There are a multitude of online, web-based learning site and software to allow students to engage with content and experience learning in a different way. Many of these are great for Visual Arts classes, as rather than hearing about famous artworks or places, students can experience these things. Some of the resources I would integrate into lessons are:
- Google Art Project. This is a fabulous tool for the art classroom. Students can explore various collections and see artworks in high resolution. Students can create their own collections too! This could be used by the teacher as a brief activity within an historical and critical studies lesson, be used as a virtual excursion or form part of an assessment on particular artworks and artists.
- Google Cultural Institute. This tool, has a variety of cultural content which could be utilised in Visual Arts or cross-curricula programs, particularly for senior secondary students.
- Google World Wonders Project. Similarly to the Cultural Institute, this tool can be used to gather contextual information or to provide inspiration and stimuli for a particular project. Again, there are many cross-curricula advantages here.
- Google Sketchup. This free software allows students to render 3D graphics of architecture, sculptures and other objects. This can be integrated into a unit on digital mediums, or used in senior secondary to propose specific projects before physically making them.
All of these interactive tools would increase engagement with the content, as well as developing digital knowledge and skills. When these tools are used to supplement Visual Arts content, students would benefit from the ‘hands on’, visual experience, rather than simply viewing artworks and content in a static way.