Saturday, December 14, 2013

Technology Integration Plan

I am integrating the use of technology into a lesson plan about Wayne Thiebaud. In this lesson students will study the work of Thiebaud and produce their own artwork based on his components. I am not just to adding in the technology, but incorporating the technology so it “enriches and transforms” the way the students are learning. I found integrating the technology to work out effectively and enhance the goals of this lesson plan.
The first technology that I incorporated into this lesson is a PLAYground canvas. We were acquainted with this technological tool just recently, and I thought it was a great way to introduce students to a new lesson. The students would be assigned to explore the canvas prior to starting this lesson plan. The canvas would include images of Thiebaud’s work, a short video about the painter and a video that would explain the Pop Art movement. I would ask the students to comment on the canvas. Their comment could consist of a question they have or what they particularly did or did not like about Thiebaud’s work. I think giving the students prior information about Thiebaud will better prepare them for the lesson and class discussion the next day. The student comments can also be used as a formative assessment.
For the first class, we would use the internet to connect to the PLAYground canvas. We would analyze the images and have a group discussion about the information the students discovered about Wayne Thiebaud. We also would talk about the students comments and questions from the “What do you think?” widget.
Since Wayne Thiebaud’s style of painting consisted of creating texture from using a lot of paint, another technology that I would incorporate into this lesson is showing the class a video about how to add texture to a painting. I would also do a demonstration, but I think showing a video will provide them with various ways of achieving texture in a painting which may include a method that may take many steps. Watching the way different people paint and the techniques they use will give students the chance to experiment with the many ways they may want to approach their painting.
An additional technology that I added to this lesson is to have the students do research on the computer for an image of a “sweet” that they would like to use in their painting. It is very important to have references when painting. Allowing the students to use the computer to find this reference is needed to successfully complete their painting. While they are researching images, they may come across a particular candy or dessert that they would have never thought to paint. Using the computer gives them a vast selection to choose from. I believe that this opens the door to creativity and will help them think “out of the box.”
I also added a class blog. The blog would not only just serve this individual lesson, but is a technology that can be used throughout the year. When the students complete their artwork, they would have to take a picture of their piece and download it to the blog. This could be done at school or at home.  Each student would have their own portfolio of work on the blog. Parents would also have access to this blog. This would give them the opportunity to see what their child and other students are working on in art class. Homework assignments, reminders and contact information regarding the teacher would be posted on the blog as well.
On the class blog I would have the students write a short paragraph about their work, such as the inspiration, technique and medium used, along with the image. They also would be assigned another classmate’s artwork to comment on. The students would be informed on how to comment respectively to one another. I believe that this is important because during class critiques, not all students like to give their opinions. This would give all students the opportunity and experience to analyze artwork. This also can be used as formative assessment. It gives the teacher an opportunity to evaluate what the students understand about the lesson through the paragraphs they wrote regarding their artwork as well as their peer critiques.
For the class critique, I would log on to the class blog and as each student presented their finished painting to the class, we would review the comment that was posted pertaining to their artwork. This would give a starting point in conversation for the class as well as give all the students a voice in the critiquing process. 
You can find my Technology Integration Matrix for this lesson plan HERE.

My Integrating Technology Class

         I decide to write my last blog post about some thoughts I have about this class. I created this blog specifically for my Integrating Technology Class, which is a required, 1 credit class for the Art Education program at Montclair State University. The integration of technology in teaching is something that is important in today's education because it allows teachers to use different, innovative tools in the process of educating their students. I think the two major things I can take away from this class is learning about the creation and use of the canvases on PLAYground  and our last assignment, which was to integrate technologies into a lesson that did not previously have any included in its original plan. I wish we were assigned more projects like these throughout this class, instead of having to blog and comment on three classmates blogs every week, which I believe was nothing more than time consuming. I did find some of the blogs posted by my fellow classmates insightful, however, I personally thought for this class to be more beneficial to future teachers, we could have been introduced to more technologies that we would be able to incorporate into our teaching, such as the PLAYground canvas. In addition, I consider that this last assignment, integrating technology into a lesson plan, did force us to think of incorporating technologies in a way that would enhance student learning. I believe this assignment prepared me to be more conscious of how I will use technology in my lesson planning in the future.  

