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New Creativity Paradigms

Arts Learning in the Digital Age


Kylie Peppler

Commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, this book explores research indicating that youth are learning new ways to engage in the arts on their own time and according to their own interests. Digital technologies, such as production tools and social media, allow youth to create and share their art. Kylie Peppler urges educators and policy makers to take advantage of «arts learning opportunities» and imagine a school setting where young people are driven by their own interests, using tablets, computers, and other devices to produce visual arts, music composition, dance, and design. This book gives educators an understanding of what is happening with current digital technologies and the opportunities that exist to connect to youth practice, and raises questions about why we don’t use these opportunities more frequently.
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4. New Media Arts, The Do-It-Yourself Movement, and The Importance of Making


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This chapter conceptualizes the role that new media can play in arts learning. First, we explore how professional artists are using digital media to create new art forms and suggest how these tools can involve youths in similar processes. Second, we look at computer programming, which has become one of the fundamental skills of learning art in a digital world (Peppler, 2010b), and some of the ways youths are already using computer programming in their interest-driven artwork, video game design, and in the ever-expanding Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement. We conclude by considering broader questions, including what youths may gain from experiences in making, more generally.

New Media Arts

Art that makes use of electronic equipment, computation, and new communication technologies comprises the emergent field of “media arts” (also called digital arts or new media). Although the field is still being defined, it can be distinguished from traditional disciplines such as visual art, music, dance, and theater, yet also includes some overlap that arts educators may recognize, such as visual arts, animation, film, and, electronic music. For example, media arts share concepts and terminology with a range of other fields, including the sciences (gravity, mass, and acceleration), animation (tweening and motion paths), visual arts (color, perspective, and shape), and ← 51 | 52 → film (vocal intonation, visual style, and direction). In this sense, media arts could be described as a “meta-medium” that...

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