The scope of digital technology in art and design is contextual information to understand the background to digital technology in art and design and to help teachers plan for the future. Whilst we are at present without a statutory model of digital entitlement, teachers will need to be guided by their assessment of learning needs, curriculum opportunities and NSEAD’s digital curriculum guidance: Entitlement to ICT in secondary art and design.

This section charts the ways digital technologies have been used in the last 30 years.

Computers have been in use in art, craft and design education since the mid 1980’s, mainly as a tool to expand the breadth of creative opportunity on offer to pupils. Early drawing and painting programs enabled mark making through simple digital drawing tools, alongside image manipulation that included tools for copy and paste, changing scale, stretching, distorting and the application of filters which apply visual ‘treatments’ of the image to ‘mimic’ drawing and painting techniques e.g. charcoal, ink-pen, wash, watercolour, impasto, texture etc. 

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Digital drawing

The means to form the mark or line began with very simple keyboard control in the early 1980’s, before quickly developing into the use of a ‘mouse’, which…

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Digital imaging

Alongside the evolution of visual digital technologies, the improvement in digital photography and digital darkroom technologies has had a significant…

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Image quality, functions and tools

As image quality improved over this 35-year period, there has been a steady increase in the range of tools and filters to enable digital images to ‘impersonate’…

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Digital media in the creative industries

The creative and media industries have been at the forefront of these developments, particularly in the context of web design, digital print, advertising,…

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Interactive technologies and programming

In all the examples of digital imaging mentioned so far, there has been little reference to computer programming and computer science. Within art and…

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Boys and digital media
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The cost and suitability of digital technologies

The introduction of ‘Smart’ phones and ‘Tablet’ devices have similarly opened-up opportunities, particularly because of their ease of use and familiarity.…

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The creative use of digital technologies to explore moral and ethical issues

Art and design teachers have shown the value of the subject when engaging with young people to explore moral and ethical issues linked to Spiritual, Moral,…

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What has changed?

The most significant change in the last 5 years, which has led to an increase in costs to art and design departments, has been the move to Computing from…

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Leading-edge technologies

We are all aware that in recent years, innovations in 3D print and laser scanning, etching and cutting have provided tools for 3D prototyping and manufacture,…

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