Art Education 2.0

Art Education 2.0 is an online professional learning community of art educators. to join, all you have to do is sign up for a free account by filling out the profile information,upload a profile picture, and verify your email address. Once your registration has been approved, you can participate in forums, groups, blogging, photo and video sharing.
Just reading over some of the blogs and forums listed on the home page made me realize that this website can be an extremely helpful tool for art educators. Not only do they have blogs written by fellow art educators that share their personal work, art projects and opinions, but they have a list of current projects that teachers along with their students are invited to participate in. Some that I thought were interesting are the Memory Project, Rock Thoughts and Connected Classroom. Memory Project is where students create portraits for children and teens around the world who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or otherwise disadvantaged. Rock Thoughts has students paint rocks to resemble monsters and hide them in public spaces for others to find. Connected Classroom connects a teacher on this site with another teacher in a different city, state or country. 
Being connected to art educators around the globe is amazing. I'm curious to see what methods and lessons they are teaching their students. I think this site would be beneficial for any art educator and I personally can't wait to join so I can learn more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Websites For Students To Create Artwork

There are so many great, free websites that students can use to create artwork. Some are probably more known than others.  Many are limited in options, but are still fun to explore and play around with. I thought I would share some of the ones that I have stumbled across over the years.  
I’m sure many have heard of Kerpoof.. This website offers a variety of selections for kids, such as creating movies, cards and stories. It also provides lesson plans for teachers that coincide with using their website.
Bomomo Interactive Art Creator is a fun site to create abstract digital art. When I was experimenting and creating my artwork, it reminded me of a Kandinsky painting. The art creator has really unique tools that produce several cool effects.  
Build Your Wild Self is a website where you can make a part human- part animal creation. Some of the choices are limited, but I think students can have fun mixing the different animal features they offer together. It could be used to introduce students to some of the possibilities and give them ideas for a lesson plan where they will have to create a “mixed creature.”
A website that might inspire future architects is, Architect Studio 3D:Design Studio. On this site you can choose from various floor plans and add interior, exterior, and landscape designs. You can then take a virtual tour of the home you created. I think this site might help give students a taste of what architects, interior designers, builders and landscapers’ jobs entail.
I just recently came across Make Beliefs Comix. Many students love to read comics, so I think they would enjoy this website. They also include lesson plans for teachers, many concentrating on ELL students.

Like I stated before, many of the options that these websites offer are limited, but I still think they are worth checking out, especially because they are free. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

When Science Is Used As Art

"The mystery of mad itch"
A couple of months ago I came across the article “The Art of Science”, written by Chris Palmer, which discusses Princeton’s 6th annual Art of Science Exhibition. The exhibition includes forty-four “scientifically derived works of art.” Many of these works were discovered while in the process of research or experiments conducted by Princeton scientists and engineers.
This article proved that there are many beautiful elements in scientific research. The images posted along with this article are what originally attracted me to reading it. With Art Education being my major, I am always interested in finding different ways of integrating other subjects with Art. I think it would be great to show these images to students for a lesson in aesthetics. It is a great example of how something not normally thought of as beautiful, such as the worms, can actually be aesthetically pleasing.
I thought it was interesting how many of the scientists got very excited when they discovered their exhibition pieces as they worked. I do not think any of them planned out the images, they were simply stumbled upon. Many of them remind me of abstract paintings I have seen. I find that interesting because now I believe that some of these abstract paintings, surely not intentional, are actually portraying something very realistic.

