Art Club Blending the Power of Media with Artistic Thinking

By Darrell Strong Jr., M.Ed.


During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, like so many other public media stations, OETA was faced with the challenge of connecting children and families to learning experiences virtually. In response, OETA in partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council leveraged its originally produced documentary series Gallery America—that follows Oklahoma creatives as they use their platform to capture various elements of the human experience—to deliver a virtual summer arts experience aptly titled Art Club.

Art Club was packaged into an eight-week virtual experience for middle school and high school youth. Youth from all 77 counties participated in the initial program launch. Each week focused on a different art practice within in art world e.g., for the visual art world, youth created a self-portrait using ketchup and mustard on white t-shirt. The goal was for participants to understand that art tells a story. Participants would also email vlogs in response to the weekly prompts to support media literacy skills. At the conclusion of Art Club, participants and their families participated in a live Zoom end of year celebration with the show’s creator and host Susan Cadot and Robert Reed along with some of the featured artists.

Following the State’s lift of certain pandemic restrictions, OETA adapted the initial virtual experience for in-person use. For this, OETA partnered with Millwood Arts Academy—one of the few arts integration schools in Oklahoma. During that iteration, instead of a Zoom celebration of their art projects, the youth developed an art gallery experience for their parents and school community to attend where they could interact with the public and share how the story behind their artwork.


Building on the two years of delivering Art Club, OETA developed the Artistic Thinking Framework—a cognitive approach to using art as a creative problem-solving tool. With roots in arts-based research, the artistic thinking framework uses art as an entry point for discovery and investigation of the physical world McNiff, S. (2018). Artistic thinking, essentially, is a methodology of thought applicable to any human pursuit in creating something new or solving a problem. Art Club uses the art worlds as a vehicle to strengthen participant’s ability to employ artistic thinking and amplify their voices. The framework encompasses the following phases of engagement, discovery, freedom, and trial.

The Engagement Phase is based on participant observation. When using the participant observation method, they immerse themselves in the activities and rituals of the community they are observing to gain understanding. During the observation, the individual documents their experiences within and reflections of that community to uncover the culture and how it aligns or differentiates from mainstream culture. In Art Club, youth have the opportunity to engage in participant observation through their everyday lived experiences as they document and share their findings with their peers in facilitator guided discussions that further illuminate their understanding and ability to create.

Using their everyday lives as the object of their observations, they begin to see elements of their communities and culture through new lenses. They discover happenings, occurrences, and events that were previously overlooked by learning to acknowledge and recognize their emotional connection to such experiences. Capitalizing on the emotional connection naturally leads to repeated instances where the social phenomenon can be observed with increasing clarity by the individual. This is the discovery phase of artistic thinking. 

The Freedom Phase of the artistic thinking framework serves to remove the constraints from accepted uses and ideals regarding their selected art world while repurposing them for approaching a challenge with a new output Eliade M. (1968). During the freedom phase, they develop the intrinsic motivation to question the extent and limits of the tools associated with their chosen art world and subsequent form. They investigate how they can stretch their art form to fit within the context of their phenomenon with artistic thinking. For example, in the dance art world they would consider how a plie (a foundational movement in ballet) as a means of communication could be altered or used in a different context to deliver a message that connects to their audience. Freedom in creativity has been an essential element to promulgating some of the most influential breakthrough technologies, procedures, and ideas that have advanced humanity.

The artistic framework reaches its zenith when the product is delivered to market, known as the Trial Phase. For the individual, their primary objective is ensuring that their idea enters the physical world for public consideration. The public experiences the product in its initial raw form while the individual assesses and analyzes their consumption and reaction to determine whether the solution accommodates the existing problem in its original form or needs to be modified in some regard to better achieve its aim.  Once the product reaches the public, this concludes the artistic thinking framework for the individual.  However, the process can be extended through revision and reintroduction as is consistent with STEM related methodologies Faye, J. (2016). Nonetheless the primary goal of the trial phase is for individuals to gain a sense of the public’s response to their perceived phenomena and interpretation thereof.

To participate in Art Club or to receive access to the framework, please contact Interim Vice-President of Education Darrell Strong Jr. at

Darrell Strong Jr. is currently the Interim Vice President of Education at OETA where has has spent the past seven years developing and implementing innovative education initiatives. He has designed innovative educational and engagement experiences such as the Early STEM Institute and Northeast Oklahoma City Community Collaborative for Early Learning Media using PBS educational media assets. Darrell previously designed the community engagement resources to support OETA’s Tulsa Race Massacre: 100 Years Later documentary. He has helped advocate for advancements in early childhood learning with Playful Learning for Educators workshops series. Darrell has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Langston University. He also holds a Master’s degree in Urban Education from Langston University, and is pursuing a PhD in Learning, Design, and Technology from Oklahoma State University.


