MET:Teaching Online Visual Arts with Web 2.0 Technology

From UBC Wiki

by Claire Burgoyne and Julie Ormiston, May 2011
Revised by Christine D'Onofrio, February 2014

The learning experience in Visual Arts courses is enhanced when Web 2.0 tools are incorporated for sharing, collaboration, creation, and creative problem solving in an online environment. At first glance it may appear challenging to duplicate the rich learning experiences that can occur in face to face visual arts classrooms. Students in these art classes have the benefit of ongoing critiques while their work is in process and they have opportunities for frequent sharing and discussion of both their ideas and the challenges they encounter with concepts and techniques. Yet when educators encourage students to use technology they are familiar with such as computers, cellphones, and iPods, students are introduced to powerful options for exploring and creating that allow them to experience a world of art unrestricted by classroom walls. [1]

It is in these open environments that educators can encourage rich learning experiences by directing students to use Web 2.0 tools to work collaboratively in work-spaces such as wikis and Google docs, brainstorming Dabbleboard, creation in spaces such as Gimp or SketchUP and encourage sharing and critiquing through e-portfolios and student online galleries. Presented with open-ended problems students in online art courses have opportunities to discover an authentic world of art where they can connect with practicing artists, visit famous galleries virtually, collaborate, make informed decisions for their work, and share that work with a wide audience. [2]

Art and Technology

File:MonaTech copy.jpg
MonaTech, by Rick Kopp, 2011,
(Mona Lisa image retrieved from:

Throughout history the creation of art-work has benefited from integrating technology into practice. Artists have demonstrated mastery at incorporating technique and technology with creativity and at solving open-ended problems with creative solutions. The paradigm shift that occurred because of technology has influenced the way in which research, brainstorming, sharing, collaboration, archiving, creation of many forms, (from traditional drawing to performance works) exhibition and display, held in the online environment.

When investigating traditional art-forms web 2.0 affords a number of resource rich possibilities that would have limited accessibility or might simply not be an option. Students can easily gain access to well-known works of art by visiting virtual galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Tate National Galleries among others. Work by emerging artist can be accessed by visiting virtual galleries such as Saatchi. While visiting these galleries learners can access audio and video resources intended to assist the viewer in gaining an understanding of the art being viewed and can learn about artists.

In addition, audio and video tools can be used to bring the professional artist and student artist together in an online synchronous environment. By incorporating a virtual classroom such as Elluminate or Wimba in courses learners can benefit from assistance from an expert in the field making learning more relevant. Students can also work collaboratively using a full range of social networking tools.

Net Art and online works are first-hand accessible creative works for students to experience and even be a part of. Online works have challenged traditional boundaries of artistic practice through the incorporation of technology in process, form, and content. For example, John F. Simon Jr.’s work, titled "Every Icon" (1997) examines 32 bit computer architecture by displaying a 32x32 information grid. The grid displays every black and white information combination within the square grid. Through time, the changes in information would produce every possible image within the box. If watched long enough, (a total of several hundred trillion years) one would be able to recognize actual images. Every Icon demonstrates the theoretical possibilities of image making in the technological age. Through collaboration tools, there are many online works that allow students to take an active role in the art-making process. "Vectorial Elevation," a work by Raphael Lozano-Hemmer is a live light show that took place during the 2010 Olympics. Visitors to the site could control the patterns of light in the sky of the public light sculpture.


Image: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Vectorial Elevation 2010 Retrieved from: Vectorial Vancouver

Without web 2.0 there are limited options for students to exhibit their work. As displaying finished pieces is part of the artistic process the availability of internet venues escalates the art education experience by allowing the student artist to contribute work to galleries. [3] Students and teachers can create school art galleries accessible through the school website or students can contribute to community galleries such as Artsonia or Myartspace. Each of these options provides adequate space for students to display their work professionally.

