Situated within a thriving art school, faculty research in VCU’s Department of Art Education is at the forefront of integrating urban community engagement, digital and emerging media, and arts research and assessment in diverse settings. Faculty have published widely in their research on arts and technology, critical and dialogic thinking, service learning, museum education, assessment, arts-based research, and culturally sustainable pedagogy.
Through his research, Dr. Patton’s explores methods and materials of digital media to question, repurpose, and make meaning in our daily lives. His primary areas of research are games as an art material, physical computing devices and software, socially-engaged art practices, and histories of art education. In his research on games, Dr. Patton has been investigating how games can be a transdisciplinary method to learning the world around us, through the digital curriculum on CurrentLab. Dr. Patton is also exploring how we can repurpose digital devices for personal use and discovery. In this research, he has developed modular physical computing switches, assistive technology software, and co-created an augmented reality mapping surveillance tool called Citysneak. By presenting and creating these kinds of digital artifacts in art and educational contexts, Dr. Patton attempts to initiate conversations about our relationships with technology and how art education can play a role in those conversations.