Fine Arts and Technology
Within every community there begs opportunities to implement and involve the arts. In Seattle alone there are over 30 museums. While each of these field trips would cost money there are group discounts and programs available for education that may require little or no monies. School districts have funds set aside to support some additional curriculum and if married with another discipline of study a natural integration of curriculum occurs. Even if there are no opportunities or funds to take a field trip the beauty of technology is that “virtual” field trips are a comprehensive way to support what in the past could only have been observed by leaving the school campus.
No, while I do believe the experience of seeing artwork in person is a gift it is not often the reality for many districts across the nation. Online support then becomes a perfect opportunity for viable experience for arts education. For example the Simthsonian, based in Washington D.C., offers virtual tours and online art education. Artwork that students might not be able to afford to see in person they can now witness and enjoy repeatedly online. By simply having access to a computer a whole world of arts education is open to all, no matter the socio-economic status.
In addition to funding, the challenge of time often becomes an obstacle for comprehensive arts education. Virtual educational art programs offer a compromise for integration of arts into classroom curriculum with no additional time burden. With fewer and fewer specialized art teachers, the regular classroom teacher is forced to seek out alternative options for exposing students to fine arts. Some of these virtual programs are user friendly and support the average classroom teacher who is looking to incorporate the arts but might not be as knowledgeable as an art specialist. Teachers are nothing if they are not resourceful and the following websites are some great places to start looking for local and virtual resources to support and supplement arts education.