With Web 2.0 tools young artists have unlimited access to resources, a community of artists and mentors, and venues for exhibiting. The ease of access to a full range of tools improves the quality of art education by allowing the student artist to participate in genuine experiences of creative problem solving, collaborating, critiquing, and exhibiting while allowing students to extend their learning beyond the hours of a typical school day.

Visual Art and Digital Literacy

The Visual arts are an important domain of education that allows students to develop an active awareness of what the medium of the digital can mean to the representations within it. This influences the way in which meaning circulates. Visual arts study emphasizes critical thinking, analysis, and interpretation, towards an understanding of the power and depth of visual images. The Internet is a venue wherein images, by sharing and making, have become a seminal part of this information system. We must teach digital literacy through visual arts, and the inherent consequences of technology as medium. This knowledge will inform their contribution and participation within the digital realm.[4] Digital literacy includes knowledge in the practice of online searching, contribution, collaboration, as a way to introduce programming and critical understanding of how participation and technology function in meaning making.

Historical Antecedents

Artistic practice has gone through abundant change in the past hundred years. The focus has transformed to a priority on the collaborative event determined by social and conceptual relations. The definition and purpose of art has expanded and redefined itself. The history of the visual arts is necessary to understand the complex ways in which it has changed focus. This leads to a beneficial to incorporate the behavioral effects of Web 2.0 thinking into visual arts education.

Dada, Fluxus, Situationist

Art movements of the early 20th Century introduced a a collaborative and event-based practice by way of happenings, performances, and events. This is most noticeable in the influences of Fluxus and Dada art movements. The Dada, Neo-Data, and Fluxus movements formed by a will to fuse “cultural, social, and political revolutionaries into a united front for action.” This aim brought the low status of the ‘everyday’ into the high status of art. The Dada movement aimed for an anti-art, art separated from its artificiality and into the realm of real life. A major contributor to expand the Dada art movement into Fluxus was George Maciunas, he claimed: “Anti-art is life, is nature, is true reality—it is one and all.”
John Cage was an active artist in the Fluxus movement, and uses indeterminacy to his work, which “refers to the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways” introducing chance and loss of control as a variable in art making. For example, Cage’s “Symphony for 12 Radios” was a composition consisting of 24 musicians twisting 12 portable radio knobs focusing on the hiss static of the space between radio stations. At times the static was interrupted by speech, a moment of music, and the audience reaction when they burst into laughter from a recognizable moment of music. The chance operation of the structural elements liberated sound from the artists’ taste and ego, generously allowing new meaning to be made and accepted. The Fluxus movement embraced new media and machines in art. Participation through new media was formed by events called “Happenings” (a term first coined by artist Alan Kaprow) and involved limited or full audience interaction and collaboration, considered a participatory art. Because each event of a “Happening” involves different audience members, the outcome is always changing.
Guy Debord, a seminal member of the Situationist movement also happening at the time, spoke of a world wherein the relations of people symbolized, or even replaced by the circulation of goods, icons, signs and logos. The final chapter of Debords book “Society of the Spectacle” predicts a time when human relations are no longer “directly experienced,” but start to become blurred in their “spectacular” representation. This issue is especially relevant today when asking, is it possible to generate relationships with the world in a field traditionally understood through representation? It seems that the condition of the contemporary art world would need to embrace the repetition of these simulations by examining behavioral patterns through social experiments. This would lead to a further re-definition of “Art”.
Fluxus, Dada, and anti-art movements highlighted the connection between everyday objects, randomness and the artist. These movements prioritized the situation, unintended effects, performances, and the collaboration of an artwork. These movements were based in a change in attitude for creation, and an ability to allow combinations of people, sound, images, text and intermedia become important enough to call a work of art.


