I’ve been teaching long enough to remember when visiting an art website meant only seeing few images of art from a famous dead painter and the text from a paper written in Art History 303. One time I actually displayed a Monet site on my computer just before my principal observed me, cuz you know, I was going to impress her or something. (The funny part is that she was impressed.)
Today we have some amazing teachers sharing real content on what goes on in contemporary art classrooms. We share lesson ideas, embed YouTube videos, and advocate for quality art education. Thanks to social media we are able to share this content and collaborate together.
Check out this amazing list of art education blogs recommended by art teachers around the world. This list is interactive! Please join in and add your favorite art ed blog and help sort the list by ranking up your favorites.
Favorite Art Education Blogs
What are your favorite art ed blogs? Help rank your favorites up the list.
iPad Art Room provides resources, ideas and insights into the reinvention of Year 6-12 Visual Art programs using the SAMR Model to merge traditional art making processes with innovative content, techniques and ways of thinking. Through these posts you'll find lots of lesson ideas, teaching tips, resources and most importantly, inspiration.
AOE exists to provide Art Teachers with Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development
Great resources for art teachers! Innovative ideas from an award winning art educator.
My name is Ted Daniel Edinger, but you can call me Mr. E.
The Teaching Palette is a blog authored by art educators for art educators. Our goal is to provide a collaborative and resourceful forum where art specialists of all levels can explore professional topics that impact our subject area – from classroom management to tools and techniques to integrating music.
This is not your typical art teacher blog. This is a humor blog.
You will not find cool lesson plans or pictures of student art work here. There are many other (better) blogs out there where you can find that sort of thing. Here you will be given a glimpse into the everyday life of an elementary art teacher.
This blog is not safe for children.
This blog contains the work of Visual Artists, Computer Graphic Designers, Animators, and Street Artists from Apex, NC.
This blog is a conversation of how to teach our mini's. Let's share great ideas and creative attitude. We can make this big world a little smaller.
An art education blog written by an elementary art teacher. This blog showcases hundreds of art projects and lessons for kids. Here you will find painting, drawing, clay, sculpture, crafts and many more kinds of creative inspiration for teaching art.
School Arts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.
One of my favorite tools for student engagement and discussion is Padlet (formerly Wallwisher). I am such a big fan that I wrote about Wallwisher for SchoolArts a few years ago and presented on the renamed Padlet at the AOE Conference in January. What I love most about Padlet is the ability for ALL students to “speak” simultaneously in an open forum discussing art concepts at a higher level.
Here is an example of one of my classes using Padlet. Keep in mind this took only 10 minutes of class time and made a huge impact!
Padlet as an Exit Slip
Thanks to my PLN on Twitter I discovered how middle school teacher Sarah Irish uses Padlet with a custom background as a way to check in on a specific topic or just see how things are going with her classes. Before the students leave class they just make quick post and put it in the appropriate category.
Collaborate anywhere with Padlet!
Thank you to the great art teachers on Facebook who weighed in on the recent decision of tallest skyscraper in America. You can still add to this wall – just double click and see how easy it is!
Set up a Padlet Wall in 3 minutes or less!
Ok, maybe your first wall might take four minutes, but once you get the hang of it, you can seriously set up a Padlet wall as a last minute idea during class (not that you aren’t perfectly prepared all the times, of course). The video below shows you how easy it is to create a wall and even moderate posts.
What do you think? Is this something you could use in your classroom?
Since Artsonia started allowing students to photograph upload their own artwork this year, I wanted to make sure that the quality of the photographs wasn’t sacrificed. The number one mistake kids make (especially the younger ones) is to photograph their artwork at an angle instead of squared away for accurate cropping.
This iPad photo stand was created by my awesome custodian using repurposed materials. The only thing that he bought was the plexiglass.
As it turns out, Artsonia is also working on a way help kids take good photographs of their artwork. Tiffany from Artsonia sent me some pictures of the iPad photo stand they created using only a cardboard box and two under cabinet lights.
