Photo caption: Technology has made online art education not only a reality, but sometimes better than in-person instruction. Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay.
Art education has taken a heroic leap in recent years. It has joined the online art school revolution, and it’s changing art students’ lives. It’s all thanks to advances in tech, which makes online painting and drawing classes available to art students worldwide.
But many would-be art students rightfully ask if the education they’re getting through an online art school offers the same levels of excellence that in-person art instruction does.
We would argue that the answer to this question is a resounding “yes!” And there are lots of reasons why this is the case.
If you’re an art student trying to choose between a brick-and-mortar art school and an online art school, here are three reasons why tech has made online art classes better than in-person ones (in many cases).
Many exceptional art schools exist in the world. Not all of them are within easy reach of exceptional art students. Online art schools allow students with a fearless vision to get training in the arts, including teaching them how to become professional artists.
Our own Mastery Program, which provides professional-level training for artists, reaches students worldwide. While many of our students do reside right here in the US, just as many live abroad in places like the UK, Australia and India.
For these and many other would-be art students, distance normally represents a HUGE barrier to getting an art education. Even those who possess a great deal of willpower and dedication can be sidelined by the access factor, or more specifically, the lack thereof.
However, anyone with a camera and a web connection can gain access to the best art schools in the world, without ever leaving their homes. In this way, art students around the world gain access to world-class art education, because educational technology has given them access to these online art classes and certificate programs.
According to Inside Higher Ed, fine arts education poses some challenges that other subjects do not when it comes to moving classes online. Student progress in courses, like math or science, can be tracked with multiple-choice tests. General online education works well with this kind of format.
However, art education requires instructors to grade and critique highly individualized work. For online painting and drawing students, this means the instructor must not only look at factors, like line, form and composition, but also at finer details, too, like pencil or brush strokes.
Nowadays, many educational technology platforms allow students to transcend these difficulties by allowing them to upload uncompressed files. This in turn preserves the integrity of the original work.
For many students, this beats having to carry finished art pieces to a classroom so that their professors can critique and grade them. Tech has provided students with some exceptional tools to help them share their work and in turn, allows them to make their art dreams come true.
We’ve spoken a lot about arts integration and STEM-to-STEAM initiatives here on our blog. While we teach traditional painting and drawing methods, as well as mixed media courses here at the Milan Art Institute, a big component of our Mastery Program is the creation of painting sources. That is to say, we teach students how to develop ideas for paintings, using technologies, like Adobe Photoshop or Pixelmater.
We also require them to build a website in order to graduate from the program. While they aren’t required to code to do this - though they can if they want to - they are required to build an online portfolio of their artworks on this website using web-building softwares.
This immerses them into the “T” part of STEM. That is, they are required to learn something about tech in order to graduate this certificate program.
Our Art Club and other courses, as well as some of the articles on our blog, teach students about traditional art materials and methods. This gives them a foundation in the sciences.
And in general, the students in our online art courses have to use technology in order to get access to their classes at all. All of these elements of online education help students bridge the digital divide and teach them how to survive in the career world of the 21st century. Even as traditionally-based artists, they must have tech skills, and online art classes help them develop those skills.
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