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The Benefits of Creative Sharing Communities: Online Interactive Mutlimedia Arts Communities Help Schools Thrive

The synergy of online community social networks can power creative arts teachers’ basic planning.

A versatile social network can be created with creative arts students so that units and programmes of work may evolve around the hub in surprising ways. Sites such as ning.com and wetpaint.com offer a wide variety of valuable sharing tools that connect creative artists through discussion boards, forums and other media of expression such as blogs and digital art and video galleries.

The Benefits of Online Sharing Communities

Connecting class members synergistically can have tremendous benefits, not only for arts classes, but for the school as a community. If the local community within which the school is situated becomes involved as well, the benefits are further magnified.

With an online sharing capacity it is also possible to connect schools with other communities, and this rippling effect can reach out into the international creative arts online community. Communities that share in this way benefit from a tremendously wide range of cultural inputs. This has the potential to cause the quality of learning to become deeper and broader than it could otherwise have been.

The article The Problems With Stage Four of Tribal Leadership describes world wide creative community as though it were taking place within nestled stacks. Each class is situated within a school, that is situated in a community, which is in a country that is a part of a world wide cultural revival.

Because of this connectivity the creativity of the world has infinite potential to grow, develop and change creatively.

The question is – can you afford not to be a part of this cultural outpouring?

Visible Connections Between Community Members

Online communities can

  • ensure that class knowledge becomes visible so that all school members have access. Community members can keep up with each other and contribute to or share in the information that is circulating.
  • enable surface visibility, which allows others in the school community to tap into the enthusiasm of the growing body of knowledge. Students can share in the creative growth by show casing what classes are doing.
  • allow some sections of the website to be unlocked so that by inviting members from the outer wider community to view showcased achievement, the school is opening the doors to the local community who may offer to become involved both as mentors contributors and learners
  • strive to connect international students so that all participants can be exposed to the very best examples of art world wide
  • encourage the possibility of communicating with internationally acclaimed artists in the forums and on discussion boards

The benefits are motivating for students, who may experience an immediacy of feedback as well as a sense of personal value and self directed expression.

Examples of Community Implementation

Music teachers can upload lessons ahead of schedule. Music students are afforded the the opportunity to practice pieces with adequate modeling well before lesson.

Art students can learn about marketing their talent by developing an online personality. As they upload their music, art or animations to share, they can be given feedback and mentoring. They can do this by making film clips in film and television classes, or they can simply upload audio files or lyrics to share with others

Teachers can engineer motivators around such features as “song of the week”, mock interviews, development of portfolios and resumes, promotional articles or film or song critiques.

A teacher could plan whole units around creating an online radio station, or multi – media site so that the scripts students write to introduce the songs become part of assessment.

Students could take it turn about to create an animated comic online is published regularly as part of their assessment.

The use of online communities as the basis for creative arts planning is still in its infancy. There is so much that can be achieved that it will be fascinating for teachers and students to experiment together, learning together as they go.