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Visual Education and The Internet Camp: A Study of Underprivileged Children and Their Web Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  14 the web page. 11 Another consideration is that, like many children their age they are, more than likely, without a compulsory training in communication media and message creation. All of these factors may influence the stylistic outcome of the child’s work. The web pages also provide evidence that shows how the children coped with these limitations and how they worked out the visual design of their web pages in the best ways they could. Some children followed the instructor’s direction, some made their own innovations, and others did not or were not able to follow directions. The children came up with different solutions for the web page design problems they faced. One might suppose that the underprivileged, and/or at-risk social status these children came from affected their problem solving capabilities, yet it is difficult to say how. Each came up with a creative design for their particular pages. Their designs might even be classified as sophisticated solutions to a decision- making situation. One wonders if the underprivileged status of the children had any affect at all. Would students of more privileged status (the “haves”) perform as well or better than the students in the Internet Camp? In terms of visual expression, be it painting, drawing, or web page design, are children at this stage of life unaware they are underprivileged or are they unaffected by their social situation? Do the effects of underprivileged circumstances kick in at a later time in a person’s life? These questions cannot be definitively answered here, but Arnheim (1998) suggests that the children, regardless of their cultural backgrounds, all develop in pretty much the same manner when it comes to artistic expression. Children’s drawings, he says, “look very similar under any cultural condition. What degrees of freedom are accessible later depends on the style 11 HTML limits what the visual designer can do in terms of color choice, object

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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background image
14
the web page.
11
Another consideration is that, like many children their age they are, more than
likely, without a compulsory training in communication media and message creation. All of
these factors may influence the stylistic outcome of the child’s work.
The web pages also provide evidence that shows how the children coped with these
limitations and how they worked out the visual design of their web pages in the best ways they
could. Some children followed the instructor’s direction, some made their own innovations, and
others did not or were not able to follow directions. The children came up with different
solutions for the web page design problems they faced. One might suppose that the
underprivileged, and/or at-risk social status these children came from affected their problem
solving capabilities, yet it is difficult to say how. Each came up with a creative design for their
particular pages. Their designs might even be classified as sophisticated solutions to a decision-
making situation. One wonders if the underprivileged status of the children had any affect at all.
Would students of more privileged status (the “haves”) perform as well or better than the
students in the Internet Camp? In terms of visual expression, be it painting, drawing, or web
page design, are children at this stage of life unaware they are underprivileged or are they
unaffected by their social situation? Do the effects of underprivileged circumstances kick in at a
later time in a person’s life?
These questions cannot be definitively answered here, but Arnheim (1998) suggests that
the children, regardless of their cultural backgrounds, all develop in pretty much the same
manner when it comes to artistic expression. Children’s drawings, he says, “look very similar
under any cultural condition. What degrees of freedom are accessible later depends on the style
11
HTML limits what the visual designer can do in terms of color choice, object


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