Technology integration is a key component of Expanding The Frame. Along with improving efficiency, it is important for students to be technologically literate in an increasingly technological world. Technology is, therefore, utilized in a variety of ways throughout all aspects of the project.


Every student, classroom teacher, and artist instructor involved in ETF has access to an iPad for project use. Each iPad comes pre-loaded with useful apps for Art, ELA, Math, and more general functions.

In the Angular Cityscapes unit, students used the Maps app to find angles in their neighborhoods.

In Playful Solids, students used the Shapes app to learn how 2D shapes become 3D.

Collaboration and planning are central to ETF’s structure. A shared file management system (see below) allows the project’s classroom teachers, artist instructors, and Studio staff to easily read, write, or revise unit plans and access each other’s documentation.

While most students are familiar with tablets or smartphones – often for recreational purposes – the iPads allow students to experience technology in a new professional and educational context. They are able to use the devices as a tool. Students manage and share their own files, accessing a gallery of resources provided by their artist instructors and maintaining a portfolio of their work as it develops. The iPad also offers them new avenues for assessing and reflecting upon their own and each other’s work through recordings (see Reflection and Feedback below) and online pre- and post-surveys. In certain units, students use the iPads for artmaking. In doing this, students experience technology, no longer strictly as a consumer, but as a creator.

File Management

Students could access visual resources in their Google Drive folders.

For a project that, in its largest year, involved 5 artist instructors, 28 teachers, and nearly 400 students, a file management system that allows for easy access and collaboration is vital. The Studio Institute created an organizational Google account that makes every participant a unique user. Through Google Drive, the project’s artists, teachers, and administrators can work on their files from anywhere at any time.

Artists have access to a wide variety of files and folders, including the folders for each of the four participating schools. Within each school folder are folders for each teacher, class, and unit implemented in those classes. As most artists are teaching units that will be taught by other artists as well, it is important for them to have access to each other’s files for reference and planning purposes.

Teachers have access to their class’s and colleague’s files, as well as the units that they are co-teaching. This enables them to view and work on the same unit and lesson plans as their partner artists. They are also able to access and edit their student’s folders.

Artist instructors and classroom teachers used Google Drive to share files like lesson plans.

Each student has their own folder, which includes a Gallery folder containing various resources, and a Portfolio folder into which they upload their own content. These folders exist within the larger class folders that the teachers and artists can access.

Students saved their work in their own digital portfolio.

Reflection and Feedback


Students use their iPads for formative assessment, reflecting on their work, and looking closely at works of art. For this, they use the app Explain Everything, which enables users to import images and manipulate them while recording in real time. Lessons often end with students importing their work into Explain Everything and recording their own or a peer’s feedback.


Doing this encourages students to discuss art, improves their communication schools, enables them to practice vocabulary, and assist each other in meeting lesson criteria. Students may reference their Explain Everything files at any time, and sharing their files to Google Drive allows them to be reviewed by their teacher or Studio artist.

The app’s many uses mean that it can also be used for artmaking, keeping portfolios, creating templates, or pre-recording demonstrations.


Several Expanding The Frame units incorporated an element of digital artmaking. For example, students used Explain Everything to create typography for their Persuasive Posters, and used drawing apps like Procreate to make Digital Landscapes.