Not only are these images impressive pieces of art, but I think the Art of Science Exhibition gives people another perspective of science. These images can peak an interest in a topic one is not familiar with. They also can help the viewer understand a complex process more easily by providing a visual aid.  I think it is a great way to introduce people to a side of science that they do not generally see. I have posted a link to the article below.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Unit Plan Canvas Remix


 One of the features that PLAYground has is that it allows you to "remix" someone else's canvas. I decided to try this feature on the canvas entitled Introduction to a Unit on Emotion in Music. I remixed this canvas to integrate a lesson in visual arts. When I first came across this canvas, my thoughts went right to Abstract Expressionism. Many Abstract Expressionists’ works were influenced by the emotions they felt in music. I included images of some of these paintings along with a short video about Jackson Pollock, The Museum of Modern Art actually put together a CD containing the jazz songs that Pollock listened to while he painted. I also included a video of a demonstration of a contemporary artist painting while feeling the emotion of music. The links I provided give further information about Abstract Expressionism as well as a link to the original canvas I remixed. Usually the original canvas is supposed to carry onto the remixed version, but there seemed to be a glitch in the system. I did not eliminate any of the information from the original canvas because I believe it provides the information needed to become familiar with “Emotions in Music”. I think that an integration of these topics works because they support each other naturally. Musicians also have been inspired to create music from works of art. You can visit my remixed canvas by clicking on the link below.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Video Making in the Art Classroom

       There are many different ways to incorporate the making of videos into the art classroom. I was able to experience creating many of these various projects in a course I took last year. I think they are fun and use many of the technologies students are familiar with, but, may introduce them to new tools as well.   One project that can be fun and challenging is having the students work together to produce an instructional video. In the video, they can demonstrate a particular art technique or a “How to.” They can experiment with speeding up some of the frames, adding music and voice-overs. Another enjoyable project would be for them to create a documentary on an artist. This can take the place of a written essay. The students would download still images and import them into iMovie or a program similar to this. They then can add music, voice-overs and the Ken Burns effect. The Ken Burns effect is when the images are zoomed and panned over. It’s amazing the effect that this produces only using still images. They also can construct a short movie, where they create the script, storyboard and props. The movie can be about a local or global social issue.  The students can also create a documentary about themselves. If there is a planned art show at the end of the year, you can have the students interview and film each other in the actual “creation process” throughout the year. They can then present the final video at the art show. These are just some of the various ways to incorporate video making into the art classroom.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Unit Plan Canvas

       I just created a PLAYground canvas. It is a great tool for teachers that can serve as an introduction to a new unit. My canvas is on Color Theory. Here my students can find many helpful widgets pertaining to the various topics that they will learn throughout this unit. I began my canvas with an open ended question about color for reflection. I then added a text widget that contains what the students can expect to learn from this unit and also what they could find on the canvas. I included two galleries of images. One gallery has examples of the color wheel labeled with important terminology along with the different color harmonies. In the other gallery, I included images of famous paintings where the students are encouraged to try and recognize the color harmonies within each painting. There is a great video that explains the effect that color has on us. I also included widgets that lead to three websites for further reference about color meaning, the emotions they can convey and how colors affect each other. Two of these websites are interactive. The NJCCCS are included as well. As much as I enjoyed creating my canvas, there were, however, some glitches. For example, for some reason I could not use my PC to create or view my canvas, I had to use my MacBook. Nevertheless, I still think it was worth the time and the frustration that came along with establishing this informative tool.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ways to Motivate Your Art Students

       Most students enjoy art class, but there are some that do not share the same enthusiasm for it. That is why it is important to use different methods to motivate all of your students. Besides being passionate about the topics you teach, make sure to have fun while teaching and present themes in unique ways. Developing projects around students’ interests will help get them engaged. For example, you can have the students create an expressionistic painting influenced by their favorite song. You can allow them to bring in their iPods or cell phones (with headphones), so they may listen to the song in class as they paint. They can also play the song for the class as they present their piece. Another great idea to switch things up a bit in class is to invite a guest artist to come and speak to the students. The guest artist can present and talk about their work and perhaps show the class a new technique. Taking a trip to a museum can also be fun, if you make it exciting. You can turn the visit into a scavenger hunt. As you tour the museum have the students find certain artworks such as, a piece of art they would like to put in their bedroom, their favorite impressionism painting or a painting that shows repetition. This will make the museum trip more interesting because it will help reinforce topics they have learned about in class. Besides, there is nothing like actually viewing artwork in person. Getting the students involved in the planning of an art show can be an exciting and a rewarding experience for them. They can choose a theme for the art show and create works that represent that theme. The students can choose which of their own works they want in the show. They also can help set up by hanging and displaying the artwork. These are just a few examples of how to motivate all of your students in the art classroom .



