtech tools. Thus, allowing the arts to catch up through the introduction of digital art paves the way for better, more integrated STEM and arts instruction, also known as STEAM.
But as previously covered in an article on the role of the arts in today’s learning, enhancing STEM through art is more than just incorporating the elements of design, color, and presentation into lessons and projects. More importantly, digital art introduces students to an entirely different medium, allowing them to make better sense of visual information and hone their fine motor skills — both of which are necessary for every STEM field, from statistics to robotics.
Wide range of tech and tools
Visual arts can be taught using traditional media such as pencils, charcoal, oil paints, paper, and clay, but this can sometimes be limiting. Not only do you have to purchase and supply the materials every class, but working with physical media can also result in a mess. In contrast, using tools for digital art like the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 allows students to create on the go with little to no waste. These portable tablets may be a huge investment at the start, but they can also be more cost-effective in the long run as their durability and long battery life can be used for any and all types of artwork.
Meanwhile, many digital art websites and programs are appropriate for school-aged children with varying art skills and competencies. There’s the simple web interface of Kleki that encourages creativity with no additional plug-ins, or Toy Theater which provides a variety of digital art activities from cartoon animation to 3D figures.
Enhancement of creativity and collaboration
Lastly, digital tools reinvent the approach to art education by enhancing students’ creativity and collaboration. Digital art resources like Adobe Creative Cloud, for example, expand students’ imagination by encouraging them to make multimedia content from paintings to graphics, then share their artwork with the rest of the class via the cloud. As these cloud-based resources can also be accessed remotely, students can conceptualize, create, and collaborate on art projects with their peers anytime and anywhere.
Connecting to SEAL
What’s essential is that teachers and educators give students the time and space to present, discuss, and reflect on their artwork and the work of others — whether during class time or at scheduled events like digital art galleries and exhibitions. This makes art education an extension of social and emotional learning, as students are able to practice empathy and establish supportive relationships throughout the journey of creating and sharing digital art with one another.
Written by Faye Jesse for theinspiredclassroom.com