Of Art, Technology and Pokemon Champs.


May 5, 2014 by readlisaread

Firstly, let me explain the last term–“Pokemon Champs” is an affectionate phrase I coined a few years ago.  It refers to those pimply, nerdy, goofy, but ultimately loveable young teenage boys who hang out in the library at lunch, usually arguing about the virtues of anti-matter vs ecto-plasm or Charmander vs hobos.

And so it happens that I often think of the Pokemon Champs when I am putting up a display in my window– because I teach InfoTech, my displays are always tech-related, but because I am a teacher, I try to always add another layer or element of learning. This is the case with “Lisa’s Micro Museum”. Last month I did a presentation for the Digital Learning Conference which I called “Secret Codes, A digital Lexicon”. It included things like memes and coding and tagging….and QR codes (which I have presented about before, see here). For this workshop I glued QR Codes to a set of dollar store canvasses and called it a Micro Museum.  Each code directed the viewer to famous art masterpieces, like the Mona Lisa, The Scream, The Girl with the Pearl earring….etc. It’s a very simple project to create, but it’s also fun and interesting to interact with.  Here is a picture of it in my display window, surrounded by some of my students’ projects on other artists:


….and site of a Micro Controversy

Now, this display has been up for several weeks, and there hasn’t been too much excitement around it. So, imagine my delight this afternoon when I saw this:

Careful what you wish for

Three Little Pokemon Champs scanning QRs

I Tweeted that picture and happily made my way to the staffroom. Minutes later our jovial banter was interrupted by our Principal making a beeline towards me with a little scrap of paper in his hand. Turns out the Champs had discovered this masterpiece:

Not Suitable for Viewing By Pokemon Champs

Not Suitable for Viewing By Pokemon Champs

….and were all atwitter….Now, here is where my tale takes a bit of a southern turn (no innuendo intended). The Prince decided that the best course of action was to go into my room, and remove the “offending” QR.  This was all handled with laughter and teasing (apparently the question amongst the Champs was whether or not I had posed for the painting…. so many reasons to be both flattered and offended).  I will confess that when I first put together the Micro Museum, it was for adults, but I still don’t know that I would have thought twice about the choices I included.

In retrospect, I wish he had said to besotted and bespotted troupe that 1) IT’S ART, BOYS! and 2) For heaven sakes it’s ART.

Rather, they have a salacious memory with a little layer of shaming attached to it, and I have lost a learning opportunity.


Hmmmm….. What do teachers taking field trips to see “David” tell their charges?


Update:  I wasn’t satisfied with the response and when a colleague suggested I put the code to Venus back up, I decided to remake the museum to really get the message across:

Now with an essay on why art is important

Now with an essay on why art is important






  1. Carol Anne Shaw says:

    Awesome post, Lisa! Loved it. But really, how sad is that it’s “perfectly okay” for kids to view horrific scenes of war and violence and horror, slaughter each other in video gamage, but…a naked lovely woman? OH. MY. GOD! Sigh…

  2. readlisaread says:

    Agree, Carol Anne, 100 000% agree.

  3. Carole says:

    What Carol Anne said. Sigh. This kind of thing makes me twitch.

  4. Carole says:

    Oh, and ridiculously cool activity!! What a great teacher you are!

  5. readlisaread says:

    🙂 only the very best teachers think I’m great, Carole 🙂

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