passaggi digitali

IMAGINE_global interaction

IMAGinE – A cognitive application for reading and interpreting art images at primary school level

Research team: Michela Carlini, Dr Diana Tanase, Giovanna Marton

We developed a cognitive system for the observation and interpretation of works of art by primary school children (age 8-10). A didactical tool designed to help children and teachers in the classroom but also in all those contexts where informal learning takes place.

– To create a system that doesn’t solely transfer contents but produces new knowledge out of the children-computer interaction.
– To support the development of logical thinking and to foster at the same time divergent and associative thinking skills, much needed for solving ‘art problems’ but also problems that emerge in the child’s daily life.
– To support the development of critical skills in respect to the visual languages used in images
– To support children’s ability to produce mental images of concepts and feelings

Interaction Cycle

We started with the assumption that the verbal and the visual languages complement each other. As visual communication skills enrich our communicative and expressive potential, we believe that children can develop some valuable communication skills through guided observation of works of art.

The didactical tool we developed leverages the intrinsic motivations that make children interact with art images. It’s functionalities help children with the playful search for meaning within works of art; this process becomes an opportunity to think of new stories and to surprise friends and adults with poetic, sometimes hilarious narrations. Children’s motivation to observe art images shifts from getting a good mark or obtaining the teacher’s praise to a more intrinsic one, namely to ‘engage with images because I am good at it and everyone will be able to see my work’.

Design methods
Since the beginning of the project we involved a primary school class in the design of the system. A series of experiments with the children showed that visual literacy is not a given and understanding and learning need to be carefully nurtured, otherwise children grow up unable to decipher the complicated visual messages encoded in day to day life.

Cross-disciplinary approch