SchoolArts Magazine

APR 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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thousand years of art history in an impressively comprehensive and ever- expanding manner. Perhaps more importantly, it also creates the oppor- tunity to initiate discussions in which students can ask or respond to ques- tions, or express their own opinions, experiences, or views on an artwork. Omnidirectional Learning Where a textbook can only explain the historical and aesthetic contexts of a work of art, SmartHistory and Khan Academy can engage students in con- versation. This, of course, represents a much more radical change than a con- version from old media to new; it rep- resents a change in approach. Educator Harold Rheingold describes this as a shift from "one to many," in which information flows one way to a "many to many" culture. In other words, the sharing of information becomes omni- directional. When a student clicks on a link to learn about an art- ist, artwork, move- ment, or theme, the resulting page supplements the videos, image, and text with connec- tions in the side- bars. On the left, a column of links puts the current information in the I n last month's column, I discussed a few TED talks from educators who are calling for a revolution in the current model of educa- tion. Throughout the variety of ideas presented, a few common threads emerged. These included challenging, self-paced learning and creating con- nections that bridge the classroom to the outside world. As introduced by Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, in his TED talk "Let's Use Video to Transform Education," the "flipped classroom" is one in which video is used to intro- duce and reinforce concepts to stu- dents. In this model, students watch videos as homework, then use class time to work with the teacher. This is a powerful concept for art teach- ers. Although most of our students' class time is hopefully already spent making art, introducing concepts and background outside of class can create a greater opportunity to engage stu- dents with their own artwork in class. Khan Academy and SmartHistory Salman Khan created Khan Academy ( ) to assist students with math, but the site has begun to encompass other subjects as well. As mentioned in my last column, Khan Academy has recently partnered with SmartHistory ( smarthistory. ) to provide online resource videos, images, timelines, and essays covering the last few context of other important artists, art- works, and movements from the time period. On the right-hand side, a map appears with a date to show the time and location of the topic. Inspiring Intrinsic Motivation Students can engage the information from SmartHistory in an even more comprehensive way at the main Khan Academy website ( khanacademy. org/humanities/art-history ). As they watch videos and take quizzes, stu- dents can earn points and badges as they build towards mastery of various concepts. In this way, Khan Academy harnesses the power of intrinsic moti- vation through gamification—another common thread found in some of the TED talks we looked at last month. Even more significantly, teachers can enroll their classes on the site and track student progress through charts and diagrams that map activity, areas of focus, goals, and skill progress. The tradition of math as the focus of Khan Academy's studies still per- meates the site. However, as the site continues to expand, expect an expe- rience that is even more specifically tailored to art education. David Gran teaches high school art and film classes at the Shanghai American School in China and is the author of The Carrot Revolution, a blog about twenty- first-century art education. carrotrevolu- David Gran @ R + Smart Histor 26 April 2014 SchoolArts A_pages_4_14.indd 26 2/20/14 3:06 PM

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