Summary of organization/program
We know that art and technology have impacted global culture in many ways in the past. These accelerated times of the communications revolution, are likened to the Industrial Revolution. Just what do you see as the role of the artist in these days of rapid change?
This statement was plucked from the world wide web. It was posed as in interesting philosophical question in an educational forum called “The Art’s Cafe”.
About three years ago a similar question was asked by some staff in two schools in the North York Board of Education. Informal conversations between staff at Northview Heights Secondary School and Don Mills Collegiate brought forth a need to create a way for art education to meet the needs and challenges of our world and technology. More specifically educators saw the need to develop a program for those students interested in specializing not in Science and Technology or in Performing Arts and Art, but in a combination of the two. Thus with the dedicated support of Don Mills principal, Linda Newnham and Northview Heights Secondary School principal, Terry Wensley, and Mike Mori from North York Board’s Computers in Education, the dream of “CyberARTS” was born.
The program was two years in planning before the doors opened on the first CyberARTS classes in September of 1995. It was a very long and hard pregnancy and labour, but the child within the dream began to develop. Important elements that were planned for this new educational model were:
CyberARTS is an integrated program in which students spend approximately one half of every day in academic core subjects and half the day in CyberARTS gaining credits in Comprehensive Art, Extended Media, Communications Technology, and Computer Science every year and Music, Drama, Dance, Media Studies and Co-op in some. In order to accommodate this intensive integrated curriculum, students stay for a extra period of class in an extended day, gaining an extra credit every year.
Curriculum in CyberARTS is designed so that the teacher is facilitator, manager, producer, and support, while students take an active role in problem solving the task at hand whether it be creating or publishing children’s books’ authoring interactive CD-ROMS, organizing a conference or creating a traditional portrait.
Each Lesson unit in CyberARTS integrates at least two of the main CyberARTS subject areas and results in the completion of a major project . Large time blocks, team teaching and team curriculum building have allowed for the development of 4-5 major projects in each year and some specialty units that address specific skills, leadership and presentation and performance instruction. Example major unit: Foot Fetish-from the dynamics of human form to the animated walk cycle, Talking Heads – from personal history and iconography to physical portrait and performance, Producing a conference.
Real World Connections
Educational Partners: Apple Canada, Kodak Canada, Alias/SGIWavefront, Rogers Communications and SoftImage, have provided software and hardware support as well as training and educational consulting and support for special projects and initiatives. Sheridan College and the University of Waterloo School of Architecture are educational partners as well. Staff and students at both levels work together on creating a seamless path for our students and giving them more knowledge with which to make important educational and vocational decisions.
CyberARTS is also committed to both formal and informal experiences in Cooperative education and seeks in the development of curriculum to provide “real world” projects that extend beyond the classroom.
Example: The Kodak Sponsored CyberARTS booth at Multimedia 96 provided with computers and software for demonstration from SKI /Alias and Apple
Outcome based – not grade dependent – and open-ended
Although CyberARTS credits granted meet the Ministry Outcomes for each course delivered. Specific CyberARTS outcomes have also be developed as well as team curriculum development guidelines. The first two years of CyberARTS are grade 9 and 10 followed by two senior years, Year 1 and 2 to allow for entry of senior students into the program who may have grade 11 or higher at the appropriate entry level.
CyberARTS ends with a full time co-op placement that may be waived in favor of the auditing of college or university level courses or pursuing a traditional academic track.
After a difficult labour, the official birth of CyberARTS was officially celebrated in February of 1996 with an Official Opening featuring Steve Williams, Chief Animator for Industrial Light and Magic, and a student run conference and workshops with Steve Williams. It was the culminating celebration of a difficult but wonderful birth.
CyberARTS’ early childhood has not been without its growing pains but we have continued to embrace new projects and challenges. These are just a few of the projects we are currently working on:
- Third Year Architecture Students are working with senior CyberARTS students in a joint urban planning project to be built on the World Wide Web.
- Northview Heights senior CyberARTS students will organize the first “Kids do It” Conference in February, 1997 at the Metro Congress Center in cooperation with New Frontiers.
- Don Mills CyberARTS will host Computer Camps for feeder schools.
- Northview Heights Grade nine students are designing and laying out a book Vietnamese Culture to be read by elementary school students, writing, illustrating and producing children’s books and making major contributions to the school Yearbook.
CyberARTS is still in its infancy and continues to change and develop. It seeks to foster creative problem solving, artistic excellence, technical facility and a willingness to pursue education beyond current boundaries. It seeks also to define the role of the artist in this technological age.
Dominant Media Forms
Statement of Principles
Samples of work
Project Based Critical Thinking
The projects students work on combine learning outcomes from many subject areas: communications skills in English; research, analysis and questioning skills in the sciences; design and presentation skills in Art, Music and Drama; and technology skills used throughout.
Ministry subject guidelines along with classroom textbooks, teacher generated material and a rich source of technology provide a framework for learning.
This integrated, project based curriculum requires strong skills in self-discipline, independent work habits, creativity, critical thinking and cooperative problem solving.
Arts & Technology
Students come to us with some of these skills, and we build on them through assignments and enriched experiences.
Visual Arts are central to the program and computers are used as sophisticated tools to work with creatively. The elements and principles of design are introduced and applied in self-directed and cooperative projects that integrate all subject areas and involve: Traditional Arts and Design, Animation, Computer Studies, Desktop Publishing, Telecommunications, Web Design, Multimedia and Photography.
Students are encouraged to explore, analyze, create, present and evaluate their learning on an ongoing basis.
Real World Connections
CyberARTS is committed to both formal and informal experiences in Cooperative education and seeks in the development of curriculum to provide “real world” projects that extend beyond the classroom.
Sheridan College and the University of Waterloo School of Architecture are educational partners. Staff and students at both levels work together on creating a seamless path for our students and giving them more knowledge with which to make important educational and vocational decisions.
Corporate Educational Partners:
Apple Canada, Kodak Canada, Alias/SGIWavefront, Rogers Communications and SoftImage, have provided software and hardware support as well as training and educational consulting and support for special projects and initiatives.