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Artavazd Mehrabyan Headshot

How Technology Can Help Kids Around the World Find Their Inner Artist

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Art education has been known to be an integral part of developing a child's creative and critical thinking skills. Just like sports can teach collaboration and teamwork -- even for the not so athletic -- art delivers an educational benefit to children of all creative abilities. For instance, a report by the Wallace Foundation found that even when there is a lack of art education in school, children proactively pursue their creative interests in other forms since they find this area of development important. The report also uncovered that as K-12 schools continue to cut funding for art education, kids are increasingly using technology and online learning communities to uncover opportunities to enhance their artistic capabilities by simply practicing and enjoying art.

As the report found, kids are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to explore their artistic creativity and luckily there are a number of technology options readily available to match this interest. Unfortunately, most of this technology comes at a hefty price and is not available to all children across the globe, making art education even more difficult to come by.

While this is an issue that spans across many children and families, there are organizations out there looking to offer affordable education, in more ways than one, through technology. For instance, One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a well-known organization that is committed to delivering educational tools to children around the world who would not normally have access to such technology and opportunities. Not only that, but with their latest product release, the XO Tablet, OLPC is making art education readily available to all those who want it.

In addition to making sure that XO Tablet users have access to educational tools, OLPC is also ensuring that they have the ability to enhance their artistic capabilities. Simply put, OLPC wants to give kids the opportunity to enjoy and practice art by offering resources that will allow them to do just that. To accomplish this, they needed to team up with another organization that could provide them with what they're looking for at no extra cost to its users. This is where PicsArt came in.

For some background, PicsArt is a free mobile photo editing app and drawing tool that offers a fully packed art studio at the tips of your fingers. We're available on iOS, Android and now the XO Tablet through a strategic partnership with OLPC. In creating PicsArt, I envisioned bringing art creating capabilities to adults and children alike across the globe in a comprehensive, yet easy-to use tool.

Art education has always been an important theme for our business and after PicsArt's popularity skyrocketed, we saw the need for an app specifically for younger children, teaching them to draw using shapes and themes. From there, we created PicsArt for Kids which exposes kids to different forms of art through its kid-friendly drawing and coloring features.

When meeting with OLPC, we saw the opportunity to combine our expertise and make art education easily available through our free app and OLPC's mission to empower children through technology. As a result, PicsArt and PicsArt for Kids will come readily equipped on the XO Tablet which features a specially designed child-centric interface, inspiring kids to learn and create. With this new relationship, children with the XO Tablet will have access to PicsArt's advanced, yet easy-to-use toolbox, allowing them to capture and edit photos, as well as create their own illustrations with the drawing tools.

Now, children across the globe with an appetite to sketch and take photos can practice their hobby without ever needing art supplies or leaving their devices. They will not only learn about different art forms, but they can now also unleash their creativity by turning their own creations into works of art.