Google Art Project amasses more than 30,000 great works from real-world collections and presents them in virtual galleries. Kids can search art by museum collection or artist and can browse artists and artworks alphabetically or by user-curated collections.
The site may not be immediately intuitive for all users, so it's helpful to start with the Visitor's Guide video, found in the FAQ section. This video demonstrates the site's features, and the text below expands on common questions like What is the Google Art Project? Students explore galleries by clicking on the little person icon and navigating through virtual spaces using the arrows and magnifier. Image quality varies within the Floorplan views, but all the archives are high-resolution images kids can magnify to see details.
The future of education is rolled into one platform on Google Art Project. It converges massive databases, high-resolution images, and mapping technology to make art accessible to students everywhere. Kids can connect with particular artworks and artists through a few key interactive features. First, they can search for specific works in Scavenger Hunt, then make their own galleries in YouGallery by clicking a button within each image. Then, when users log into Google, a My Galleries menu appears at the top of the screen for curating, commenting, and sharing with specific people or the whole world. One click translates the entire site into 19 of the world's most spoken languages, boosting accessibility.
Teachers will undoubtedly find many ways to integrate this tool into the classroom. Highlights include the Look Like an Expert and DIY sections. The former gives basic lessons on how to look at art with an expert's eye. Mini-articles like "The shape of time" and "How was that made?" introduce art appreciation and history. Each section includes a sort of quiz that gives students a chance to test what they've just read. An interesting Hidden Meanings section links directly to great works and asks students to find specific encoded messages within the art. The answers are provided, but teachers could add their own searches for an additional challenge and test of reading comprehension.