In early 2016 we launched a national art competition, The Art of Technology. The competition set out to establish, through painting and drawing, how children in the UK feel about technology. Expression of true feelings or beliefs through art is a tried and tested concept, and we were keen to give our education customers insight into how school pupils see the technology that they are using every day.
Just over 70 pupils from across the UK entered the art competition with pictures submitted from Cornwall to the North and East coasts. To enter the The Art of Technology competition pupils were asked to submit artworks based on three questions: ‘What does Wi-Fi look like?, ‘What’s inside your computer?’ and ‘How do you stay safe online?’.
The entries were judged by top children’s book illustrator and author, Jonny Lambert. Over several hours Jonny examined the artworks and selected the four finalists and the overall winning piece.
Bodriggy Academy, Hayle
Delves Junior School, Walsall
St Edmunds Catholic Primary School, London
Ashton Gate Primary School, Bristol
The winning school received a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 to the delight of the staff and pupils as their teacher commented, “The computer arrived yesterday evening to great excitement and was shown to KS2 in their praise assembly today, provoking great excitement!”.
As part of the prize the school will also receive a special art tutorial from Jonny Lambert during the new academic year and a framed picture of the winning picture with a note of congratulations from our CEO, Simon Harbridge.
The next stage of the competition will see the artworks analysed by the eminent educational psychologist, Dr Kairen Cullen. Dr Cullen will then produce a research paper so that we can understand the way the student artists feel about having access to computing and digital resources in their school. We also want to make sure that we can show our schools what students are thinking about when it comes to online safety, so that they can better understand what needs to be done with digital safeguarding in schools. The conclusions will be available for all competition entrant schools, and Stone customers, to view.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the participating schools. We were overwhelmed by the level and quality of the entries from so many schools around the country.
The level of interest and understanding of technology from the schools confirms our belief that technology is a central part of our children’s lives today. From technology use at home and social media, to the application of technology within the classroom to learn in new and interesting ways, its true to say that our children have embraced our technological world wholeheartedly.
Watch out for the final report from Dr Cullen coming soon!