Kids + hours of unsupervised computer time = Brilliance!

Kids + hours of unsupervised computer time = Brilliance!

I’ve discovered that letting my kids play on the computer unsupervised for hours is a great idea. I’m not sure if there is a lot of research on the benefits of excessive time on the computer, but my kids produce some amazing art when left to choose and experiment on their own. My son created this slideshow story of a day at the beach just before school this morning – I didn’t even know he could use this image capture program with a web cam… Anyway, he spent about 20 minutes posing and capturing images of himself acting out the scenes and then described them to me so I could write the subtitles.

One of the most important aspects about art education is allowing children the choice to create something that interests them. Without interest, kids won’t do their best – they will be bored and boredom does not mean they have ADD. This project by my son is a great example of how choice based art education works. My son had learned (from his dad) how to use the image capture program, then he was allowed to experiment with it and use his own ideas to express himself. No one told him what the theme should be or how it should look in the end – he chose. He was engaged and focused and really happy with the results.
All art education has standards that students are expected to be able to meet by the end of Elementary, Middle, and High school. There are nearly limitless ways to meet these standards, which allows art educators a huge amount of freedom with lessons – and students can meet the same standards even if they are working on different projects.

Let’s examine how many Michigan Visual Arts education standards are associated with this project:
At the Elementary level, students can be expected to be able to meet these standards (and more) in performing in art class:
1. Use materials, techniques, media technology, and processes to communicate ideas and experiences.
2. Use art materials and tools safely and responsibly.
3. Use visual characteristics and organizational principles of art to communicate ideas.
4. Be involved in the process and presentation of a final product or exhibit.

Also at the Elementary level, students can be expected to meet these (and more) standards in the actual creating of the artwork:

1. Apply knowledge of materials, techniques, and processes to create artwork.

2. Select and use subject matter, symbols and ideas to communicate meaning.

3 Use technology as a tool for creative expression.

I think that’s pretty good for a self-initiated art project by a five year old. Seriously, let them choose, let your kids amaze you with their imagination.

Here’s the finished piece: VincenzoBeach

Editor’s Note: “Hours of computer time “= 1/2 an hour . . . “Unsupervised” = 2 feet away