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The arts

The arts and e-learning

e-Learning allows different spaces and places for creating and sharing arts-making processes with others who are involved in similar endeavours. It provides opportunities to mentor and to be mentored beyond the limitations of the traditional classroom or school setting. By collaborating across what were once barriers of time, available expertise, culture, and place, new perspectives and enhanced cross-cultural communication can be developed. 

ICT in Arts Education: A Literature Review

Planning to use digital technologies– questions to think about

  • In what ways are you using technology to add to the artistic process, rather than just showcasing the product?
  • How could you use e-learning in the arts to encourage a tuakana-teina, or a mentoring approach?
  • In what ways could students use e-learning to connect with each other, and with artists and students locally and globally, to share and enhance their practice?

Digital technologies supporting learning

  • Virtual instrumental lessons, where students in remote schools or with limited access to tutors, can receive musical training via virtual connections.
  • Video game composition  – this video provides ideas for composing music for a particular function or audience.
  • Music theory  – this website features lessons, exercises, and apps, including a 12 tone matrix, staff generator, and a tempo tapper.
  • Digital portfolios  – this website explains how you can showcase student work and share with the community.
  • Composition and DJ-ing tools.
  • Metronomes and tuners.


School example

Increasing opportunities to learn using MyPortfolio

Music students at St Peter’s College in Palmerston North used e-portfolios to record their reflections, compositions, and understandings.

Digital technologies supporting learning

  • Scratch  or roboboogie  – recreate an existing dance, or create choreography for dancers to follow.
  • Makey Makey pad  – create a pad for a dance-off.
  • Royalty free music  – explore websites for different genres of dance music.
  • BaM Video Delay  – analyse a rehearsal or performance. With this app you can simultaneously record and display delayed video. This means that you capture any dance component or skill and after the skill has been completed, students return to the screen to see their skill in action. Fast Camera  will also help with skill or routine development, taking up to 800 pictures a minute.

Mangere College students received 4 NCEA credits for their dance performances at Polyfest. They saw value in using the context for motivating them as learners and gaining a depth of cultural understanding. This context also fosters strong family connections and parent engagement.

Enabling e-Learning Teaching community

School example

Creating dance tracks using GarageBand

Students at Somerville Intermediate School developed their own dance tracks for their morning exercise programme using GarageBand.

Digital technologies supporting learning

  • Google Arts and Culture - massive collection of arts and interactive activities from around the world.
  • #glitchbirds  – using music technology to create art like New Zealand artist Helen Beech.
  • 3D pens and printers for sculpture and installation art.
  • Cartoons, animation, and claymation.
  • Scratch and Makey Makey  – interactive art.
  • Drawing, painting, and design in virtual media such as pastel and oils.
  • MoMA Art Lab  – creating collaborative pieces that can be shared with a wider audience.

Arts Online  
Arts Online has a comprehensive list of websites and apps to use when teaching the visual arts.

Digital technologies supporting learning

  • Smarthistory.org  – an open educational resource for Art history. It has videos, voice threads, and audio lessons about eras and themes in art history which can be browsed by artist name, style of work, theme, or time period.
  • Google Arts and Culture - massive collection of arts and interactive activities from around the world.
  • Makey Makey  – a device that can be used to enhance an art piece with technology, or as a way for a viewer to interact with an artwork.
  • Artsology  – complete historical art adventures and investigations.
  • Tagxedo  – this site creates a word cloud related to an artist or time period that can itself be turned into an artwork.
  • Google Earth scavenger hunt  – send your students around the art world.

7 Ways Technology is Changing How Art is Made  
Technology is redefining art in strange, new ways. Works are created by people moving through laser beams or from data gathered on air pollution. This article, from the Smithsonian magazine, highlights how technology is reshaping what art is.

Digital technologies supporting learning

  • record performances, to use for self reflection, explore movie making, or as a way to present to a wider community
  • record drama techniques or conventions like freeze frames. Images can be viewed straight away, and students asked to write an evaluation of the piece, describing their intentions, the extent to which these are reflected in the image, and ways of improving or developing the moment or frame

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Creativity and innovation: Prof John Drummond

John Drummond, Blair Professor of Music at the University of Otago, is a composer and music educator. In this presentation he invites you to find the creativity you had as a child, and how technology can stimulate your creative juices

Making art with digital technologies

In this TEDtalk, inventor, Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you. He shares some of his messiest inventions, and demos MaKey MaKey, a kit for hacking everyday objects.


Filter by: Primary Secondary

Polyfest as a learning context – The Arts: Dance

Polyfest as a learning context – The Arts: Dance

Mangere College students value Polyfest as an authentic context for NCEA achievement in dance.

Polyfest as a learning context – Art: Creating the Polyfest backdrop

Polyfest as a learning context – Art: Creating the Polyfest backdrop

Students at Mangere College, Zahra and Chris, talk about how they contributed to the Samoan Polyfest as part of Art.

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Snapshots of learning

Filter by: Primary Secondary

STEAM at Taita College

At Taita College in Wellington's Lower Hutt, learning is authentic, future-focused, multidisciplinary, and culturally responsive.

Tags: Learning languages, Mathematics and statistics, Science, STEM/STEAM, Technology, The Arts, Tikanga Māori, Secondary

Raising student achievement

Polyfest provided Mangere College with the opportunity to re-think curriculum planning and design to improve student achievement results for NCEA.

Tags: English, Learning languages, Science, Social sciences, The Arts, Visual arts, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Secondary, Upper secondary

MyPortfolio - St Peter's College

Music students at St Peter’s College in Palmerston North used e-portfolios to record their reflections, compositions, and understandings.

Tags: Assessment, The Arts, e-Portfolios, Lower secondary, Secondary

GarageBand - Somerville Intermediate - dance

Students at Somerville Intermediate School developed their own dance tracks for their morning exercise programme using GarageBand.

Tags: Health and physical education, The Arts, Multimedia – audio/music/sound, Primary, Upper primary

GarageBand - Somerville Intermediate - musical theory

Students at Somerville Intermediate School explored complex musical theory and created sophisticated musical compositions using GarageBand.

Tags: The Arts, Multimedia – audio/music/sound, Primary, Upper primary

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Nga Taonga Puoro

Nga Taonga Puoro – What factors lead to engagement in Māori children?

Combining learning experiences around Nga Taonga Puoro, (traditional Māori musical instruments), and a web based project design, lifted engagement and achievement for Māori students in this Auckland intermediate school.

Hugo Zanker

Building a Music Scene in a Mountain Hamlet

Hugo Zanker, Rudolf Steiner School, Christchurch, focused on building a departmental music scene and connecting students to global arts and networking spaces. 

Using ICT to develop knowledge-building communities in subject English and the arts  (NZCER, 2013)

This article provides some practical examples of how a group of teachers used ICT in subject English and the arts to enable the emergence of knowledge-building communities.

Online communities

Arts online has a number of email mailing lists open to all teachers of the arts, and other interested educators. These online communities are a place to share ideas, request help and resources, and establish professional relationships.

Elearning and creativity

Helen King from Point England School explains how encouraging creativity through music, animation, and movies enhanced the learning of her students. She found that infusing creativity through all curriculum areas contributed to a change in classroom culture.