McNiff, S. (2018). Philosophical and practical foundations of artistic inquiry. Handbook of arts-based research, 22-36.

Eliade M. (1968). Myths dreams and mysteries: the encounter between contemporary faiths and archaic realities. Collins.Faye, J. (2016). The nature of scientific thinking: On interpretation, explanation and understanding. Springer.

Innovative Online Teaching Strategies Series Fall 2022

Online Discussion Strategies, Parts 1 and 2

Innovative Online Teaching Strategies Series Fall 2022: Online Discussions Part 1

Thanks to all of you who attended in person and on Zoom! Unfortunately, I failed to record the actual Zoom session, so I am posting a quick walk-through of the ideas we started with:

Part 2: Online Discussion Assessment and Tools Zoom recording

We’ll be discussing Varieties of Video Presentations on October 4 and 11, 12:00-12:45pm CST. Join us in the Emerging Technologies & Creativity Research Lab, 326 Willard, or on Zoom at

Starscope Monocular

Olaitan Kushimo

Let’s suppose that you are teaching a unit on birds in your class, wouldn’t it be great to get a closer look at those birds without intruding on their habitat? Or perhaps your class couldn’t get a front seat ticket to their favorite soccer game on Campus and you are all  bothered about getting an up close view of your favorite team. Maybe you have even always wanted to show your students a really close view of polar bears but there is no way you all can get meters close to that big, ‘wildey’ buddy. 

Image source: These 19 Insanely Cool Gadgets Will Be The Best Selling Gifts For 2021.

The starscope monocular is an excellent device that works like a telescope and allows you to view objects with ten times higher magnification.This portable carry-on weighs less than a pound and is just over 6 inches long. Students can attach this device to their phones to take close-up photos within seconds. To take amazing shots, focus the Starscope while looking through it with your eyes or attach Starscope to your phone and with the help of your phone screen, aim your starscope at the object you are trying to photograph, take a shot and that’s all!

The Starscope monocular can be operated with one hand and the texture helps give a solid grip.So they do not need to worry about it slipping off or breaking because it has a fog resistant glass, can not easily scratch and prevents dust, smoke or any moisture from entering it. 

So if students really want to experience animals in their natural habitat, this device is reliable enough to catch a shot of a Lion tearing up it’s prey.

 Within affordability,the Starscope is still an excellent device to purchase because it only costs 40 dollars and outperforms ProGrade Telescopes that cost thousands of dollars.

Can you beat owning a device in your school with such excellent performance and yet affordable?

This device also comes in handy when taking students on a learning adventure or to show photos that can be used as learning tools in class. For example, getting a close view of animals in wildlife parks, birds flying way above their heads or their favourite sports events. 

Using fully multi coated elements to ensure light transmission up to 99.8%, students can enjoy the wonders of nature in a close and intimate view or feed their curiosity about things around the earth.

 Imagine getting a real view of the moon as though they could touch it!

Science projects and practicals like examining the human body can be done with the help of the Starscope device. Students can have the alternative of observing internal organs from a proximity. Teaching elementary science about plants and flowers can also be made easy using the device. Learners who may be allergic to some substances or objects can get to experience their learning as good as interacting with them very closely.

Asides contributing to their learning experiences, students in higher ed who are content creators can make a statement on their social media pages with these amazing photos.

The Starscope monocular has an excellent light transmission and can be mounted on a tripod or monopod for stable and balanced shots. This would give the best thumbnail that would get subscribers clicking on their post without clickbait.


These 19 Insanely Cool Gadgets Will The Best Selling Gifts For 2021.

Dodow: Sleeping Aid

Clement Audu

Dodow Review

History in brief

It was exciting to run into this amazing sleeping device called Dodow for the first time in an attempt to figure out a topic for presentation in our research lab. Dodow is the brainchild of Alexandre Dujoncquoy who has interesting credentials (Dujoncquoy, 2021). He holds a degree in insomnia with almost three years of two sleepless nights per week. He cured his insomnia by observing concentrated breathing. He later teamed up with two designers to make this technique dependable. Dodow now helps very many people with sleeping disorders worldwide.

