Art Inspired PBworks Collaborative Wiki

Lois Wilkins



A generation or two ago technology resources for visual art specializing in drawing would not have existed. This paper will thoroughly describe the ArtInspired Wiki, the features and the technologies that contribute to the site.
PBworks
The Art Inspired Wiki is a collaborative wiki created through PBworks. According to their website, “PBworks is the world's largest provider of hosted collaboration solutions for business and education. We host over one million team workspaces, serve millions of users per month, and 96% of PBworks business users would recommend PBworks to a friend” (PBworks, About Us).
ArtInspired Wiki
The collaborative wiki Art Inspired is an educational wiki on the visual arts. The website states you can “find visual art ideas and resources to inspire and motivate your lessons, artwork and art curriculum” (Art Inspired wiki, FrontPage). This educational wiki is for educational purposes. The wiki is free and accessible to everyone. To make comments you must join the workspace. Art Inspired is a young wiki maintained by Frank Curkovic. Frank Curkovic, according to his blog, is an Art teacher for an international school in Japan. The front page of the wiki informs there have been over 10,000 visits. The drawing section of the wiki shows over 1,200 visits to this specific area. The wiki provides various sections on visual art. Some categories are:
  • Art History and Theory
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpture
  • 3D Art and Design
  • Themes to Explore
This paper will focus on the specialized area of drawing. The drawing section of the wiki has lessons, drawing activities and exercises. The drawing section of the wiki is divided by:
  • Drawing Theory
  • Drawing Techniques & Skills
  • Drawing Medium
Features and Technologies Used
The Art Inspired wiki is a simple, user-friendly wiki with several easy to use features. The FrontPage clearly states the purpose and provides you the subject areas where you simply click to enter. A search box is visible and available near the top of the wiki. Additional features include a Navigator, SideBar and Recent Activity section. These side sections are always visible on every section of the wiki or you can hide them by clicking the arrow to expand the current page you are on. The Navigator box provides quick links to the wiki without using the back button or starting over. You have the option to navigate by the pages or files within the wiki. The SideBar is a section where you can click on active links to take you to other resources on visual art, visual art blogs, Nings, weblogs, guides, websites, magazines, videos, etc. The Recent Activity box list the recent activity to the blog with name and contributor. One can also click on the stream of recent activity to be taken to the document.
Near the bottom of the wiki an additional feature is the option to turn the page you are viewing into a printable PDF version with active links. Lastly, the Art Inspired features include a link for page history, date of last edit, a tab for editing the wiki and a tab for a list of pages and files. At the bottom the help feature is available along with a RSS feed feature. The features included in the Art Inspired wiki are features that did not exist a generation or two ago.
The technologies of the Art Inspired wiki are also some of its features. Converting the pages to a printable PDF with active links is a technology one would find very beneficial. Now, you can save or print the documents, lesson plans, links, etc. for later use. With a hard copy print document, one could not save it to their computer. In addition, you could not click on the links embedded within a printout of the document.
Choosing the Colour from the Drawing Theory section, the first technology we see is a slideshow presentation titled Colour an Introduction. This slideshow can be viewed in a larger screen, shared on Facebook and emailed. Technology in the past provided options to create slide presentations, but they were generally viewed when presented by the creator. Usually handouts were distributed. This technology provided by slideshare provides you the electronic version of the presentation for viewing and sharing.
The bottom of the section has a Colour Mixing Game you can play. A very fun and interactive game. The object of the game is to click on a combination of colors to match the color of the ring. Once you have the color matched, the ball will jump through the ring and return with a different color for you to match. Interactive technology and games are great learning tools. These technologies were not available generations ago for learning purposes. Having interactive tools enforces the learning where a printed hard copy would simply explain or provide an example. The subsections within Colour will take you to an uploaded color PDF of a book.
Throughout the various sections and subsections of Drawing, additional technologies can be found. There are videos, Flashplayers and uploaded worksheets. Comments are also a new technology where one can leave their thoughts, opinions, etc. regarding the wiki. This technology was not an option a generation ago. A generation ago, you would write a letter with your comment to the author/publisher.
Conclusion
Technology in the Humanities did not exist a generation or two ago. Today, we see technology play various roles in all the Humanities. PBworks collaborative website provides the tools to create a collaborative user-friendly wiki. Art Inspired, a young collaborative wiki provides a wealth of information, resources, lessons, etc. for collaboration within an educational environment. The purpose of the collaborative wiki is to provide an environment where educators, artists, etc. can contribute, learn, view and find resources to share and use. This wiki has many features that make the site friendly and easy to use. In addition, the wiki uses various forms of technologies that did not exist a generation or two ago.



References
About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2011, from http://pbworks.com/about-us
FrontPage. (August 2011). Retrieved October 20, 2011, from http://artinspired.pbworks.com/w/page/13819585/FrontPage