Why Teach this Stuff ~
The goal of Digital Art and Design is ambitious: Create a new genre of academic study relevant to today's high school clientele: Visual Communication. It's a combination of web design, graphic art and marketing skills.
Digital Art and Design is designed to give purpose and meaning to the art teachers' vocation by incorporating other subjects like biology and social studies into art - thus legitimizing the Art teacher's business and giving another reason to keep art teachers employed.
About the Curriculum ~
All these projects start with an opening "Entry" document that the class reads together which outlines what is expected.
The entry doc creates a "need to know" among students trying to figure out how to fulfill the requirements of the project and inspires them to be creative.
The entry level Photoshop class begins with this Project. There is often more curriculum listed on the daily calendars than can be done in a day! But it is up to the teacher to modify what's required based on their good judgment.
One thing I have learned: There is no plug-and-play curriculum. You can use these ideas and expand on them, but you have to make it your own or the kids will know it's not authentic …
Suggestion is to do the project first - yourself. Go through the project and do it - starting with day one and proceed through the end. That's the only way to make it your own …
The Future ~
Ultimately, there is a new definition of what it means to be literate in our society. Yes, we are becoming a less-literate people because of the decline of a text based society and we don't read anymore. Can't deny that …
But the fact is that literacy itself is changing. We don't read as much because we don't have too. If a picture paints a thousand words, then incorporating visual artwork should accentuate the effectiveness of written communication across all curriculum areas.
In fact, we do students a disservice if we are not using visual content everywhere, especially considering that computer generated imagery is so easy to make and the technology is ubiquitous.
However you feel about falling literacy rates in America, don’t lament the passing of Gutenberg’s grayscale. It is being replaced by something else, something bigger - a unified theory of literacy containing many parts - including reading, writing and visual communication - combined.
Imagery has more power than the pen alone, and that's why Digital Art and Design is crucial.
Instructor: Mr. Harris, M.A.