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Technology and Pedagogy

I was browsing the web looking for an art lesson that included digital technology. I came across a lesson called Monochromatic Self-Portraits, by Judi Morgan. As I read through the lesson, I was pleased to discover that it was mostly student centered. I think it is very important as teachers that we guide our students, but give them the opportunity to make their own choices and learn by doing. This lesson allows the student to choose either themselves or another person to use for the image they will be basing their artwork on. It seemed optional for the students to either take digital pictures in class and download them to the computer, or bring in a picture to scan into the computer, so the camera and scanner both appear to be essential. This lesson also introduces the student to Photoshop basics, by giving them step-by-step instructions so they can posterize the image they have chosen. I believe the use of Photoshop was important to the lesson plan because certain elements of this software are used to alter images. This lesson requires the image to be posterized in order to break down the different values of color within the image. The students are then able to paint these different values with their color of choice. I think the use of the particular digital technologies in this lesson support the goal of the objectives listed by the teacher. The only other technology I would use would be a power point in the beginning of the lesson to introduce the students to Andy Warhol, Expressionism and the meaning of colors.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Art With a Hint of Halloween

       Since the fall is upon us, and Halloween is drawing near, a lesson with a seasonal theme can be fun for the students. Usually this is something geared more toward the elementary art classroom, but there are projects that can be appropriate for middle and high school students as well.  
       For elementary students, a great lesson inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, would include the use of mixed media. First, the students would observe van Gogh’s painting. The students would then draw a scene using oil pastels to mimic the brush strokes in the painting, concentrating on some of the swirls in the sky. From there they could add a tree and a cityscape. After they are content with the drawing, the students then would use watercolor paints to fill in the sky and the rest of the background. When it is completely dry, they could add a “wavy” paper ghost. This can be achieved by not gluing the ghost flat to the paper, but just placing glue at the top edge, middle and bottom edge of the ghost.  

        For middle or high school students, a lesson inspired by Edvard Munch’s The Scream, is great for this time of year. Once again, the students would first observe and discuss Munch’s painting. For this lesson, the students could use neon tempera paints to create their own expressive version of someone screaming. The students then could write a short story about their painting.
        For a multicultural lesson, a Day of the Dead project can be implemented. Students can learn about this Mexican holiday while they create a Day of the Dead skull. This can be achieved by using many different medias, such as paper mache or clay. This also can be created just as a two dimensional project using paints, pastels or colored pencils. These are just a few lessons that can be tied into this time of year. The possibilities really are endless.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fine Art Prints

       Filling an art room with students’ artwork creates a “classroom gallery” where the students feel pride in the display of their creations. However, I think it is also important for the art classroom to have fine art prints put on view for students to see every day. Not only do these prints provide a source of inspiration, but they expose students to artworks and artists that they may not be familiar with. The use of art prints in art, or picture study, is not a new technology. It was very popular in the late 19th century, but faded out by 1920.  
       Fine art prints can be used for lessons in Art Appreciation, Art History, Art Criticism and Aesthetics. Teaching students about different eras, movements, techniques and styles of art will give them a better understanding of art. This knowledge will allow them to better appreciate art as well. Having a variety of art prints is key to introducing them to the vast artworks throughout history as well as contemporary work. It also will help them develop, improve and assess their own artwork.
      In addition, fine art prints are essential when teaching students formal analysis. Having various examples of artwork to point out the different ways artists use the visual elements (line, shape, texture, value, color, space, form) and the principles of design (unity, rhythm, balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern) is beneficial for the students as well as the teachers.
     Art prints can evoke inquiry about the artist as well. Students may admire a particular work of art which, in turn, might lead them into researching the artist, wanting to know more about them and their work. Using fine art prints for an “Artist of the Month” bulletin board is a great way to celebrate various artists along with introducing them to the students. Art educators should take advantage of the many uses that fine art prints can provide throughout the art curriculum.





