Middle School students at Friedell Middle School are tech-savvy students. Inside and outside of the classroom, they are engaged, often fascinated by computer programs, digital communication, and entertaining games. It’s time to include technology in their art classes.
Students are empowered through art. Exploring photography as an art form will be a powerful, expressive tool. I am requesting 14 digital cameras to create photographs in the art room.
Students will learn about composition, balance, and lighting. They will learn how to communicate and how to tell a story through the visual art of photography. Students will learn how to manipulate photographs when downloaded into a photo-editing program. Students will express themselves though photography as they use this digital technology; a skill they will likely use in the future and potentially as a career.
Art class in the past has consisted of Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, and Mix-Media. When I teach using these mediums, the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design naturally come through in my curriculum. We look at artists from the present and the past. We learn to describe and interpret works of art. My students read about artists, write reflections, and tell stories about their works of art.
There is something missing here. I believe digital art and technology will be added to our Standards and Benchmarks in the near future. It is a natural enhancement of art curriculum. We will learn about the elements and principles through photography. Students will also learn about well-known photographs and photographers. Utilizing technology in the 21st Century has become essential. Middle school students are engaged in the use of technology outside the classroom. They have Smart phones, iPads, and play complicated video games. If we can combine the technological knowledge they already have with new ways of thinking about art making and expression, magical things will happen. Digital art is becoming more important and relevant.
We will continue to display our work for the community at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Celebration in May. We also display artwork in the Skyway and Edison Building. Photographs can be printed so that students have the original work and prints are displayed else ware.