Performance art practice built from the efforts of Fluxus Happenings and philosophies. Performance art came from a need to democratize artistic practice from its own objecthood as it was facing in the late 1950s. It highlights a critical understanding of the action as the purpose of artistic practice rather than the product. Feminist artists of the 1960s embraced performance art for its accessibility, ephemeral characteristics, freedom of expression, and democratic spirit. An update to performance practice using the web can be seen in pieces such as M.River and T.Whid’s “1 year performance”in which the work takes 1 year for a viewer to experience fully. You sign up for viewing the performance through an online site which remembers where you last left off, and continues when you return. The piece takes place in real time and stays true to the durational aspect of performance art, along with the importance of the viewer in the creation of the piece.

Relational Aesthetics

One of the central movements of 1990s art practice was what Nicolas Bourriaud coined “Relational Aesthetics.” [5] His book by the same name places this movement in context of Fluxus and performance art history, but into a new realm of participation and audience relations. The book demonstrates relational aesthetics by way of examples of art works by seminal artists happening at the time. For example, artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, a Thai artist residing in New York, is most known for his art installations about bringing people together by cooking and serving food for exhibition visitors, as his art. His exhibitions focus on interactions and exchange, and denied object hood.
Relational Aesthetics build upon the idea of the “image as moment.”[5] The actual subject matter and material of the work is collaboration, social interstice and transitivity, interactivity, relational form, encounters, and participation.
Relational Aesthetics flows into themes of technology being an ideological model for relational artistic practice because of its expressed “state of production-orientated relationships.”[5] He uses Nietzsche’s term of life possibilities, as a way to reverse the authority of technology and make ways of thinking, living and seeing -creative. He states technologies change to the way in which we perceive and process data, and he also notes the amount of user-friendly technologies by way of touch screens and interactive video games. The infusion of technology has actually made it possible to produce images through calculation and coding rather than the human gesture, and this affects mentalities and attitudes about representation.[5] Bourriaud refers to these mental products of technology as a reason why collaboration and social interaction as both a result of denying this estrangement, and of finding new limits of this relationship between the real and the imaginary, an awareness that visual art practice and creativity depend.

Collaboration/Participatory Art/Social Practice

Recent discourse of participatory art practice expands from historical notions of performance work and reveals an effort to update Nicolas Bourriaud “Relational Aesthetics” propositions. Much writing has taken a critical stance on the political implications of these types of practices, and thought this has developed a theory of participatory, collaboration, and social practice art works. In line with the evolution of technology there has been surge of interest in collectivity, collaboration as a part of art. This type of work has become a major contributor to the public sector, in that it is not as profitable or marketable for commercial endeavors. A majority of this work exists outside of the gallery. Many new commissioning agencies have opened up funding to these types of projects, such as SKOR in the Netherlands, Artangel in London. Miwon Kwon’s book on the history of community works in art “One Place After Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity” (2002) “addresses the site as a social rather than formal or phenomenological framework. The intersubjective space created through these projects becomes the focus-and medium-of artistic investigation.” [6] According to Claire Bishop, ‘Participatory art’ is comprised of diverse sets of experiments, this broad outlook fails to give a specific definition, this allows for an exploration of connections.
Social Practice becomes a stream of participatory art, and consists of direct engagement with specific social groups as part of the practice. Major contributors include writers Grant Kester and Claire Bishop, and artist Johanna Billing. Social practice streams have been legitimized and developed in art institutions such as the Social Practice MFA at the California College of the Arts, and major conferences and exhibitions, such as the annual Creative Time Summit in Sweden, and “You Can Have It All” exhibition in San Francisco and New York in 2007. In sum, the ever-changing, ever-evolving, participatory and collaborative role has replaced the static ‘object’ in contemporary art. The subject and definition of visual art is directly related to the prospect of Web 2.0 as “resources that have to be performed.”[7]

The Archive

Derived from Conceptual photographic practice, the archive has become an influential part of visual art history. The Internet is an ongoing living archive that evolves archive use into a new dimension of possibility. Works such as Susan Hiller from Freud Museum or Vancouver artist, Kevin’s Schmidt archive of End of the World are examples of how the visual arts has conceptualized the archive as a way in which information is circulated, and representation is negotiated. Foucault states, “the archive is ruled by the dual factors of location and law."[8] Derrida recognized the boundaries between playing with the “internal human memory as archive and external archival forms and systems.”[9] Curation, Art History, and Art Practice have all been greatly influenced by Media tools.

