A cell phone can be a food stamp camera for artists. And, I debated this issue with myself when I was mulling over my AOA project design--at least the part of the guidelines that wanted us to involve Vermonters in art. In the end, I didn't include my idea in my proposal and I'm still chewing on it.
Then I thought of all the "bad art" this idea could spawn. This morning I decided that whatever this produced in the way of "art" could be no worse than the thousands of fake "countrified" craft pieces that only someone who had never seen a vernacular antique could love.
This shot was taken with a Nokia cell phone--back in the day (all of a year and half ago) when I was desperate to get back to photography but didn't have a camera. And here's another from that same time period. Same phone, same desperation.
Both are mucked about with in PhotoShop, but nothing too complicated.
My reasoning that this might be a good teaching idea is that, fundamentally, the source of all art is vision. Whether that vision appears to you in the real world or in your mind, when it gets turned into art it presents a vision for others to see. Of course then acceptance of that vision turns on others' taste--educated or not.
A cell phone is just as good as anything else at capturing a composition and offers a wonderful and ubiquitous tool for teaching a great many aspects of "making art". As to the PhotoShop part, well, there are some excellent and FREE programs that do everything needed.
I'll continue to chew on this for a while, and any comments will be much appreciated.