Art, Technology & Education: A case for companionship

ANAT has specialised in bringing artists together with new media technologies for two decades. The funny thing is that at the time many of those people didn’t even consider themselves artists, never mind ‘technically minded’ ones, and many still don’t refer to those experiences as ‘education’. In the early days it was necessary to deliver basic awareness training on now-familiar technologies like the internet, as well as providing more specialised vocational training for practitioners & opportunities where research could not just happen, but the results could be shared globally.
To be honest, little has changed; ANAT still delivers highly regarded programs* that enable children, teachers, artists, businesses and audiences to use ‘new’ technologies such as mobile phones, open source licensing, even robotics. Our problem is that nowadays we simply cannot keep up with demand.
What is required now is a more integrated approach to arts education. Working backwards, industry desperately needs to catch up to today’s rapid turnover of online, offline and near-line solutions; practitioners need to demonstrate confidence accomplishing both today’s and tomorrow’s tasks; university students struggling with older software/hardware are expected to switch effortlessly on day 1 of employment.
Of course, all this starts with the children; but to get to the children you must first invest in the teachers and schools – the re-education of education. ANAT is dedicated to helping solve this global concern by developing relationships, projects and partnerships that investigate the best way to engage children and their teachers in a less didactic, more collaborative knowledge-sharing. Not one-off sessions that start
and end with a visit from ANAT’s experts, but legacy-driven frameworks which take creative learning outside of the classroom and into daily life. For their whole life.

* “The workshop was the best professional learning I’ve had in ages. I really appreciated the quality of the presenters – they were fantastic, and clearly knew their stuff. It was also really beneficial to me as an IT teacher to get an arts perspective on things as well, that will help me to provide a more rounded education to my students”. Margaret, Tasmania, 2008.

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