How it works 

Dodow is a battery-operated device that slowly projects a rhythmic glow to the ceiling of your room. All the user needs to do is gaze on the rhythmic blue light and align the breathing pattern to the blinking light. It begins as a blue dot that grows into a halo shape and then retracts back to a dot. Following the rhythm of the light, users inhale when the blue light is expanding and exhale as the light retracts. Breathing along with the light slows breathing from an average of 11 breaths per minute to six breaths per minute. The pattern has the user inhaling for 40 per cent of the time and exhaling for the remaining 60 per cent. Dodow’s goal of working with timed breathing, relaxation, and meditation to reduce sleep latency. It claims to be able to train your brain to fall asleep within a short while. 

Screenshot from Dowdow Website –  How it works link


Dodow promises to be good for people, especially students who find it very difficult to catch sleep at night. It will also be beneficial for researchers who stay up late into the night and have limited time to sleep. The assumption behind the device is that using it  provides a kind of assurance that the little time set aside for sleep will be used effectively and efficiently. To put it differently, the argument here is that with Dodow, you do not need sleeping pills anymore (Cushner, 2021) if you are struggling with sleepless nights. 


Dodow has a varying price that revolves around $50 depending on the procurement vendors like Amazon, Ebay and from the Dodow official website.

Relevance to the ETCR Lab

The ETC Research lab provides the opportunity for graduate students and faculty in the College of Education and Human Sciences to carry out varieties of research  on technological tools and their applications towards learning. The research into Dodow Sleeping Aid is therefore necessary because of  the need to maintain general wellbeing of researchers which is essential to the advancement of crucial research concerning healthy sleeping. 

The Dodow can be helpful in maintaining adequate sleep which is one thing that can enhance the general wellbeing of researchers. Having samples of Dodow in the lab for visitors to check out and return after a few nights of testing can open up a good conversation about how people struggle with sleep and how that can lower their productivity

Since the lab is all about enhancing creativity, the calming effect that Dodow affords can also enhance better creativity by putting the user in a good mental state. Testing Dowdow out and providing the feedback from its usage will   be beneficial to educators and students within the college, especially because of the demands of academic work which may reduce the time they have available for sleep. 


Cushner, K. (2021, February 8). The Bottom Line. Retrieved from:

Levin, B. (2021, March 23). We tried the Dodow sleep aid for over two months — here’s why it’s worth it

Dujoncquoy A. (2021). Uncommon Goods. 

Guess who’s back?…It’s GoogleGlass!

Oluwafikayo Adewumi

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2

Remember back in 2012 when Google came up with their headset called Google Glass? It was not an astounding success and it did not gain wide adoption. Amongst the challenges it faced was issues of privacy. Well…fast forward to 2021 and you are still looking for multipurpose glasses? Google Glass is back. The Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 has been designed to meet your needs as a wearable AR technology, which can embed your recommended lens and suitable frame simultaneously. As we all know, Google was one of the first to release a wearable AR glass and ever since has improved on its glasses, with the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 inclusive. 

Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is an upgrade from the pilot Google Glass Enterprise Edition. It is a wearable device that has proven to improve the quality of business output and help employees work smarter, faster, and safer.  This lightweight wearable mobile computer is designed to have employees focused on tasks without external distraction.

Possible advantages: The glass has a voice feature that helps activate any application, like pulling up multimedia contents or recording data. While at a job, you can pull up videos or pictures for instructions to help get the job done faster. Students working on a lab activity; could pull up videos by their instructor, which would help keep them focused, work more quickly because there are fewer distractions, and record observations. 

The google glass enterprise edition can connect individuals with coworkers or peers for instant collaborative work. You can seek expertise from your space by inviting others to “see what you see” on ‘Meet’ as you work on using the glass in real-time. A good instance would be in a tech space where a coder uses this feature to collaborate with other developers to troubleshoot live programming codes. Students can also collaborate with peers or teachers from whatever space they are to work on an activity. Additionally, it is built on Android, making it easier for customers to interact easily with the device.

Possible disadvantage: Not available to the general public.

Looking at its great features and potentials across all environments, I believe you are wondering how much it cost. Well, it is priced as compared to other AR glasses in the market right now. The cost for the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is $999. We have not yet played with this in the lab so cannot attest to functionality or various uses, but it is one of the tools that is worth taking a look at. Due to privacy policy, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is not available to the general public but to organizations who need it.

For more info,


Video link


Introducing Glass Enterprise Edition 2. (2021) Retrieved from