In a world of technology, computers, and robots, it seems that it would be a simple task for any classroom educator to incorporate computers and technology into his or her classroom. However, this task is not quite so simple for the teacher of art. So the question is: How can an art teacher effectively incorporate technology into the classroom beyond photoshop and powerpoint? Is it even necessary for an art classroom to have all of the technological advancements of the modern age? Artists have been doing alright for hundreds of years without all of the computers, so what is the big deal?

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You might want to make contact with Kevin Honeycutt: He's even started a social network for art in education at
I love Kevin Honeycutt's Artsnacks (as Steve Hargadon noted), even though it's not really for art teachers, but rather for non-art teachers as a way to incorporate the arts INTO their work. It works WONDERFULLY for my gen ed classes! What I also like about it is that art experts are also in residence and can offer their ideas, support, and work to the budding artists of the world. I've seen a GREAT improvement in my students' (and my personal) artwork by seeing the work of others. Now that I'm seeing their artistic self-confidence grow, this readily transfers to other parts of creativity as well.

However, you're asking about other technology too: In addition to the tech tools presented here by other capable folks, I could see blogging about artists, their work, and history as something useful. That way kids could continue the dialogue about art outside of the classroom (wow!) in a medium in which they're already used to conversing.

I'd LOVE to see what ideas you incorporate from here.
I think one thing that would be neat if I taught Art, would be virtual fieldtrips to the great art museums around the world. Of course, you would have to have access to computers or a projector.
You must try Art Rage!!!! It's a virtual paint environment where the chalk tool really behaves like chalk, the paint brush runs out of paint, the crayon tool has a real crayon-like texture. The basic version is free; the fancy version has a reasonable fee. You can upload digital pictures and "trace" over them with the tools, even picking up similar colors to the photo.

I was wondering if one can create a transparency over a digital picture in this ART RAGE program you were talking about. If so, I am talking about contour lines with my students, and would love them to trace overtop of their own photograph. Using the computer would be a lot me fun then just transparencies.

Ok. I just tryed out this program, and it would be great for my class. I did a quick example or how i would use it, however, I do not like the fact that the mouse is so hard to use. Too bad Wacoms are so expensive. Check this out:
I took a workshop once and the presenter said "Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a bar of soap!" Ask all your kids to donate 10-20 bucks and you could buy some Wacoms. If that's not possible write a Best Buy grant next year (if they have them in their catalog). We've got three and the kids enjoy them. You can autually put a photo under the flap and trace with pen.
I'm not an art teacher but I think one way to incorporate technology is in the use of it to present the art lesson. By using technology, the teacher can show students art work and museums from around the world. One of my favorite websites,, offers video interviews of authors AND artists that the teacher can use to show the students the artistic process of illustrating books.
This is an amazing website! I passed it along to my librarian and have signed up myself. Thanks for sharing
Hey Ben :-)
There's a lot of simple ideas that you can use, even with the oft aligned PowerPoint. I've attached a file that I used with my Year 7 students to teach them how to draw simple animals using shapes. Yeah, we've seen this technique done to death, but the kids loved seeing the final image created before their eyes.

I run them through the whole process so that they can see the endpoint and then we step through the process together, with me guiding them through each stage. Obviously, I'm drawing on the board at the same time as I explain what's happening in the PowerPoint. Hope it's useful. As Lucy suggested, I'd also give Art Rage a crack as you get a really good sensation of using 'traditional' media in a digital environment (the oil paint is heaps of fun - and no mess!!)

Even with digital art, there is still room for paper and pen created materials. I think it's like something else I do, knitting. People do not need to knit to making clothing. It's cheaper and easier to get machine knit goods, but people still knit and those that do concentrate on doing more unique and interesting creations. Here is how I would look at using technology:

1. To display work, both digital and pen/paint/paper.
2. To create multimedia projects
3. To enhance delivery of instruction. You can share your art print books much better in whole class instruction using an ELMO. Overheads, just won't do as well. You can also use and ELMO to share student work in class.
4. Look at design issues. Powerpoint, and desk-top publishing give us lots of tools, how many use them well?
5. Digital photography, lots of issues (framing, layout, etc.) are the same, but you can also do work with effects without going in the darkroom.
6. Movie Maker, online programs like JumpCut, and Premiere Elements can help your students move from still photography to actual movie making.

Use it as a tool, not a replacement.
I am a professional portrait painter that uses digital painting tools. After fifteen years of painting in watercolor and working in pencil, I have found that digital opens up many new avenues for me both creatively as well as from a business perspective. Maybe realizing that professional artists, even from the traditional realm of portraiture, use computers nowadays.

Also as a professional artist, I have found internet artsist groups that have helped me grow as an artist. WetCanvas is a tremendously busy place with channels devoted to all the media as well as to specific subject matter. You can post artwork to be critiqued or just to share for the fun of it. It is a great place to go to learn about new media and techniques. It is fun to post how-tos as you are creating a painting and pass along the tips you have figured aout.

I can give you a dual introduction to both. If you would like to see how the following portraits were painted using digital tools (not photo-manipulation but real from scratch painting) just take the links below the image. Hopefully I can figure out how to get the images to show here. LOL.



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