Here are the details so you can make your own for about $20!
- Find a strong cardboard box. (The box dimension in the photo is 18″x16″x12″).
- Three of the four flaps are extended as “legs” reinforced with duct tape in the corners and the 4th flap is taped up inside the box to allow room to slide artwork in/out.
- The two under-cabinet portable lights shown in the picture are made by Lights of America, Model 7108 (13″, 8 watts). I found them online for about $10 each.
Artsonia Classroom Mode (is awesome)
Getting kids to take their own photos and add artist statements has been fantastic experience this year. Not only do I get a ton of time back by the kids photographing and uploading their own artwork, but they also learn some basic photography skills. Since artwork is uploaded immediately, the students can also write their artist statement at the same time instead of waiting until the following class for their artwork to be published. The video below shows a student going through basic upload process.
Important QR scanning tip – use a QR reader that will redirect you to Safari automatically. Staying within the QR reader can cause issues with upload. I prefer the QR reader NeoReader that allows you to go automatically to Safari in the settings.
But, I only have access to one iPad
If you’re in a one iPad classroom (or using your own), have the students take the picture and skip the editing and artist statement. The key to saving huge time is to get the artwork photographed and assigned to the right student. Once the photo is submitted by the student, as the teacher you can access the submitted work to crop the image after class. And if you have access to computers, the students can photograph with the iPad and then go to a computer to finish the artist statement using the class code provided.
Do you use Artsonia Classroom Mode? What are your tips?
One of my favorite apps to use for digital painting on the iPad is Sketchbook Pro (The free version is Sketchbook Express). I thought it would be a good use of time for my students to learn the basics of the app on a day I couldn’t be in school. Using a DVD version of my screencast featured below, the kids still get me as the teacher while my sub acts as the facilitator. I’m not even relying on my sub to know how to do anything with the app, but instead empowering the kids to help each other as they progress as a group through the tutorial.
When Apple first introduced iBooks Author as a tool to create your own iBooks for the iPad (and now viewable on the Mac desktop), I didn’t immediately see a whole lot of use in art education. I would much rather engage my students in creative art studio experiences and skip the solitary chapter book reading about the history of art. However, after experimenting with iBooks Author, I soon discovered an iBook is so much more than just an electronic text book. It is a tool that can help deliver curricular content, differentiate learning to meet a wide range skills, assess for student understanding and growth, and even allow for students to showcase their own work.
Differentiate Instruction – Students all learn at different levels and speeds. Then why not create an iBook with a lesson that allows for students to learn at their own pace? Record yourself in a demo and outline directions alongside the embedded video. Use as an extension for early finishers, a student who misses a class, or even as a sub plan.
Showcase Student Work – Allow students to create their own iBook pages featuring artwork, video, or artist statements and share online.
Assessments Measuring Student Growth - Create assessments to check for student understanding or document progress toward a learning goal using the built in review widget within iBook Author or the sketchpad widget found in Bookry.com.
The video below shows the interactivity of iBooks I have created for my classroom:
What other uses do you see for iBooks in art education?
The following is a guest post written by art education advocate Charlie Schofield.
There are a lot of things that I remember doing as a small boy whenever I teach inside my third grade classroom. Growing without any siblings in downtown London, I found company in my toys – my Batman action figures, those little green Army men, a cabbage patch kid that I cleverly named ‘Veggie.’ My favorite was Michelangelo Etch-a-sketch, which I used every afternoon to draw Veggie’s clumsy face. That was the beginning of my love affair with the arts.
I regret one thing though. I quite distinctly remember a small box right behind my Etch-a-sketch masterpieces. If only I played with the contents of that small box before, I would’ve been this generation’s Michelangelo by now. That’s an exaggeration of course. But it is a valid hypothesis I presume. Fast forward two decades, I am new putting that theory into practice. What’s that super amazing creative toy inside the small box I failed to utilize?
