Smarthistory.org has grown over the past year. We have added a lot of new content and the number of visitors to the site continues to climb. Based on a user survey we conducted last year, we know that many of our visitors are informal learners that travel. We created SmarthistoryTravel apps with these visitors in mind.
SmarthistoryTravel focuses on curious, thoughtful travelers who want expert art analysis delivered in a casual and engaging style. The initial app in this series, “Rome: A First Look,” is now available in the iTunes App Store. We will launch a second app, “Rome: A Closer Look” later this summer. Additional apps that focus on art in other cities will follow. Proceeds from SmarthistoryTravel support Smarthistory, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. Enhance your travel experience and support Smarthistory at the same time!
January 24th, 2009
Now remember, we have been using Flickr to teach with for years, and yet — in the last couple of weeks — we’ve been amazed at the power of images from Flickr to enhance the content on the smarthistory site.
1) The images can show the work of art in its current context. This is something we believe is critical & so very different from the sanitized images students usually see in art history class. Photos of images in context embed art in time and place — and give viewers a sense of what it is like to see and experience the original work.
2) The images can allow us to reflect more broadly on the social experience of seeing works of art in the museum.
3) The images can reveal details or views of the work that help to enrich our understanding and experience of it.
4) The images draw our attention to what viewers are finding interesting about a work of art and the museum experience.
5) The images create a community of interest among those who like to see new media being used in creative ways to make art and art history more accessible. Thanks Nels1!
6) It also means that we really begin to exploit the great potential of the read/write web, Smarthistory can become richer and stronger because of the collective wisdom of its visitors. This is especially compelling in the discipline of art history which too often discounts the knowledge of the non-expert. Here is a perfect example: Beth and I made an introductory video for the period 1848-1907 for Smarthistory that included Van Gogh’s Potato Eaters. In the recording I got ahead of myself and made an error about where the artist was when he painted this wonderful canvas. Soon after we posted the video, I invited a photograph on Flickr to the Smarthistory group and linked it to the page with the video. The photographer, who is a resident of Nuenen, the city where the Potato Eaters was really painted, pointed out my error and I immediately posted the exchange/correction and recognized that we had really just touched on the the true power of social media. Knowledge is widespread and we finally have the means to bring it together. What could be a more exciting enterprise?!
– Beth & Steven
October 25th, 2008
1) ARTstor Your institution must subscribe.
ARTstor is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. The ARTstor Digital Library is used by educators, scholars, and students at a variety of institutions including universities, colleges, museums, public libraries, and K-12 schools. As of January 2008, approximately 95% of ARTstor’s collections are available for download at 1024 pixels on the long side, while the remaining 5% may be downloaded at 400 pixels on the long side.
In addition, as part of the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) initiative, select images within ARTstor may be downloaded free-of-charge at very high resolutions for noncommercial use in scholarly publications.
2) NYPL Digital Gallery
NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 600,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to all. Unlike traditional media repositories, Wikimedia Commons is free. Everyone is allowed to copy, use and modify any files here freely as long as the source and the authors are credited and as long as users release their copies/improvements under the same freedom to others.
IMAGE LIBRARY DATABASES WITH TEACHING TOOLS
1) Luna, Insight: A commercial solution
The Insight® Software Suite’s award winning features empower users to build, manage and share digital collections of any size. Unique to Insight is a rich toolset for working with images, text, audio and video files, PDFs, etc. Complete catalog data accompanies every image, allowing for quick and easy searches across one or many collections.
2) Almagest: Another open source solution — this one developed by Princeton.
3) MDID: An open source solution developed by James Madison University — the application we used for FITDIL (the FIT Digital Image Library)
Here’s a Jing video embedded in a blog:
An example of an image captured and annotated with Jing:
Here’s an example of an image captured an annotated with Skitch:
Upload an image or grab a screenshot, annotate it, and email it. Also has a firefox plug-in.
With Cozimo you can collaborate and review images and videos — together in real-time or on your own time. Get feedback from clients and colleagues instantly. Cozimo is the faster, better, simpler way to work.
Cozimo also has a WordPress plugin — click here to see and try.
4) Conceptshare ConceptShare allows you to setup secure online workspaces for sharing designs, documents and video and invite others to review, comment and give contextual feedback anytime and anywhere without a meeting.
ProofHQ is a smarter, easier way to manage review and approval of designs, artwork and documents. It is an online collaboration, proofing and approval tool built specifically for brands, agencies, designers, print and production.
With Thinkature, you can create a collaborative workspace and invite coworkers, friends, and colleagues to join you in just seconds. Once inside your workspace, you can communicate by chatting, drawing, creating cards, and adding content from around the Internet. It’s all synchronous, too – no need to hit reload or get an editing lock.
1) Tag Galaxy
3) Mead Map (concept mapping)
October 19th, 2008
About the Web-Book
As many of you undoubtedly already know, in addition to this blog, a couple of years ago we created a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. The redesign, launched on October 15, was funded by a generous grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. It allows users to browse more than one hundred audio and video conversations about works of art by time period, style, or artist, or by scrolling through an image browser created to look like an art history textbook. We were hard at work on it all summer!
A lot of effort went into the new design to maximize its clarity and value and we are extremely grateful to our fantastic international team for their dedication, foresight, and ultimately for their belief in this project. Lotte Meijer (Holland), our brilliant information architect (she specializes in museum education technologies) and Mickey Mayo (NY), our unbelievably insightful, creative web designer were both a pleasure to work with as were our wonderful developers Dragan Nikolic (Zurich) and Matt Haenlin (Boston). In short, the site is gorgeous because of Mickey, it works and makes sense because of Lotte, and it exists thanks to Dragan and Matt. On Dragan’s recommendation — and thanks to Lotte’s desire to make the site everything we envisioned and more, we used MODx instead of wordpress (both are open source) because of its greater flexibility. We had originally organized the contents of the Smarthistory site using WordPress (we still use it for this blog) — customized for us quite a bit by Joseph Ugoretz — who created it on the back end and keeps it going. But in the end, wordpress is really blogging software and proved imperfect for our expanding needs.
The new site can be found at www.smarthistory.org
About this Blog
Our objectives for the Smarthistory blog have changed over time. In 2005, this blog was all we had and so we posted everything here. However, as the amount of content grew, the blog became a place for us to post about relevant activities and especially about our thoughts and discoveries regarding image—based teaching and technology and art in Second Life. We hope you find it valuable and we encourage your comments—they help us to know whether we are on the right track.
Beth & Steven