Saturday, September 28, 2013

ELMO Technology

           There are so many technological devices that can be integrated into the art classroom.  I came across one particular product that I think is worth writing about, the ELMO Visual Presenter. I first was introduced to it by my son’s teacher. We were working on decorating the hallways for Multicultural Day at my children’s school, when she gave us a demonstration of how it could be used to project an image to be traced, among other things. I had never seen that specific kind of projector and was impressed, I think mostly because of how small it was.
        As an art teacher, I will be doing many demonstrations. Usually the students gather around the teacher so they can watch the presentation. This is not always the ideal situation for the student or the teacher because it does not give every student the same view, and sometimes it does not give them much of a view at all! Being able to project the demonstration so that everyone can clearly see it is a great advantage. This also gives the benefit of allowing the students to practice while you teach or work along with you, rather than going back to their seats and trying to remember all the steps. In addition, the Visual Presenter allows you to zoom in and document objects. Images can be stored on the SD card which permits you to show all the saved images. I also like the fact that you can pause on an image. I believe this would come in handy if you would like to walk around the class to see if the students were able to complete the step. Another great aspect about it is that it is extremely light weight and folds down for easy storage and portability.   

       I went to the website to look into the price and to see if they offered any other products. The least expensive Visual Presenter was approximately $350, which I thought was not too pricey. I also came across the Wireless Tablet. This is another product that looked interesting. It allows the teacher to walk around the classroom while drawing or pointing out specific points on the image that is being projected. I think this would be great for comparing artworks or a certain detail of an artwork.

      I think both of these items would be able to be used by the students also. The Visual Presenter allows you to project a pretty large image, so they would be able to project their artworks for the class critiques. This would again, give the whole class a better view of the piece. The Wireless Tablet could also be used by students and the teacher to point out the particular critiques that the classmates and teacher may have about the work. I think it would add to student participation because it would make the critique more interesting with the added interaction the tablet creates.

      I know there are similar technologies that perform the same job as these do, but I always think it is important as a teacher to be aware of the many different possibilities that are available to enhance our teaching as well as our students learning experience.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Technology Autobiography

     The three most influential communications technologies in my life up to this point have to be my cell phone, email, and Google.  I cannot imagine having to go home or use a payphone to make a call. Not only do I depend on my cell phone for calls to and from people, but it has become a sense of security. There are many times I’ve forgotten my phone at home and turned around to get it, because I rely on it not only for calls and texts, but for emergencies. Being able to keep in touch with people makes life easier. Smartphones are almost like carrying mini computers around with you, information anytime, almost anywhere. The camera is also a great aspect included in the phone that always comes in handy.

     Another communication technology that the smartphones have within them is email. Email has been a significant tool that I depend upon for communication with friends, family, and school. I receive bills, notices and documents through my email. As a parent and future teacher, I know email will be a major way of communicating with my students’ parents or guardians. I think it is a faster way to convey information or arrange meetings between teachers and parents compared to writing notes back and forth.

     The third most influential communication technology that I cannot live without is Google. Google includes so many features and services, but if I had to narrow it down to one in particular, it would have to be Google search. I cannot image what I would do without it. I have come to depend on using it for investigating important, as well as trivial information. It has helped me immensely in research for school.  For example, being able to access almost any image from historical to contemporary artwork is an amazing advantage. Google search allows me to find information anytime, day or night, which is extremely convenient.

       The negative aspect of these three technologies is how dependent I have become on them. If I do not have my phone with me, it becomes stressful. Friends and family expect to be able to communicate with me almost immediately, as I to them. As for my email, if I was not able to access it, I would panic. Again, I rely on it as a means of communication, especially for school. Without Google search, I would have to spend most of my time at the library. I have become so accustomed to the instant accessibility of information and communication that these technologies offer, I simply would not know how to function without them.

      After watching the video, “Learning to Change, Changing to Learn”, I noticed some similarities and differences between my uses of technologies with that of the students in the video. The convenience and “access to everything” was something that I, too, believe creates a better learner. Some felt they could not live without their laptop or phone. I also feel that technology is a major part in how we operate in today’s society. I am not a gamer or do not tweet, so I do not have much use for those particular technologies. I do agree however, that playing video games can help enhance some of the same skills needed in school and everyday life. I think as future educators integrating technology into the classroom will be something that is easily accepted by the students and will enhance their learning experience.