I read a scholarly article that was entitled "Creativity in Digital Art Education Teaching Practices." This article discussed the lack of integration of technology into the present day art education classrooms.
Some art educators are starting to get resistant about adopting new digital techniques into their repertoire. There are numerous reasons in which this is occurring. According to Diane Gregory, part of this may be due to the No Child Left Behind Act. Since this act has been put in place, there has been a 21% decrease in funding for art education, and a 19% decrease in classroom time for art students. Another reason teachers have been resistant is due to a lack of training and access to training. The art instructors do not feel as though they have been adequately instructed on how to use new digital technology in the classroom. Educators tend to be leery of integrating new material when they don't feel 100% confident in their knowledge of the topic. One last issue discussed was the lack of software and programs available for the students. The school is not providing the art teachers with the software and programs that are necessary to introduce this new digital media to the students, mostly due to funding problems. (Black 19-34)
Integration of these new technologies is crucial in this day and age. The world is changing all around us and people are becoming more and more attached to digital technology. Some even say that teenagers these days are actually "screenagers," due to their massive amount of computer use. If teachers do not stay up to date with this technology, the students will lose interest. They will not learn how to harness their creativity into these new digital technologies. Digital media is a tool that keeps children excited about learning and keeps them current in today's ever changing society. Art educators need to take action and stop being so resistant about integrating these new ideas. I think the art teachers are just not as aware as they need to be, and that is causing the problem. There are a few ways in which this can be solved, even with the lack of funding in today's economy.
What Teachers Can Do:
Teachers can start by training themselves. Some art educators think that just because they have not been professionally taught material, that they are not suited to teach the material. Because digital technologies are ever changing, teachers need to be proactive and teach themselves. Many art educators who currently use technology in their classrooms are self taught. Art teachers need to be constantly keeping up to date with digital media techniques. There are so many great educational and tutorial sites available for teachers to learn the techniques. There are also many sites with lesson plans available to help teachers get started with integrating new programs into their classrooms. The decrease in classroom time for art educators is not something they can personally change, but they can change their lessons in order to adopt new techniques. Teachers need to be able to modify their lessons to be more efficient in times like this. If the art teacher feels there isn't enough time to integrate a completely new lesson into their curriculum, they can adjust their current lessons to add some digital technology use. This could be as simple as having the students convert a pencil drawing they did into a digital document. That at least gets the students started in working with art and technology together. The last issue discussed in the article, the lack of software and programs provided, can also be solved with a proactive teacher. If the teacher just does a little research, they will find there are many digital art programs available for free on the web. There are also programs available, such as Adobe Design Suite, which are heavily discounted for educational purposes. Also, many computers come with free programs already installed that can be used, such as Garage Band, Photo Booth, and iMovie. Even if the school does not have Macs, many equivalent programs are equipped on PCs. As long as the teacher can get access to a computer lab, they can access art related digital media.
Adobe Educational Site (Lesson Plans/Tutorials):
Black, Joanna. "Creativity in Digital Art Education Teaching Practices." Art Education 64.5 (2011): 19-34. UMD Library: EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec 2011.