Biography: Dr. Tillander is an artist/art educator specializing in engaging art education, technology, and culture as integrated processes and approaches to expand art educational technology practice. She joined the University of Florida (UF), College of the Arts (COTA) School of Art and Art History (SA&AH) in 2006 and developed and initiated the online MA in Art Education at the University of Florida in 2010. She has published articles and chapters in Art Education Journal, Visual Art Research,Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, and contributed chapters in Digital Visual Culture: Interactions and Intersections in the 21st Century (Sweeny, 2011), Exploring Digital Technologies for Art-Based Special Education: Models and Methods for the Inclusive K-12 Classroom (Garner, 2019), and forthcoming in The Art of Decolonizing: Methods and Strategies from Art, Craft, and Visual Culture (Alexander & Sharma). In 2019 she was a University of Florida Anderson Scholar Faculty Honoree. From 1985 to 1991, Michelle assisted with the implementation of Virginia’s first Governor\’s School for the Arts, a regional program for artistically talented high school students where she served as Chair of the Visual Arts Department from 1998 to 2002.
Research Interests: Michelle Tillander's research explores digital media technologies and contemporary learning. Teaching and learning have changed as sensory-rich media transforms the infrastructure of connectivity, networking, and dynamic information and alters our consumption and production of knowledge. Her research in the area of digital media-including the exploration of digital medias' potential impacts and limitations to pedagogy-acknowledges the emerging vernacular of today's youth who are ubiquitously engaged with digital media through the writing, thinking, and visual processes of the digital age.
Tillander's initial scholarship in digital media began in 2002, with a research project entitled A Cultural Interface Approach to New Media Art Education that examined digital media artworks (art and technology), culture (values, beliefs, and assumptions), and everyday experiences (lives of students and teachers). Her current trajectory of inquiry, New Media Art Conversations, focuses on selected digital artists and practitioners. This ongoing research, funded by the University of Florida College of Fine Arts Scholarship Enhancement Grant, investigates digital media artists' conversations and artworks as a way to engage a dialogue about digital media within K-12 art education.
Elevate A. R. T. S. (Arts Relationships Technology Steam) project provides innovative, collaborative and sustained professional development for twenty-five music and art teachers in ten high poverty schools, in order to reduce the high arts teacher turnover rate and to improve student achievement.
2017 University Florida Term Professorship Award
2016 Charles Taylor Art Center, Hampton VA. Small Works Exhibition, Award of Merit.
Tillander, M. (2014). Chapter 37: A cultural interface: New media research in art education. In M. Buffington and S. Wilson McKay (Eds.). Practice Theory: Seeing the Power of Teachers Researchers (p. 272-279). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.
Tillander, M. (2011). Digital visual culture: The paradox of the [In]visible. In B. Sweeny (Ed.). Digital Visual Culture: Interactions and Intersections in the 21st Century (p. 51-60). Reston, VA: National Art Education Association.
Tillander, M. (2013). Integrating Studio and Design Practice in Ubiquitous Learning Environments. Ubiquitous Learning: Sixth International Conference, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia Madrid, Spain, November 14-15, 2013.
Tillander, M. (2012).Cities on the edge of tomorrow: Metaphor for an on-line art education curriculum. Keynote presentation at The City and Aesthetics International Conference, Taipei, Taiwan, December 29, 2012.
Tillander, M. (2014). M. Coefficient of Reality: Stile Trace & Coefficient of Reality: Pergola Trace. Women’s Caucus, Fusion Exhibition, 2014 NAEA, San Diego, CA. Juried, Dianna Cohen, artist.
Tillander, M. (2009). Iterative Convergence (collaborative installation). BIT, BYTE, DOT, SPOT:postdigital art, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL. 2009. Juried, Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator.