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Visual Education and The Internet Camp: A Study of Underprivileged Children and Their Web Pages
Unformatted Document Text:  15 dominant in the environment” (Arnheim, 1998, p. 20). Whether technological access and educational opportunity are the same as the cultural differences Arnheim is concerned with is a debate that is not explored here. Further research should examine these questions. To understand the answers to these questions one would need to have a comparative group of privileged children in a similar educational experience, creating web pages to see if there are any differences in design and aesthetic features. Then we would track the two groups (haves and have-nots) over time to see if there was any divergence in their creative visual abilities. This type of comparative, longitudinal, panel design research is rare. In addition, the measures needed to determine if socio-economics were determining factors would have questionable reliability and validity. A large sample of children might help reduce measurement error, but only a large grant would make this possible. Since we only have this small group of children and their web pages to examine, we are left to exploratory speculation. We need not base our speculations of imperfection in the execution of the web pages on negative attributes. Rather, we might appreciate them as lively illustrations of the relation between abstract perfection and human endeavor, between rigid form and the spontaneity of the creative process. In other words, the web pages have a charm that only a child’s creation can have. The incompleteness of the designs, where visible, clearly exhibits a work in progress and demarcates areas in which the child may have struggled with a particular design feature. Some of their web pages had obvious flaws because things were out of alignment, or various aspects were obviously missing or misspelled. These flaws, indeed, all of the content and form of the web page depended on many factors including the disposition of the particular child, their mood at a given moment, their placement, and other aesthetic aspects.

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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dominant in the environment” (Arnheim, 1998, p. 20). Whether technological access and
educational opportunity are the same as the cultural differences Arnheim is concerned with is a
debate that is not explored here. Further research should examine these questions.
To understand the answers to these questions one would need to have a comparative
group of privileged children in a similar educational experience, creating web pages to see if
there are any differences in design and aesthetic features. Then we would track the two groups
(haves and have-nots) over time to see if there was any divergence in their creative visual
abilities. This type of comparative, longitudinal, panel design research is rare. In addition, the
measures needed to determine if socio-economics were determining factors would have
questionable reliability and validity. A large sample of children might help reduce measurement
error, but only a large grant would make this possible.
Since we only have this small group of children and their web pages to examine, we are
left to exploratory speculation. We need not base our speculations of imperfection in the
execution of the web pages on negative attributes. Rather, we might appreciate them as lively
illustrations of the relation between abstract perfection and human endeavor, between rigid form
and the spontaneity of the creative process. In other words, the web pages have a charm that
only a child’s creation can have. The incompleteness of the designs, where visible, clearly
exhibits a work in progress and demarcates areas in which the child may have struggled with a
particular design feature. Some of their web pages had obvious flaws because things were out of
alignment, or various aspects were obviously missing or misspelled.
These flaws, indeed, all of the content and form of the web page depended on many
factors including the disposition of the particular child, their mood at a given moment, their
placement, and other aesthetic aspects.


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