Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is a multi-touch art history textbook in your future?

I am one of those who is easily drawn to the allure of new apple products, and as such, my mind started spinning the second I heard about Apple teaming up with major education publishing companies to create multi-touch textbooks.  In scanning what's out there now, it seems most of the offerings are science and math related texts, but I'm hoping an art history text is on the horizon!

I feel a digital format could offer some really phenomenal features and tools that could provide context, comparison and additional means of inquiry for students. If I were on a team developing an art history iBooks art history textbook, here are some ideas I'd explore:

  • including a feature like the "Google Art Project," in which students can take a virtual museum field trip by navigating through high res photos of galleries and particular works, getting a sense of walking through the museum and being able to get up and personal to see brushstrokes and impasto on individual works. 
  • incorporating audio and video files of interviews with modern and contemporary artists so students can become more acquainted with 20th and 21st century art personalities. 
  • features allowing images of sculpture to be manipulated so you can see them from the front, sides, back, top, etc. 
  • map features that morph to show changes over time - ex: expansion of the Roman Empire
  • appropriate musical overlays underscoring introductory chapters to various eras and movements.
  • a library of additional images beyond the one or two typically allotted per artist in survey texts. 
  • study aids, such as image and glossary vocab quizzes and digital flashcards
  • searchable image database allowing for queries based on material, era, subject, etc.
I'm sure there are so many additional features and tools that could be incorporated - these are just a few of my initial musings! Do you have any great ideas to share? 

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