Art in the Age of Networked Learning


Innovations in technology can inform pedagogical practices by asserting the importance of collaborative discourse. Although web-based courses are increasing in numbers, research of what occurs within these new curriculum spaces, in particular critical dialogue across multidirectional conversations, is lacking. The internet can now be considered a tool in facilitating critical dialogue within peer-centered learning but we need to know more about how students learn in a networked society and how to adapt curriculum to a technology that is here to stay.

Art educators are capable of seeing new pedagogical possibilities when working with digital technology in curriculum (Wang, 2002; Wood, 2004), which suggests that their work might benefit the future of networked learning. This session will demonstrate how online technologies are being used to foster meaningful discourse and original imagery within studio art courses at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. These particular courses offered online are not about using the computer to make art, but rather an understanding of visual principles and conceptual themes. In many cases students use traditional media and then document the work for online presentation. Although the lack of human contact adds challenges to the teaching and learning process, our experience has revealed success in quality of work, active participation, and critical thinking.

Through visual references to these online courses, I will describe how the traditional studio classroom can be reimagined online to create critical thinking within the creative process. Topics will include the visual space, recording and archiving process, and shaping active learners.

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