On finding balance in the art curriculum . . .

I just came off doing two presentations at NAEA on bringing digital participatory media (aka Web 2.0 tools) into the art curriculum, each of which garnered quite different responses (at least on the surface). While the group at my Friday morning talk appeared largely supportive of my call for making more space in the K-12 art curriculum for digital media projects, the Sunday afternoon group had a few vocal opponents.

I may be overstating the opposition part, but it seemed clear that there were at least two teachers in the audience who had serious reservations about bringing more technology into the art classroom. Perhaps there are many more who feel this way?

As I strongly stated in both presentations, I am against discarding all conventional art practice and tools from the K-12 art curriculum. On the other hand, I do recognize that there is only so much time for teaching art in the classroom, and something will have to go if we want to make room for a new animation project or other use of digital media with students.

I’m going to assume here that the challenge of finding a balance in the use of high tech tools in art classes is a big concern for a lot of art teachers today. Also, this concern may be preventing some from moving into the digital realm. They may fear that if they do, they’ll be opening Pandora’s box.

So, I’ll pose two questions here in hopes of generating some conversation. For those art teachers who have already moved into the digital realm with their students, “How do you balance the high tech with high touch?” For those who are entering new territory here, “How do you feel about bringing (more) technology into your classroom? Are you overwhelmed by the prospect?”

I’ll have more to share from NAEA and my presentations soon. I return to Gainesville tomorrow and have to finish up with Spring classes this coming week. When the dust settles I’ll have more to say. Meanwhile, if you have some thoughts to share on the above two questions, I hope you’ll post them here.

BTW: As I’ll be away from my computer tomorrow while traveling, if you respond it may not show up until later in the evening.