Monday, January 6, 2014

Apps for Education: Touch Van Gogh

Dia de Reis | Dia de Reyes

Hello again! We are in 2014 since six days. In Portugal, Christmas season will finish today with the "Dia de Reis". It is not so important as in Spain. So all the students got back to school in Portugal, today, January 6th.

In 2013, I was fortunate to see my carrier recognized once again in three different moments. I made new friends, met new colleagues.

As I wrote early in the year, had the great opportunity to participate at important and interesting conferences, in Portugal and in Belgium and to meet new friends and colleagues and talk again with some good friends. 

Fabio Nascimbeni
European Forum on Learning Futures and Innovation

I attended the European Forum Learning Futures and Innovation as a speaker and participant, as well the Great Lx Conference on Games and TEL (only as participant) where I met in person some colleagues that I knew working together virtually.

I wrote three scientific articles well accepted. As a speaker, I presented the first one at VISIR workshop : "Bridging formal to informal learning: cases of grassroots innovation towards scalability" invited by MENON's Director, Dr. Fabio Nascimbeni, in Brussels, on March 19th, 2013.

My visionary scientific paper "Visionary Learning in 2030: Secondary Education" on the calling upon experts and practitioners to come up with visionary papers and imaginative scenarios on how Open Education in 2030 in Europe accepted and pubilshed online in a Booklet ,in May 14th 2013;

And my third paper Time for Action: New Challenges at Secondary Education accepted at International Conference The Future of Education that took place in Florence, June 16th 2013.

I learned something new in each event and writing but the most important lesson for me was that I do miss having my own students on a full-time basis. 

Finally, take time read paper books instead of web articles, went to concerts at Casa da Musica, to the movies, and met some 'real' friends.

As a Linguistics and Literature professor, I really prefer a physical book in my hands.

screenshot Touch Van Gogh for iPad

So, in my first post of 2014, I would like to write about Arts! During holiday season, I read some good web articles and I discovered that Van Gogh Museum had released on iTunes an app Touch Van Gogh on October 3, 2013, updated December 16, 2013.

screenshot Touch Van Gogh for iPad

The English-language app for tablets called Touch Van Gogh reveals the secrets in and behind the paint on Van Gogh's canvases. 

This app allows us to explore the wealth of information contained in and under the paint in Van Gogh’s masterpieces. 

Touch Van Gogh was made by the Van Gogh Museum for anyone who would like to:

  • look at Van Gogh’s work up close
  • discover the secrets of his techniques
  • travel through history
  • explore new research findings

screenshot Touch Van Gogh for iPad

Some other information:

The app includes Van Gogh’s paintings, letters and sketches, biographical information and research findings that shed new light on the art works and their maker.

Language: English

Gadgets: iPad; Android.

Compatibility: iOS 6.0 and higher compatible with iPad; Android. 

App: Free download from the App Store (iOS 6 or higher) or Google Play. 


Arts teachers can introduce Touch Van Gogh in Arts curriculum. It's a wonderful educational digital resource to initiate the younger students in the art of drawing and painting; the oldest to explore what's hidden under the paint of Van Gogh's masterpieces. 

Curriculum: Arts & Media

Target: Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Vocational Education; Higher Education.

Let students discover the amazing stories behind The bedroomDaubigny's garden or View from Theo's apartment and learn more about the latest research at the Van Gogh Museum

•    take a closer look at Van Gogh's paintings;
•    find out more about Van Gogh's working methods;
•    discover the secrets behind Van Gogh's painting technique;
•    find out more about Van Gogh's history;
•    learn more about the latest research into Van Gogh's studio practice.

The app includes information about reused canvases, paint discolouration, and Van Gogh's use of the perspective frame. 


Simply ‘touch’ Van Gogh’s art works and let the paintings tell their stories. The surprises in store include revelations about recycled canvases, discoloured pigments and Van Gogh’s use of a perspective frame.

Another 12 paintings will be included in the app during the coming two years

Other links:

Van Gogh Museum at :

Such a fantastic tool in Arts for educators and students! If you are teaching Arts, you have the best motivation for your students.

I wrote about Google Art Project in Education (2011) or Arts Academy DS used at Museu Berardo (2011) and other Arts apps as Europeana app (2013) or Voltaire's Candide (2013).

Of course, don't miss the chance to have a real lesson in the Museum next to your school or college.

Have a wonderful school year! And develop creative projects with your students.


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Apps for Education : Touch Van Gogh by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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