Positive role of the arts and visuals in a digital learning environment

The virtues of visual representation and communication are highlighted in a digital learning environment

The excitement was palpable in an online course. A group of 35 students from Choithram School in Indore waited for their new teachers – artist couple Manish V Ratnaparakhe and his wife Gargi – to present architecture and interior design through mathematics. The teachers’ PPT presentation with drawings highlighted the application of basic geometry in interior design and the Pythagorean theorem in construction and navigation. After tackling a different medium, the duo explains: “Our goal was to come up with a new concept in a simple way and to show teens that math is fun and that its basics are useful and necessary in different dimensions of life.”

Learning Models

Among the different modes and models of learning, visual representation and communication play an effective role in facilitating understanding. Drawings, highlighting key points with the help of color, creating a mind map to graphically organize words, concepts and information in one’s mind improves the learning process. The potential of visual communication to have a powerful impact on digital learning has propelled its rise, especially in the heightened online learning environment due to the pandemic.

A work submitted by a student for the Art Karo Na competition

The second edition of Art Karo Na, an online art initiative of the Children’s Fine Art Gallery in Hyderabad (by the Daira Center of Arts and Culture) also focuses on visual representation. The unique online competition based on the concept of museum education promotes “learning through the arts”. These topics were created to support the new dynamic of online education, says gallery co-founder Atika Amjad.

In its weekly art competitions, participants are encouraged to create visual representations of their classes. “We have seen a lot of changes after the first edition of Art Karo Na. Gadgets used to be a big no for kids, but now there’s a U-turn. Online education has become a way of life now. Parents, teachers and children are adjusting to this new normal, ”she says. The competition focused on blending art and education to relieve stress.

Atika informs that the Art Karo Na project (www.thechildrenfineartgallerycfag.com) will inspire inspiration and help children find new ways to express their emotions and thought processes. The Art Karo Na competitions focus on science, languages, history, geography and other academic subjects.

The integration of art in education is not new. Sapna Danda Deepak, arts and crafts teacher at Greenwood High School in Bangalore, shares her learning style, adapted to fit a new medium of teaching. “With my education in Kannada, I struggled to keep up with Shakespearean English during my days after graduation,” she says. Sapna used a mind map to track his lessons, including Shakespeare’s plays. She adds, “I didn’t know the term was called ‘mind map’ at the time. I used to put the name of the lesson in the middle and have pictures of clouds surrounding it. Each cloud was made up of important points related to the lesson. I found it easier to understand and store in my memory and I was able to easily elaborate on these key points during the exam, ”she explains. Following the same methodology, Sapna’s twin children passed their Class X exams.

Last year at Hyderabad-based Books n More Activity Cub, the smarter study skills sessions were fun and engaging. According to its founder Varsha Ramesh, “In a regular classroom, the teacher is constrained by a black and white board while in distance learning, the teacher can make it much more interactive so that children become curious about it. who comes next. ” In one of the workshops, giving an example of animation-focused content, Varsha said, “A thoracic region class doesn’t have to be just academic. Imagine the excitement of children when they click on a drawing of the thoracic region which opens a drawing of lungs and by clicking on this picture one can know the anatomy of the lungs. These interactive diagrams help to easily understand the concepts.

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