Throughout this course, I have learned a lot about the use of technology in the classroom. As an art teacher, I always just assumed that I would mainly use technology to show images of famous artworks to my students. Now that I have taken this course, I understand that technology can be integrated into lessons in many other ways. I can write digital books, make movies and engaging presentations, create smartboard lessons, create animations, and so much more. I could use a new technology every week and still not explore everything that is out there. But now that I have explored a few, I know that I need to only utilize those I am comfortable with. I do not want to use technology for the sake of using technology. I want to only use it when I know it will greatly enhance my students’ experience and productivity (my students’ AND mine). On the other hand, students are obviously being extensively exposed to technology in the general education classroom. This can increase student engagement but could quite possibly have a negative effect on their social skills. Therefore, an art class might be a good break from technology and “screen time”. As I begin my teaching career, I need to find a balance between using technology to enhance my student experience and giving them non-technology experiences to create art. This class has given me the resources I need to utilize technology in my classroom and now it is my job to find a meaningful way to do so. This class has opened my mind to the use of technology in the classroom and I am grateful for this experience.
A. Blogs would be great way to communicate with parents! I know some current art teachers who give updates on their schedule to parents. They let them know what their students are working on this week and what’s on the schedule for next week. You could also use it to post resources to those who are struggling in your class. For example, if they have a homework assignment on a specific technique, you could do a blog post about it that reviews what they learned in class and give them links to websites that will help them understand it better. This could be to youtube tutorials on the subject, images of the final product, or even historical pieces that use the technique. I think I will definitely use a blog when I am a full time teacher.
B. Animoto is a great tool to create engaging and exciting videos for the classroom. It allows you to incorporate your own text and images and gives you choices for music (which prevents you from using any music that you do not have permission to use). I especially like the music choices because it make it easy to incorporate music without you having to go download and find something that is non-copyrighted. The website is attractive and the videos are very professional. The major downfall of this program is the limited length you get with the free option. Your videos can only be 30 seconds long but you can make as many as you would like. The pricing is not outrageous either if you do want to make longer ones. It is only $4.99/month which equates to $59.88 per year. I would probably use this to show parents what we are doing in class. In a short but exciting clip, I could show some recent student projects. I do not think its necessarily worth it to upgrade to the other option considering I have iMovie on my computer, which does essentially the same thing.
GoAnimate is another great tool for the classroom. It allows you to create your own animation with many choices in characters, their emotions and actions, and background. You can either use their text-to-talk feature or record your own voice for the characters. I watched the tutorial and started to make one and it was unbelievably easy. Just like Animoto, there are limitations in the free feature. You can only create 30 second videos. If you have the budget to upgrade, GoAnimate for schools seems to be a great service. It is $59/year for the teacher and additional fees if you want to get the students involved in making videos. This plan makes student videos private (unless the teacher allows you to publish them). It also allows the teacher to moderate the videos before students show them to the class to prevent inappropriate material. They can also moderate student comments on each others’ videos. After playing around with the software, I would definitely use this in the classroom. I’ve actually been looking for a good animation software that I could use to make cartoons to introduce famous artists to elementary students! This would be worth the $59/year because I have nothing else like it on my computer and it is very easy to use.
Voki is a tool to make animated avatars. Like GoAnimate, it appears easy to use with lots of options for characters. Unlike GoAnimate, it is only an avatar- therefore it is not walking around or doing anything, just speaking. The free version has a limited length of 60 seconds. The classroom version is $29.95 a year (which is the cheapest of these 3 programs). Like GoAnimate, you can either record your own voice or have it speak for you. I think this is a good program overall, but because it is just an avatar it is a little limited to what you can do with it. I would personally only use it for short introductions to assignments or to pose a question to the class. Anything much longer might get a little boring and at that point, something like GoAnimate would be more beneficial to use.
C. Last week, I learned how to use the Smart Notebook to create a lesson. I personally did not know how to do anything with Smart Notebook so this was a good assignment for me to use to explore the options. I learned a lot about creating an assignment, how to lock things in place, how to incorporate texts and images, and how to create shapes. I could definitely use this in the classroom. The assignment I did was about the color wheel but I would like to make more about the Elements and Principles of Design.
A. Differentiating instruction for a wide variety of learners is important for every lesson. If I was using blogs as a resource in the classroom, it would be interesting to provide the students in my class with many different blogs from different viewpoints on a topic. For example, if the students were learning how to critique each others work, I could provide them with links to many different art critics’ blogs. Some may have more advanced reading material than others, but students could explore them to find information they personally find valuable based on their skill set and interests.
B. There are many Web 2.0 tools that can be used in the art classroom. Pinterest is a valuable tool for the art classroom and I’ve observed it in use by a local art teacher. This teacher used it to post links to images related to a technique and showed the images in class. Students could then re-visit the pinterest boards at home or in the library if they are struggling with a new concept. It could also be used by the students themselves. For example, when learning about a new medium, students could pin many examples of artwork created in that medium. There are some drawbacks with pinterest as well. Students could possibly pin inappropriate content, therefore teachers should monitor their boards carefully. The internet is required for this tool so teachers need to be mindful of students who may not have this resource and make accommodations as necessary.
Another great tool I discovered was Doink. This app allows users to create their own animations. This is obviously a great tool for the art classroom because students could use school owned ipads to create their own animations when learning about illustration and animation as an art form. The only major downside is that it is not free. It costs $4.99 for the iPad version and $1.99 for the iPhone version.
C. I recently learned how to use the kidspiration program to create assignments and lessons. I actually knew nothing about it so it was all new and interesting to explore. There are a lot of ways we could use kidspiration (or inspiration) in the art classroom. For my project, I used it to create a chart for students to fill in about the elements of art for 2nd and 3rd graders. For older students, it could be used to match up pictures of artwork with their style or artist. A student could also use it to create an informational graphic on a topic of their choice (i.e. an artist, movement, medium, or technique).
Check out my book! This could be used to introduce art to an elementary level art class and start a class discussion.
A. I viewed multiple blogs and the credentials/qualifications of the bloggers varied. This included former or current principals, teachers, administrators, and college professors in education.
B. I read some articles on the “Mindshift” blog including one titled “How Video Games and Social Media Fuel Students’ Passion for Art”. I learned that teenagers consume about 10 hours of media per day, mainly from a smartphone. I also found out that informal art activities (such as doodling on an iPad) can end up translating into formal art skills. I also found out that acquisition of these skills is often spontaneous and the students may not even be aware that they are learning. This blog post helps me to realize how iPads in the classroom can be used to develop artistic skills, especially if students finish a project early and have time to just explore and play.
Wordle would be a great tool to use in an art class. The one I created lists different types of mediums in art. Wordle could be used as a brainstorming tool in discussions. Perhaps the class is discussing what “medium” means and I could ask students to list ones they have heard of and we could type them all into a wordle. In the end, we would have an image of all the terms we discussed that could be used to review this topic later. This could also be a great tool for brainstorming ideas for a piece of artwork . Students may have to create a concept for their work and could make a wordle with terms and ideas that support their concept. This could be printed and pasted into a sketchbook as evidence of planning and brainstorming.
D. In this class, I have learned how to use Google sites. I have attempted to build websites before but found it complicated and frustrating. Google makes it easy to change the layout, make pages and subpages, and add gadgets. I never used Google sites before this project so everything was new but I believe I was able to figure out the basics. I could use this technology in the classroom with my students in many ways. For example, I could create a class website that had important dates and announcements and show student work to parents. I could also use it as an assignment for older students. They could create a website about a famous artist and create pages for biographical information and links to the artist’s work.