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App of the Week: Link art to historical events

Excellent curation and an unmatched art collection invites exploration

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

Google Arts & Culture is both a website and an iOS or Android app that provides free access to art collections from around the world. The site is well-organized and easy to navigate. The search tool allows users to explore by museums’ collections or themes and to filter by movement, artist, historical event, historical figure, medium, and more. In addition to basic searches, you can find the latest news related to museums, collections, and events as well as locate nearby places to visit in person (with media of their collections). There are layers and layers of resources, from visual media of artifacts to virtual tours (familiar to users of the now defunct Google Art Project) to “stories,” which provide written context to a series of artifacts. When students dig into a historical event, for instance, they’ll find curated stories, images, artifacts, and timelines from a wide range of collections. The site also includes links to interactive experiments that demonstrate the interplay between technology, art, and science. Beyond just exploring, users can “favorite” what they find and create their own collection, which could align with a specific classroom activity or assignment.

Price: Free

Grades: 6-12

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Easy to search for and find art related to historical events, sites, movements, and media.

Cons: Teachers may be confused about the different types of resources at first; no lesson plans provided.

Bottom line: A one-stop shop for a vast amount of compellingly curated and contextualized art, but it’s lacking educator supports.

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