Visual Culture & Art

Distinguished aesthetics from circulating media have been encompassed in postmodern collage, montage, assemblage, sampling, remixing, archiving, conceptual strategies, organization of information, and appropriation. Sources and references become the objects of art. An aware analysis of the sociocultural context of visual culture comes through using these sources by way of curation, interactivity, or art history develop beyond painting, into mechanically-reproduced artefact. [10] We do not need to see digital arts through the aesthetics of the past, but instead a negotiation of how the aesthetics of visual culture inform our present. The way work it is made, conceived, organized, created, apprehended should be ingrained and a seminal part of how the visual art deals with representation. "Contemporary cultural producers are 'within' the sign (Derrida) in that we create new artefacts from 'secondary' (mediated) sources rather than primary ones; this is the postmodern condition and is inextricably linked to technologies of reproduction, distribution and interaction. As Benjamin pointed out, the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility. Does this absence of the original hinder the apprehension of the aesthetics of a photograph, a television advertisement, or a computer game? Hardly."[11] This enhanced digital literacy through reproduction literacy, media literacy, and Visual Literacy through media. Visual culture through the internet uses interactive archiving of photography and images, we can help our students gain a visual literacy. Databases and social media structures presents knowledge as a doing rather than as information. Author Charlotte Frost indicates that Web 2.0 provides spaces that are “not just an art displaying entity, it is a platform on which a variety of art activities are played out – and it is this playing-out, or the somehow making-for-knowing element, that is key.”[12] She takes this from the idea of photography as storage and transfer systems of image making, and relates that to the ‘performative’ aspects of the web, she identifies that this is beyond a Web 2.0 issue and instead a behaviour that has permeates throughout contemporary culture; “art-thinking after the internet is both connected to and yet quite unlike art thinking of earlier technological eras. It all shares a relationship with archival technicity, but an upgrade in these mechanisms sets different theories in motion. Currently at least, we create knowledge from a mechanism that responds to, among other qualities, the performative.”[12] Allowing the immanent strategy of performance and making, the praxis, into the field of the web.

Student Centered Learning

It is an initiative in a number of jurisdictions, including in British Columbia, Canada by the Ministry of Education, that a shift be made to personalized learning. [13]. This is an environment that provides opportunities for collaboration, creativity, and problem solving and that requires student motivation and organization. In this environment the focus in education is no longer on the teacher and teaching but on the learner and learning. [2]

Teaching with Web 2.0 encourages self directed personalized learning. [14] When art courses extend beyond providing resources and teacher expertise to include learner centered and community centered experiences the learning environment becomes authentic. Students in student centered learning courses engage in creative problem solving activities and participate in discussion and collaboration and sharing with peers and experts in the art community. [15]


In cases where the online art course has been designed to provide text based resources with embedded images and instructions for completing specific assignments it is recommended that a gradual transition to problem solving and project-based learning be made. [2] Once that transition is complete students can begin to work collaboratively and Web 2.0 tools such as virtual classrooms, blogs, and chat or audio conferences can be introduced. Teachers can then focus on the ways students can benefit from the numerous possibilities that web 2.0 provides. When teachers shift perspective from teacher as authority to teacher as mentor they can learn the technology alongside their students while students can benefit from the expert knowledge and skills the teacher has in the area of visual arts.

