Thoroughly post modern

nat port gall.jpg As a family we were at the National Gallery in London last weekend. As well as just looking at the pictures you can hire an ‘audio guide’ where you can punch in the picture’s number on your handset and hear a commentary on the artist and that particular work. The gallery was busy (more so I guess as it was stair-rod like rain outside) and there were processions of people following the map and in some case listening to the audio guides. It was great fun therefore to see how my youngest boy (aged 7) engaged with the gallery. He was very happy looking at the pictures as he zipped randomly from interesting room to interesting room. He was also delighted to have an audio-guide and headphones, but his use of it was a bit more off-the-wall that that intended I suspect. He would contemplate the pictures but rather than dialing in the given number he’d select a random number and enjoy the commentary on an entirely different picture. It was great fun to hear him shouting across to his brother things like, “try 664, it’s a great one!” (referring to the audio and not the visual). What was even cooler was that he’d then encounter pictures he’d randomly heard on the audio guide and make the connection, “hey, I know about this one!”
Thoroughly enjoyed watching him engaging in this way as well as thinking this was a fascinating episode to reflect on in terms of how we explore learning with Tweenagers and younger. I loved the way he extracted the maximum fun, used the technology the way he wanted to, engaged with two different mediums independently/disjointedly and potentially joined up some of the learning further on in the process.
(Even more fascinating given how much he struggles at school)

2 Replies to “Thoroughly post modern”

  1. I think your son has discovered a new way to explore art……….the random selection of audio is brilliant, its much better than the confinement of the facts with relevant artwork…his innovative technique could be further explored at the Tate Modern.

  2. Pat,
    I suspect it would be positively encouraged at the Tate Modern. That’s the genius of Modern Art; if there’s a crack in the floor here at home it’s a problem to be fixed BUT at the Tate Modern, it’s an instillation 🙂
    Shalom

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