Intelligent Boards: Embracing the Future of Art Education

Smart Board. Image courtesy of http://webster.nred.org/www/nred_webster/site/hosting/Mulqueen/Smart%20Boards/smartboards.htm
SMART board. Image courtesy of http://webster.nred.org/www/nred_webster/site/hosting/Mulqueen/Smart%20Boards/smartboards.htm

The development of Android phones and iPhones has amounted to a booming development of apps for the App Store and Google Play store, which have become helpful resources within the classroom. Through these venues, educators have found many applications that are useful, such as games that help students set up routines for school and others that help them learn appropriate behavior. In addition, technology has also helped school become more interactive with the use of intelligent boards and tables.

In Art Education specifically, the use of intelligent boards has become increasingly useful to teach somewhat abstract concepts. For example, when showing a photograph and you are trying to teach your students about the rule of thirds (when you divide the picture into a 3×3 grid), you can use the SMART board, for instance, to draw on top of the work in order to point out how this rule works. It is arguably less effective to show students a picture and have them imagine that they split the picture and then have them describe what happens in each section of the photograph. Some students are visual learners and it would be very difficult for them to be able to imagine this, whereas if they can actually see it with an intelligent board, they will be more likely to understand–and, importantly, apply–the concept.

The intelligent board specifically reflects our current technology-based society because most of our electronics are now touch screen. This physical interaction with technology is a great way to keep students engaged and illustrates two very important ideas that are constantly considered in education. The first is that it is important that the subjects within a classroom be relevant to real world experiences and, secondly, it is important to incorporate current technologies within the curriculum. In other words, it is important to use current technologies in the classroom because students need to know how to use these materials in the present as well as keep their knowledge of technology current, for easier use in the future. Most work places and even universities rely heavily on technology, and if students are not exposed to this, we cannot expect to continue progressing forward to discover even newer technologies that will continue to support more effective pedagogies.

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