The web is full of amazing resources to enhance student learning, get organized, and connect with other educators. Instead of trying to figure out the best online tools yourself, I’ve boiled it down to my top ten favorites for art education.
1. QR Codes. These black and white pixelated squares can be found on TV, in magazines, and now in classrooms. Using a mobile device with a camera such as a smart phone, iTouch, iPad or free software downloaded on a computer, a QR code can be quickly created to link directly to text, images, or web addresses. Try it yourself by scanning QR code below:
Don’t have a QR reader? Type getscanlife.com into your Internet browser on your mobile device to download a free QR reader. Now imagine using this in your classroom by linking to online resources, creating a scavenger hunt, providing the answers to quiz questions, or extending art room learning by sending students home with QR code resources. Read my article on QR codes for additional resources and ideas on how to use them in your classroom.
3. Animoto. Want to look like a master movie-maker? Simply upload images or video clips, select music, and click to create an amazing movie. Just by registering for an educator account you get access to full-length movies without paying a dime. (If you’re looking for a good alternative, Flixtime has some very similar features with a good selection of music).
4. Blabberize. What isn’t funny about an artificial talking mouth? Start with any portrait, define the mouth area, and talk. The mouth will follow your voice. Use Blabberize to present information about an artist, convey classroom rules, or give studio instruction. While this may not change your teaching world, incorporating Blabberize into your lessons can certainly enhance instruction and get the students to take notice. Check out this brief example: (Can’t see this video? Click here).
Tip: Use a screen-cast tool such as Jing or Screencast-o-matic to record your Blabberize and save on your computer.
5. Twitter. If you want to take charge of your own learning, Twitter is the way to do it. Every resource I reference in this post I have learned because of Twitter. It is all about following the right people. See my list of art educators on twitter to get you started and develop your own PLN (Personal Learning Network).
6. Padlet (formerly Wallwisher). Want to have a class critique and involve all your students? Wallwisher lets you quickly set up a virtual “wall” so that anyone with the URL address can add a comment and interact. One of my favorite features is the ability to moderate comments, ensuring all posts are appropriate. Learn more about Wallwisher in this article and see how to embed a image in a wallwisher wall here.
7. Delicious is an online bookmarking tool I have been using for several years and blogged about it here. Since your bookmarks are accessible online, you can access them from any computer. Using multiple “tags” makes finding your bookmarks easy. Thankfully you can import your existing bookmarks into Delicious, so you won’t lose your previously bookmarked sites. (A similar, just as awesome, bookmarking alternative to try is Diigo)
8. Pinterest might just be the ultimate bookmarking tool for art teachers. Instead of bookmarking using text, images are used instead. The best way to describe Pinterest is with this video walkthrough:
9. Livebinder I first wrote about Livebinder as a way to organize digitally here. Livebinder is an electronic binder used to collect web resources or your own files in one organized spot. Here are a few examples of binders I have created for students and for my own professional reference.
10. Google Maps. I am a huge fan of Google Maps to help students connect art to our world. My favorite trick is to embed images into the placemarks on the map. Watch video on how to embed an image into Google Maps. Here is my example on using Google Maps to teach about Georgia O’Keeffe:
View Georgia O’Keeffe Life Tour in a larger map
Do you have a web 2.0 tool you can’t live without? Share it be leaving a comment below. Also, check out additional resources in my Web 2.0 Tools Livebinder: