How I Use It
While the obvious fit for this product would seem to be the art classroom, there is also great potential here for Smarthistory to be used in the humanities, as well. Going back to paintings from ancient cultures, there are excellent opportunities to show videos or share essays on the significance of the artwork of the time periods for which you are studying with students. The way in which each time period and subject area is broken down makes it ideal for easily finding resources that will align to your course material. Certainly this will also be an indelible source for art teachers and art history students. One aspect that could improve it as a research tool is including how to cite the essays and videos, in particular, at the end of result, as many databases now do.
From the KahnAcademy, SmartHistory has been called “the art history textbook of the future.” This multimedia look at art and art history contains nearly 500 videos and 250 essays. Within this sleek looking site, you can search by time, style, artist, theme, or you can use the visual timeline search tool. In addition to each essay or video, each result provides a map to show where the artist or painting in question originated from, as well as useful related links. Some of these links were traditional and pointed to art museums, but some went to sites such as amazing flickr accounts that were filled with pictures contributed by hundreds of users showing the artist’s work. There is also the ability to comment on each of the articles and videos and the discussions are surprisingly very thoughtful and so it might be a great time to practice collaboration and digital citizenship.