Why Web 2.0

Many Web 2.0 tools are free therefore they can be implemented in an online art course without placing a strain on limited budgets. In addition, web 2.0 tools are intuitive and stable meaning that there is less need for technical training and support. [1]. The integration of web 2.0 tools encourages and facilitates participation, sharing, collaboration, and creativity. Web 2.0 allows users to interact in a variety of ways. Users can interact with the content by editing and changing content, by creating new content, and by adding user feedback. [14] They can view how-to videos on YouTube, research, develop, and share art history content in a wiki, add audio to the artist statements that accompany their work, and upload images of their work to an online art gallery. Students can work collaboratively on projects with students from other cultures by conferencing with synchronous video and audio tools or by meeting in a virtual classroom or in a virtual world.

Visual Arts, Web 2.0, and Constructivist Learning

Web 2.0 presents an opportunity to promote constructivist teaching practices. Students can create within an environment that acknowledges the process of learning. Many of the tools that can enter in the classroom promote early computer programming environments and active, self-directed learning for a purpose. By taking part in the web system, students become self-referential thinkers, wherein they become aware of the way in which the system and works. The ability to constantly grow, yield various results, practice participatory and collaborative methods, promotes a constructivitst learning environment in arts-based learning. Piaget’s proposal of “Learning without Curriculum” to allow the student to grow and build their own intellectual structures. The instructor and use of tools become relevant to the cultural materials, intellectual development and trends of the culture, building an awareness of the formative building blocks brought by the social and interactive techniques.[16]


Collaborative Workspaces


Blogs are interactive online diaries or journals that are usually organized in reverse chronological order. Posts to blogs provide an effective means for art students to engage with others who share similar interests and ideas in a collaborative space.
  • provides students a proficient means for creating a blog to connect with the world audience. Art students can use Blogger to organize their project ideas or to connect with anyone who reads their work. An important feature is student control over who may read and comment to their blog. Also, the profile feature in is an efficient way for students to find people with similar interests based on the information they have included in their blog.
  • Incredible Art Blogs is a collection of art blogs by teachers for teachers. The site includes: lessons, tips, and student artwork.


  • A Wiki is an effective tool in art education as a it is allows users to work collaboratively to create a web page. Wikispaces allows students to edit wiki pages in a browser. Users can upload images, documents, audio files, and videos, and add them directly to a wiki page.
  • Wikipaintings


  • Digication offers free accounts for use with Google Apps. This provides students in art education an opportunity to showcase their work online while remaining part of a school community. In addition, Digication provides an archive of learning, discovery, progress, achievement, and reflection that may be used for future classes or for students' personal reference. Students can use this web 2.0 tool to create galleries and collaborative project portfolios.
  • Exabis is a feature within Moodle that enables students in online art courses to create a portfolio of their art work for sharing, critiquing, and assessment.

Image Sharing

  • Animoto is a tool that assists learners in combining photos, video clips, text, and music to create video for sharing.
  • Flickr allows learners to add comments, notes, and tags to photos and upload these images for sharing through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and emails.
  • Jing provides an efficient option for capturing images and creating videos from what is displayed on a computer monitor. Users can use these visual elements for clarity during online instruction and discussion.
  • Slideshare is free internet based service that lets users share a visual presentation rather than providing viewers with a power point link or forwarding a presentation via email. This innovative site enables students in sharing PowerPoint presentations online by embedding them in blogs, and websites and sharing them on Twitter and Facebook. Learners are given an option to archive their presentations as well.

Art Creation

Creativity Building/Brainstorming

  • - Create mind-maps individually or in collaboration.
  • Slatebox - Collaboratively create mind-maps and brainstorming charts.
  • Spicynodes - For the creation of organizational charts formed through bits of information, including text, links, photos, and other media. They use ‘nodes’ to link them together, which can be embedded into websites, blogs and wikis.

