All students have strengths and weaknesses. By offering opportunities to explore art, students can see ways in which they might flourish in the future. Some students may find their niche in traditional art classes. Through exposure to arts activities, others may come to realize that they might have a future in design, music composition, theatre, architecture, graphic design, etc. Other transferrable career skills include creativity, resilience, self-confidence, and communication ability. Furthermore, both math and literacy and positively impacted by experience with fine art and music.
I have been out of the classroom for a few years so I am not currently using any type of technology that integrates art. However, in the past I’ve had my very young students use the drawing tools on Educreations to illustrate their reports. Most of the others technologies that I’ve used have been tools to create mind maps or slideshows, but I consider these to be more supporting visuals rather than art.
One online resource that I found which would age-appropriate for my students is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Kids (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/). On this site, there are a lot of activities to familiarize children with fine art. The first section is called “Explore the Map.” Basically, there is a cartoon drawing of the interior of The Met. Children can hover over dots which will then produce pop-ups that give information, images, and videos of various Met artworks and parts of the museum. The Time Machine section allows students to choose from various time periods, geography and/org big ideas. The push the selection button and artwork that matches their chosen categories appear. They can then read about those selections. The final section is Videos, where students can browse through various short videos about art and the museum. I really like the idea of incorporating the time machine section of the site into student research activities. For instance, if children were researching inventers of North America, they could search “1900-present” + “North American” + “Inventions” to find correlating artwork with background information that may enhance their research.
My big take away from the article and videos is that the arts are critical. They are not simply restricted to art and music classes and confined within those boxes. They are areas of that study that are not only important and applicable to our students’ future career options and understanding of the world, but the skills involved affect literacy, communication, mathematics, and most of all, critical thinking.