My son and other students in his then 7th grade honors Math class were assigned a math project that, among various other things, required him/them to create a magazine and an active cartoon, although the teacher who issued the assignment had never instructed him or the class per se on how to do this…

My son, and very likely the other students, hadn’t previously been introduced to this art form. We did a bit of research, however, and discovered that we could create the cartoon in Windows Movie Maker by sequentially uploading scenes to the story board that we’d drawn on a canvas in Microsoft Word utilizing lines, shapes, and call-outs for dialogue,* all of which are accessible by clicking on “Insert” and “Shapes” (We didn’t have a microphone to plug into the computer at the time to actually speak for the cartoon).

The cartoon did move, but the image turned out to be so small that its intricate features and the call-out dialogue was hardly visible.

I thought of how wonderful and appropriate it would have been had my son’s teacher actually given a formal set of instructions on how to create both the magazine, given her specific criteria, which is viewable in the rubric attached to the assignment, and the cartoon, considering especially that this knowledge was expected of my son and the other students in this class (We were aware that we could have purchased a magazine template, but met challenges finding a template that would conform to her requirements).

I thought of how more appropriate it would have been for such instructions to come from an art class that students would be required to take prior to issuance of such an assignment.

Incorporating technology into grade school art classrooms such as would avail students opportunity to learn how to properly create cartoons, etc., would be sensible and reflective of the ages. This, of course, would require placement of computers with relevant software* into art classes (Grade school students could also be taught graphic design, Computer Animated Design (architecture, fashion & accessories, vehicular, etc.), screen printing, greeting card design, etc.)…

Popular television networks would suddenly have a vast multitude of sources from which to choose cartoons for public broadcasting, or from which to at least acquire ideas.