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AMICO Annual Members Meeting 2001
Final Report

Users Session
Thursday, June 21, 2001 9-12:30pm

Colleen Skidmore, Assistant Professor, Art and Design
University of Alberta, Calgary, Canada

Ms. Skidmore was a pioneering participant during the AMICO University Testbed year (1998-99). She has taught an entire course in Canadian Art History in a newly configured laboratory space using digital images. She also worked closely with Canadian AMICO members to request works be contributed to The AMICO Library to reinforce her teaching needs. Ms. Skidmore offered benefits and recommendationsfor AMICO to consider.

Five benefits that we enjoy with AMICO:

  1. Flexible Conditions of Use
      Students may use:
    • an on-line notebook,
    • download the images to their home computers or to floppy discs in the lab,
    • print the images for study purposes, to interleave with lecture notes, or for submission in term papers.
      Faculty can:
    • set up AMICO notebooks for course preparation,
    • upload image lists with links to AMICO,
    • use the presentation catalogue for other sections of Canadian art history courses taught in the usual lecture hall where students do not have computers,
    • assign work with AMICO in upper level seminar courses to develop library skills and to research a seminar discussion or term paper topic,
    • create study assignments, similar to the AMICO model assignments.
  2. AMICO image quality is far better than slides.
  3. Over time the instructor time investment to create an image database is less than that for pulling slides class after class, year after year. The database is easily updated as new images or topics are introduced into a course or AMICO provides new images. Most importantly, students have 24-hour access to the images and other course materials.
  4. Large amount of Canadian art images.
  5. AMICO makes it easier to respond to growing student demand online sources for materials.
Five wishes for AMICO to meet user needs:
  1. More works in The AMICO Library. 200,000 would be a good amount of images and member museums should ask educational users what they would like to have added to The AMICO Library.
  2. Specifically, in to would be good to see more works by women and visible minorities, as well as design materials and photographs.
  3. More contemporary search categories that reflect the expectations of the discipline are needed, especially by gender and ethnicity.
  4. Friendlier side by side display interface for images.
  5. Keep the subscription price in check; funding is not improving and library resources are watched closely.
  • Open Ms. Skidmore's presentation as a .PDF file
  • Review Ms. Skidmore's presentation notes as a .PDF file

Kelly Richmond, Communications Director

Ms. Richmond is coordinator of the AMICO K-12 Testbed. This group of nine participating schools in the U.S. have had one semester of access to The AMICO Library, of the three semesters planned for the Testbed. Ms. Richmond reviewed the results of the survey administered to the group at the end of this initial segment of the project.

    Highlights include:
  • K-12 teachers and students have needs that differ from University level users
  • Notebooks and searching can be complicated
  • Grouping content around themes would be useful
  • The commentaries and additional materials are good resources
  • Side-by-side projection, zooming in for details, and 3-D views are wanted
  • Open Ms. Richmond's presentation as a .PDF file

Scott Howe, Humanities Chair and A.P. Art History Teacher
Isidore Newman School, New Orleans, LA

Mr. Howe is a participant in the AMICO K-12 Testbed and has been working with AMICO in an advisory capacity on the intersection of AMICO Library content with K-12 school curriculum. Mr. Howe seeks to build his students' confidence with online technologies while enforcing the need to appropriately question materials' authorship and rigorously cite one's sources.

    In working with The AMICO Library, Mr. Howe found that:
  • The AMICO Library was a wonderful source of materials that allowed Mr. Howe to get beyond the textbook, especially non-Western works.
  • Students became actively engaged with the images, and began to explore the art and artists of the period both on the Internet and in the library.
  • Lectures acquired a "cool" factor, simply because Mr. Howe was using a computer to do something old in a new way, something important when teaching teenagers.
  • Projects devised using The AMICO Library allowed Mr. Howe to model for students the essence of academic life: bringing diverse sets of knowledge together into a new context in order to share it with a larger audience.
  • Mr. Howe instilled the importance of questioning authorship and then, properly citing online sources to his students using The AMICO Library. Students took this message to heart as 75% of his students credited Mr. Howe with "honesty and academic integrity" as one of his core values.
  • Open Mr. Howe's presentation as a .PDF file
  • Review Mr. Howe's presentation notes as a .PDF file

Peter Walsh, Consultant to AMICO

Mr. Walsh (an Art Historian and former AMICO project team member) has been working with AMICO on developing programs that support university users. Based on his analysis last year on the types of art history programs offered at AMICO Library subscribing schools, Mr. Walsh has been developing model assignments that could be integrated into subscribers' typical course offerings. Mr. Walsh discusses the objectives of these assignments and highlighted a few examples.

    The Goal of the Model Assignments is to:
  • Provide an example of ways that rich resources like The AMICO Library, that have no corollary in the traditional world of the Art Historian, can be integrated into teaching
  • Inspire teachers to adapt these pedagogicial models to their own subject areas
  • Show that this can be done in a relatively low-tech but creative way
  • Open Mr. Walsh's presentation as a .PDF file
  • Review Mr. Walsh's presentation notes as a .PDF file

Michel Vulpe, Founder and C.T.O.
i4i, Inc., Toronto, Canada

Mr. Vulpe previewed the new XML-based tools for use with The AMICO Library that are under development by i4i. The objectives of this new tool set is to allow teachers to find content in The AMICO Library more easily, and to integrate it smoothly into different standard teaching formats, such as lesson plans, quizzes, assignments, and more. Mr. Vulpe presentation will demonstrate these new developments.

    With the i4i toolset a teacher can:
  • Browse The AMICO Library using Windows Explorer on their desktop
  • See Folders of AMICO Library content that cluster works in categories
  • Integrate AMICO Library content into their Microsoft Office documents
  • Author standard document genres used in classroom teaching, such as lesson plans, assignments and quizzes, with the aid of Office Assistants
  • Open Mr. Vulpe's presentation as a .PDF file

Member Response

All present agreed that it was very helpful to have Users of The AMICO Library communicate what they are doing with our digital resource. Requests were made for copies of all of the presentations (They are available in digital form on the Members Web site.)


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