Let me give you three reasons why I think this toy is a great creative tool for art teachers.
Lego teaches kids to use their hands.
It seems like moving your hands and using them for different purposes isn’t necessarily a skill that needs to be taught. But you’d be surprised. It’s more than just common sense; motion and cognitive cognition is more closely linked than you thought. By exercising kid’s physical movements, especially in the hand and arm area, they are simultaneously activating the right side of their brain – image perception, intuition, and music adeptness. Stacking Legos doesn’t merely exercise the hand muscles, but also subconsciously enhances creativity.
Lego teaches kids to imagine.
We can all agree that grand creations start from little things. Here is a fine example of what a kid can do with Lego blocks.
Try and do this little exercise that I do with my students. Have them create something out of a limited number of Legos. Watch how these kids use their imagination to build something out of six, five, or eight blocks. This is great to ignite the childrens’ passion for building and creation. Who knows, these tots might be the future engineers, sculptors, and landscape architects of the future?
Even further, integrating the creative process with new media is a great way to boost the kids’ imagination. If you’ve been reading this blog before, then you know that there is an app for everything. Lego is no exception, and you can download apps made by the Lego group in the Google play app store.
Some of my personal favorites for the purposes of art education are:
Let the kids’ imagination run free with these great games.
Lego teaches kids that the box does not exist.
Imagine a bag of small blocks of Lego scattered all over the floor. This is chaos, and the process of making a defined structure with all of the fallen pieces – that is order. What’s great about Lego is that kids are trained to create order in any direction that they choose. There is no best way to create a Lego fortress. There is no proper sequence of blocks for a cool alien ship. There is no limit to how high a tower should be. There is no box. Lego teaches us that there are a million things that we can do, and a million more ways to do it.
About the author: Charlie Schofield is a tech writer for Techie Doodlers, geek dad, and educator. He is currently traveling Southeast Asia as part of an edTech campaign to teach kids about the wonders of technology. He is a painter and a supporter of education drives such as Lowe’s and Verizon.
I definitely think like a kid when it comes to technology- it has to be fun or I don’t really want anything to do with it. Maybe that’s why I LOOOVE Augmented Reality (AR) and the Aurasma app. Similar to the way a mobile device scans a QR code and links to a website, AR lets you see something not there in reality except when viewed through the mobile device. The best way to show you how it works is through the video of my students using it in class:
(Trouble viewing this video? Click here.)
What you saw in the video above was a still image (called the trigger) and video overlay creating an “aura”.
Excited to try this out right now?
1. Download Aurasma (Free)
2. Using your mobile device connect to my school channel here: http://auras.ma/s/CimAb (case sensitive)
Or scan code:
3. Hold mobile device over any of the images below!!!! (You might want to click images to enlarge)
So cool right? Want to create these for your classroom?
Ok- here are the first things you need to know. There are two kinds of Aurasma “Auras”. One is location specific and the other can be viewed anywhere on earth by subscribing to the appropriate channel. If you are into this, I would highly recommend creating a channel. Best way to do this is by using Aurasma Studio online (sign up here for free). For your first AR “aura” you need one digital still image (trigger) and one overlay such as a video. You don’t need to make your own video – just use keepvid.com to download one from YouTube connect it to an image. Or even better, have the kids create an artist statement video and attach it to photo of their artwork (this is on my to-do-list for this school year). Once you have your “auras” ready then connect all of the mobile devices you want to use to your channel (a little work up front, but you only have to do it once). To help you get started in Aurasma Studio, I created this video walkthrough:
At this point you can continue to create “auras” in the Aurasma Studio as you go throughout the school year. However, before you go to all this work, test one out to make sure your school wifi filters haven’t blocked Aurasma from working (something your tech can hopefully fix).
I can’t wait to find more ways to use Aurasma this next school year. How will you use Aurasma in your room?
