The Use of Emerging Technology to Positively Impact Gateways to Arts Education

This research looks at the ways in which new and emerging technology is used to enthuse, enable and encourage access to arts education. I am specifically focussing on the context/methods of delivery of emerging technology and this is where the areas of original inquiry are hopefully coming from.

Introduction - Working notes

What – what do Art and Technology sessions look like? Do they sit as ETech/EduTech/ETeach experiences or are they specifically targeted stand alone Widening Participation/marketing  activities, arts/science weeks, extracurricular clubs, Saturday taster sessions within institutions? What examples are there already? What is ‘emerging’ technology? What would we need in order for these sessions to happen on a large and repeatable/measurable scale? 

Is bigger better?  (smaller group sizes). What enables events/sessions to take place long term? (cross party government initiatives enabling grassroots schemes (successes such as English County Cricket All stars), lobbying, private investment, WP provision across college/university departments (joined up research collectives).

What does this have to do with [fine art] and 'arts' degrees/careers in general [Widening Participation towards what objective if the frames of reference for an art career are too narrow to begin with] (this research is practice-based, what are we constituting as a ‘Practice’ if the practice is blurring into the background of the 'everyday'?

When – Context and setting the scene historically – expanding upon the push pull positioning of  arts education post 1968 (student voice and protest?) and specifically focussing on the period I have been working within (2001-2018) and the rhetoric of cultural capital (creative sector) versus action/inertia dichotomy of ‘fine arts/engaged arts’ funding discrepncies.  Explore parallel analogies of hand and machine and Art and Design/Design Technology (the craft element of teaching as well). Can departments and courses be far more holistic in their approaches and use technology as a common ground?

Where – where would this take place? (would it be in class, with the school, at an offsite location, weekends, weekdays, would this strategy (would it be a strategy) be national, regional, online, in person? Might it be on stage (enabling the theatre/performance arts) 
Might a collaborative approach between industry, private sector, university and schools work? A pilot study of five schools – linked to a specific cohort, using key events, topics and visiting staff – Placing activities in schools around a roadshow type approach (there are private companies doing this already).

Why – why do we see-saw between periods of inspired engagement with the arts and young people, and then seemingly overnight decimate the landscape of youth provision? Why is it important as a profession? If it is so valuable, why is it not universally valued?

How – How should it be administered (through third party – as a research tool for university – a unit set up such as ArtLab – this then points towards the establishment of WP models – a network between makerspaces, WP etc) how would the use of ‘off the shelf’ or ‘found’ technology enable long term, repeatable activities to foster a growing interest between young people and the arts. How can the bridge between academic theory and ‘hands on’ field work be reconciled? How is this sustained (does this explore what is actually coming out of the ArtLab and other comparable spaces – MakerSpace - Portsmouth?)

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