The appropriate use of new electronic media, by both teachers and learners, contributes significantly to art and design education and enriches learning.

ICT in Art and Design

The appropriate use of new electronic media, by both teachers and learners, contributes significantly to art and design education and enriches learning. It provides a means for teachers to de-velop their professionalism, through documenting, assessing, researching and sharing their devel-opments with other colleagues.

Many contemporary artists and designers now use ICT to develop and create their work. Computer technologies are challenging us to rethink the ways in which our skills, knowledge and understand-ing are applied in the creative production of works of art and design. This practice needs to be re-flected in the classroom.

The Technological Challenge identified within All Our Futures DfES 1999 (the National Advisory Committee for Creative and Cultural Education NACCCE), presents the most compelling evidence for the personal and educational needs of young people within a rapidly developing technological world and working environment. This evidence identifies a rapidly developing digital culture, and in particular a visual digital culture that pervades our life, through the worlds of education, entertain-ment, leisure and the workplace.

ICT provides access to an extraordinary range of new resources, and offers a powerful and dy-namic means of visual communication and expression, potentially reaching new audiences and offering new opportunities for collaborative working. The need for sophisticated and well-developed visual literacy skills, along with understanding of the use of digital technology in the creative industries, in the context of education, entertainment, leisure and for the workplace, will provide many of the essential skills for all aspects of future life.

In particular, the use of ICT in Art and Design provides opportunities for learners to:
  • access to works of art and trans-cultural artefacts, on a global scale, past and present, through visiting virtual galleries on the Internet;
  • provide a new range of opportunities to develop their own ideas in an experimental way and take creative risks;
  • discover their creative potential by engaging in different kinds of activities;
  • review, refine and modify two and three-dimensional work in progress;
  • work with others (peers/teachers/experts etc) to develop their ideas;
  • share their ideas (and promote the school) with a wide audience of peers, colleagues, parents and prospective parents;
  • develop work across subject areas;

The ways in which we send and receive information are changing rapidly. Much of this information is visual and time-based. Learning to understand, manipulate and evaluate both the technologies involved and the content that is being created and distributed is becoming an increasingly essential skill.

Art and Design provides excellent opportunities for learners to develop skills in a wide range of software and communication technologies, e.g. DTP (Desktop Publishing), animation, digital pho-tography, image manipulation, video, three-dimensional and web page design. As well as enhanc-ing general investigation, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication capabilities, exper-tise in these new technologies helps prepare people to work in the creative industries.

Experience also shows that children and students (including those who find it difficult to access mainstream education) are strongly engaged and motivated by Art and Design work that involves the use of ICT. They often sustain an extended interest in response to alternative and challenging approaches inherent in the media, redrafting their ideas through processes that can integrate con-ventional and digital media. This can lead them back into more conventional art forms utilising ideas gained through these digital processes.

The Art and Design subject associations are therefore committed to supporting the development of ICT in Art and Design education in terms of its contribution to the subject and its value for all as-pects of education, lifelong learning and its potential vocational content. It considers that these will be achieved through continuing consideration of curriculum content and examination requirements and in the sustained investment in professional development and classroom resources.

November 2004