Mobile Technology – digital sketchbooks

Stiudium do Ostatniej Wieczerzy

‘Study for the Last Supper” , Leonardo da Vinci, 1495-97

We all have in our pockets more technology and processing power than people had 10 years ago, even myself who decided to join the 21st century and finally invest in a smart phone.

The average car has more computing power than was used to send Apollo 11 to the moon, smartphones even more, so what can the devices in our pocket do?

I’m not suggesting that students should develop and design an entire space programme to populate Mars, but if they want to be as entreprenerual as Elon Musk I wouldn’t stop them. I have to admit, seeing a Falcon Heavy departing from the top of Stoddart would be impressive.

But having access to a wide range of technology on the move opens up a range of opportunities never seen before. I’m not suggesting students should use their phones as their primary source of learning, screen size, environment and resources all contribute to how people learn. These devices however are great for allowing users to create, record and collate information, think of them as a digital scrap/sketchbook, to take photos, short videos, pieces to camera, take notes, record audio, all of which can be downloaded as a reference for essays and reports or as artefacts to be added to a portfolio.

They can also be used to collect primary data using services such as Google Forms and Qualtrics out in the field, or to interview people. The uses are endless, it just needs a little creativity.

So I would encourage your students reconsider their devices, yes that are great tools for communication but they are also so much more.

The draftsman with thread grid and squared paper

Der Zeichner mit Fadengitter und quadriertem Papier
(The draftsman with thread grid and squared paper)

Albrecht Dürer- 1525

Even the best artists throughout history have made use of the latest technology to help improve their practice. Dürer illustrates how a drawing grid can be employed to get the proportion on a foreshortened figure right.


Making a video using your phone:

Photography on the move:

12 Mobile Photography Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Note taking ‘apps’:

Recording audio:

10 best voice recorder apps for Android

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