I was lucky enough to be invited to ARTstor for the day recently. They invited a handful of faculty to talk to them about how they use ARTstor, to try out the new version of ARTstor, and to talk about ARTstor’s future. As always, it’s great to talk to the hard-working and dedicated folks there, fighting to make images accessible and easy for us to use in the classroom. How can we thank them enough for fighting our battles for us?
I am always surprised at how few people use ARTstor live, instead preferring the Offline Image Viewer, which seems somewhat dead to me. It’s a great tool, don’t get me wrong, but having ARTstor live feels so much better to me. The images seem so much less static. Maybe its getting rid of that dead black background, and instead having the background of the web browser. Also, I think there is a tendency not to use the zooming feature while in the OIV.
It would be so great if ARTstor could devote more resources to building social tools into the image library. What if we could see what other instructors are using for comparison images? Or links to other related content, or discussions about teaching strategies around different images? After all, if the goal is to make us better teachers, perhaps ARTstor can help us open up our classrooms so we can learn from each other. Right now, using using digital image libraries remain a very isolated experience, much more isolating in fact, than the slide library was. Steven Zucker and I have written about this in a forthcoming publication.
Anyway, thanks ARTstor… we’re all very grateful.