Animations & Comics

  • Bitstrips Web 2.0 tool to create comic strips.
  • Carnegie's MyStoryMaker by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. A Kids story telling comic strip maker that will give a share link at the end.
  • Comic master – Create comics and graphic novels online.
  • Creaza A limited free version allows you to create cartoons. It also has an audio mixer, mind mapper, and movie editor.
  • DoInk - Create custom animations and drawings on your ipad.
  • DomoAnimation – Create small animations
  • Go!Animate – Create animated characters and comic strips.
  • Kerpoof – Owned by the Walt Disney Company, this tool allows children to draw, tell stories, create cartoons and animations.
  • Make Beliefs Comix – Online Educational Comic Generator.
  • Myths - Creates myths out of students sounds and voice into an animation.
  • Pixton – To make and share comics, an online drop and drag comic creator. Includes an education section for teachers and students to work in a secure environment. More information Wiki Entry
  • Scratch Animation - Story, and game creation that also introduces students to programming languages.
  • StoryBoardThat -Templates and added objects to easily create story boards.
  • Stripgenerator - A web 2.0 cartoon strip generator and comic making community.
  • ToonDoo -Very quick way to create and publish still Comics.
  • Voki - Allows you to create personalized speaking avatars.



  • Scribus-An open source desktop publishing application that enables the user to create page layouts.
  • TypoGenerator-Typography generator that works with text and enhances it.

3D Projects & Space

  • Alice –Teaches students computer programming in a 3D environment.
  • Blender - Open source 3D animation creation software.
  • GPS Data Visualizer
  • Paper Critters – Arts n’ Crafts App that allows you to create plans to print out foldable paper works.
  • PhotoSynth – Creates 3D virtual panoramas from still images.
  • SketchUp – A google desktop 3D drawing, space, and animation program.

Photo/Image Editing

  • Aviary – Online and app photo editor.
  • Block Posters – Allows you to divide an image for printing into a full poster size on your personal computer.
  • Creative Commons Behold - Copyright safe image borrowing for creating new work/collages.
  • Gimp – Open source image manipulation tool, good alternative to Photoshop.
  • Photovisi – Online Photo Collage Making tools.
  • Picasa – Google Image Editing and Sharing Software.
  • Picfull - Image manipulation.
  • Prealoadr – Image processing and optimization.
  • Sumo Paint – Online Graphics editor and painter.

Audio Editing

  • Audacity -Allows recording and editing of audio for the creation of podcasts. This free software allows learners to record commentary for inclusion in e-portfolios or online galleries.
  • Audio Expert – Online audio editor and file converter.
  • Jamendo – Creative Commons sound files for use in own work.
  • UJAM - Cloud-based Collaborative Music Jam abilities.
  • Z Frank, the Sequencer – allows viewer to change duration and tone of sound to create an audio work/doodle.

Video Editing

  • Camstudio – Ability to record your screen.
  • DigitalFilms -Online movie-maker
  • Kaltura – Web 2.0, open source media editing.
  • Masher – Online video editor.
  • MemPlai -Online Collaborative Video Editor.
  • OneTrueMedia - Online Moving Image Maker.
  • KickYoutube -Allows you to download and save youtube videos in a variety of formats to combine and use in your own work.
  • Pixorial – Online video editor and sharing tool with library of creative commons sources to use.
  • Primary Access – Am ore advanced movie maker and story teller.
  • Stupeflix – Use templates to mix photos, videos and music works.
  • TumbleCloud - Participation in arrangement, display, co-creation, sharing, an manipulating media content.
  • WeVideo - Online Video editor that leads to sharing over the web, and on youtube.


  • Museum Box – A tool to help build up a collection of objects, events, in a curatorial effort.
  • [] - Virtual Memorial Made Collectively.
  • Phrasr – Uses internet searches to make online image collections out of words.


  • Hit Record - Online collaborative creation projects destined for broadcast, many mediums, subjects, formats.
  • Scribblar – Designed for creative, real-time collaboration. Users can collaborate on the creation and editing of images, drawings or even mathematical equations
  • Visitors Studio - Is an art creation/critiquing space where participants can work together and mix images and sound in real time, add content to contribute to the mix or use the database provided. They can chat while they create, bring in text-based content, and critique what has happened.

