So what do the following people have in common: a trio of Malaysian students on a summer journalism course; year 2 group from Mundella Primary School; a man in his sixties who’s never used an iPad, two American kids on a “spring break” (in July…) and a two year old who turned out to be a world champion in dummy distance-throwing? All of them happened to be part of the digital art drop-in event which took place in the Winter Gardens as part of the “Digital Bloom” installation.
The resident artist, Richard Johnson from Sheffield Children’s Festival set up a workshop outside the pod and anyone who passed by was invited to have a go at creating a digital painting using the Brushes app on an iPad and this way learn more about the creative potential of mobile devices. We also used the event as a chance to talk to people about their understandings of digital literacy and openness, the two key themes explored throughout the “Digital Futures in Teacher Education” project. The leitmotif of the day seemed to be that of technology as a threat and an opportunity – the teachers we spoke to were excited by the potential of technology to enhance learning, a number of workshop participants lamented the loss of innocence of the children who seem to be living their lives immersed in digital technologies in a way that is perhaps less authentic, whatever that might mean. Overall, we collected a veritable treasure trove of stories on digital literacy, all of which will be making its way to the project website as Open Educational Resources in the not so distant future.
To view the art that has been created on our ipads, visit flickr: