News Feature | August 11, 2014

Technology In Art Education Is Opportunity For VARs

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Student Technology Options For VARs

Technology can be applied to artistic pursuits — Photoshop, music recording, video editing — and Tech Page One reports that technology is pushing art education forward via the “cyber arts.” 

This means that traditional art forms such as painting, drawing, and sculpture are no longer the only ways students express themselves creatively in school. With the growing pressure to balance budgets in light of growing costs, art programs in schools are usually the first to be cut in times of budgetary constraints.  But new technological innovations have presented creative students with opportunities — and these same innovations are also presenting opportunities for VARs to capitalize on the new trend.

Many cyber artistic pursuits are skills that can be applied in the working world; many graphic designers, for instance, use Photoshop every day. Here are two more examples of how cyber arts are being implemented in schools.

  • Toronto’s public middle and high schools are now offering an integrated program through an organization called CyberArts that embraces visual arts, media literacy, communications, dance, media studies and a co-op program for students to gain real world experience. These courses satisfy graduation requirements set by Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Courses offered through CyberArts include visual arts, integrated and communication technology, cyber geography, cyber history and cyber civics and careers.
  • College pilot programs are also beginning to appear across the country. A group of University of California, Los Angeles, graduate students piloted an interactive education project in 2013  called a Cyber Mural, integrating both the arts and the sciences for students ages 4 to 12, which tracks students’ movements as they run along a grid and then projects the images onto a wall to produce a piece of art. The Cyber Mural involves three components: software that tracks student movement, an Internet connection that transfers images to the computer and a program that integrates movements and images. It is the integration of these components that makes the cyber art venture successful.

 “Technology is their generation, their life. Bringing these valuable tools into learning will help build conceptual ideas such as conservation,” teacher Hasmick Cochran told the Daily Bruin, UCLA’s newspaper.

VARs could overlook the art department when considering the technology needs of their customers with education facilities — it might be something to add to the discussion of your client’s needs, how to keep these solutions functioning at an optimum, and how to keep them secure.