Online Galleries

Exhibition of artwork is as important to the student artist as it is to the professional artist. Art students can gain access to works of famous and emerging artists by visiting online galleries and they can display their own creations by contributing to student online galleries.

Professional Internet Galleries

Many well-know and frequently visited galleries share collections of famous artwork through Internet Galleries. Some of these galleries also provide information about the artists they represent and individual pieces in their collections. Internet galleries provide valuable resources for art students.
  • Saatchi Gallery is an online gallery that exhibits artwork created by contemporary artists who might not otherwise have a public venue for their work. This gallery offers students access to a wide range of current art and issues in art.
  • Canada Virtual Exhibits

Net Art Galleries

Galleries featuring exhibitions of online digital works.

Seminal Digital Art Works

Selection of Digital Artist Sites

Student Galleries

  • Artsonia's goal is to provide every student artist with gallery space for their artwork. The site includes over 12 million pieces and it supports a community of almost 60,000 art teachers.
  • With My Art Info art students can post portfolios and profiles and also access resources for education and their art projects.
  • Myartspace lets students display and share their art work and find the work of other students. Myartspace allows students to create an unlimited number of galleries that they can enhance with the addition of music, video, and narration.

Media Libraries


  • With Podcasts art students and educators can share audio, images, and video files via the internet.
  • Art Mobs encourages student participation in creating audio guides that describe and critique art. The organizers provide themes and inspiration in the form of open-ended questions to assist participants in getting started. Learners are invited to forward completed podcasts to Art Mobs.
  • Audacity allows recording and editing of audio for the creation of podcasts. This free software allows learners to record commentary for inclusion in e-portfolios or online galleries.

Video Libraries

  • Creative Commons Search -Find media and resources which you are legally free to use and
  • YouTube -A video sharing community with a wealth of instructional videos to assist art students as they learn new techniques.
  • Vimeo -A simple yet effective video sharing site
  • TeacherTube –YouTube but for educational purposes. This site is moderated so content is suitable for students.
  • TED –Talks.

Social Networking

Social networking offers students the opportunity to interact with other people and increase the visibility of their art.
  • Art Ed 2.0 is an online professional learning community of art educators who participate in forums, groups, blogs, and photo and video sharing to globally connect with other art education instructors. Art Ed 2.0 is a social network that welcomes beginners as well as experienced technology users.
  • One of the largest social networking sites devoted to aspiring artists and art education students is Artween. Here a community of artists and art students share, discover, and express their passion for art.
  • Classroom 2.0 is a free social network for educators using Web 2.0 in their practice. Designed as a community-supportive network; educators share ideas and informational resources in an encouraging space that welcomes beginners.
  • Ning can be used to create a social network regarding a specific art topic or project. With Ning the user is able to create a personalized social network by creating a visual design, selecting features, and adding member data to customize their social network.
  • Teapotters is a social network that is specifically designed for art students who want to expand their knowledge about 3D art. Students are able to access the best 3D models and post original work and receive feedback from experts in the field.
  • An easy way to discover the latest information on subjects of interest to a student or art educator is Twitter. The Twitter information network allows users to tweet 140 character messages via computer or mobile device. Images and video can also be added to tweets and uploaded to a user's blog, Facebook account, or website.

Synchronous Communication

  • Google chat provides two effective ways to communicate via computer.
  • Google video & voice enables users to participate in "real" conversations to share and collaborate with other art students. The face-to-face video chat feature lets students display their work in "real time" and receive feedback from other art students and mentors. Using this feature their work can be shown at each stage of development during the creative process.
  • Google talk allows users to send and receive instant text messages in real time. Students are able to receive status updates which informs them if any of their contacts are available to discuss or collaborate. This tool also enables students to instantly transfer files to classmates during project collaboration. Audio conferencing makes meeting and collaboration on projects easy with multiple people synchronously.
  • Google docs provides a space for real-time collaboration on projects. Its anywhere access capability enables editing and viewing documents possible from any computer or smartphone. Within Google docs there are three tools beneficial to art education courses.
  • Access to word processing documents allows all participants to see changes as they are typed and students can use text chat to discuss work as it's created, shared and edited.
  • Free embedded presentations are possible in Google docs. These allow art students to publish directly to the web. Students can add text, images, and video directly to editable presentations. The author is able to control who has access for viewing and editing the content of these presentation.
  • Art students may find the drawing tool useful during the design phase of their art work. Students can draw diagrams and create drawings to later insert into project documents, presentations, and web pages. This feature is useful in art education courses for students wanting to demonstrate project outlines or idea progression.
  • Skype lets students and mentors conduct meetings using voice and video calls via the internet.

New Media Literacy

Virtual Interactions


  • Virtual Classrooms
  • Elluminate and Wimba provide online classrooms for sharing and collaborating. Tools in these spaces include text and audio chat, a whiteboard, and breakout rooms for small group work. Sessions can be recorded for future reference.
  • With Scribblar software teachers and students can work collaboratively in an online classroom by using the whiteboard, audio and text chat, and image and document sharing options.
  • In the virtual world Second Life students and teachers can create basic profiles, choose individual avatars, and experience an environment of endless possibilities. While in Second Life the learner can assume the role of an artist, create an art exhibit, or become the curator of an art museum all while sharing and collaborating with peers and mentors.
  • Edmodo – A social networking site for the classroom, where you can share writing, posts, internet links etc.


Web 2.0 presents many possibilities to engage in peer critique and portfolio evaluation.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Roland, C. (2010). Preparing Art Teachers to Teach in a New Digital Landscape. Art Education, 63(1), 17-24. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gregory, D. C. (2009). Boxes with fires: Wisely integrating learning technologies into the art classroom. Art Education, 62(3), 47-54. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  3. Burton, D. (2010). Web-based student art galleries. Art Education, 63(1), 47-52. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
  4. Gooch, Karen., Saine, Paula., (2011). Integration of the visual arts and Web 2.0 Technologies. The NERA Journal, 47(1), 92-100.
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  6. Bishop, Claire. (2007). The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents. In M. Schavemaker, M. Rakier(Ed.) Right About Now. (pp.60) Nederlands: Valiz Publishers
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Additional Resources

Black, A. (2010). Gen Y: Who they are and how they learn. Educational Horizons, 88(2), 92-101. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Black, J. (2009). Necessity is the mother of invention: Changing power dynamics between teachers and students in wired art classrooms. Canadian Review of Art Education:Research and Issues, 36, 99-117. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Bryant, C. (2010). A 21st-century art room: The remix of "creativity" and technology. Art Education, 63(2), 43-48. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Darts, D. (2006). Art Education for a Change: Contemporary Issues and the Visual Arts. Art Education, 59(5), 6-12. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Dempsey, C., Harris., J., & Hofer.M. (2012). Visual arts learning activity types. Retrieved from College of William and Mary, School of Education, Learning Activity Types Wiki: http://activitytypes.wmwikis,net/file/view/VisualArtsLearningATs-August2012,pdf

Erickson, M. (2005). Teaching for Transfer through Integrated Online and Traditional Art Instruction. Studies in Art Education: A Journal of Issues and Research in Art Education, 46(2), 170-185. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Halverson, R., & Smith, A. (2010). How new technologies have (and have not) changed teaching and learning in schools. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 26(2), 49-54. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Hargadon, S., (2008). Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education. Retrieved March 1, 2014, from,

Lu, L. (2010). Teaching 21st-century art education in a "virtual" age: Art cafe at second life. Art Education, 63(6), 19-24. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Niguidula, David. (1993) The Digital Portfolio: A Richer Picture of Student Performance. Retrieved February 26, 2014, from

Roland, C. (2007). 2nd annual internet survey for art teachers, the results. Retrieved March 23, 2011, from