This post was written by Suzanne Dionne a Visual Arts Teacher Pre-kindergarten – Grade Two at Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury, CT. Suzanne recieved the Connecticut Art Education Association Outstanding Art Educator award for 2013. View her blog Visual Arts Events by clicking here.
Are you looking for an integrated art project that covers all areas of 21st century learning? Shadow puppetry can combine the core subjects of English, Reading, and Language Arts with the Arts. All 4Cs considered to be essential skills for success in today’s world can be incorporated in a shadow puppetry program: critical thinking /problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity/innovation. Life and Career Skills that can be taught through puppetry include: adapting to change, be flexible, manage goals and time, work independently, be self-directed learners, interact effectively with others, work effectively in diverse teams, manage projects, produce results, and be responsible to others.
Shadow puppet theater offers a wide range of educational potentials. Puppetry can be used effectively as curriculum based class projects to teach historical events, stories, world cultures (multicultural) and more. Using one’s imagination is an important part of the educational process. Puppetry breaks down barriers, invites participation, and leaves students with a long remembered educational experience. It lends itself to rich integration: writing, literature, design, craft, acting, drama, art, music, dance, movement, technology, school themes and more. Puppetry is easy to do. It can be done economically. There is quite a bit of research on the values of puppetry. Based on many reports what was found was that: drama improved reading readiness, reading achievement scores, oral language skills, story understanding, development of independent thinking, problem solving, collaboration skills, putting creative ideas into action and more.
Shadow puppet theater meets all nine standards of what qualifies as a “Best Practice” defined by the CT State Department of Education: A clear and common focus; high standards and expectations;strong leadership; supportive, personalized and relevant learning; parent/community involvement; monitoring, accountability, and assessment; curriculum and instruction; professional development; and, time and structure. Shadow Puppet Theater also fulfills National Standards for Visual Arts. All six content standards can be included.
Our school has a yearly theme that, whenever possible, is integrated into curriculum. The school theme for the 2012-2013 school year, beginning in the summer academic/enrichment program is “origins”. I decided to implement shadow puppet theater for the visual arts class. I became very interested in this, after attending a workshop at the NAEA Conference in 2012. Shadow puppetry originated in China. Therefore, I chose the Chinese story The Four Dragons by Tom Daning.
The first week of class (approximately four hours) included an introduction of shadow puppets and theater. Students watched 5-10 minutes of the Tangshan Shadow Puppet Theater on the Smart Board. Next, the story was read and the pages were shown to the students. A list of characters was already in place and students were randomly chosen for roles. They were shown how to draw outlines of the figures and were given assistance as needed. Once these sketches were completed on drawing paper, they were sketched over onto oaktag. The shapes were carefully cut out. Next,the movable parts, such as, arms and legs were drawn and cut out. These were joined by using hole punchers and paper fasteners. We also used thick yarn craft hair, doilies and pieces of colored cellophane. Skewers were used for the rods and attached to the puppets with craft straws and tape.
The second week of class the puppets were completed. A script was written from the story and narration parts were written on cards. Special effects were being researched, developed and tested. Students learned how to move their puppets. They were beginning to learn their narration parts, the story, and the performance. EVERY student had made a puppet(s). EVERY student had a narration part(s). I was fortunate to have a high school student assistant who helped tremendously with assisting and organizing the students with the narration. During this time, I was working with special effects. The classroom assistant helped with organization tasks.
By the end of the third week, we were in the recording studio. Our video technician taped and edited the four performances. Music was inserted. Adobe Premiere was the software used. Each student would receive a DVD of their performance.
Our performances were shown at the end of the summer school program at the end of the fourth week. The remainder of class time included a written assessment and two art activities: crayon resist painting and scratch art.
Currently, during our integrated art periods, our five kindergarten classes are working on shadow puppet theater performances. We have selected five different stories that will be taped and shown to our school and parents. These performances will be posted on www.schooltube.com by the end of this school year.
Professional Example Video
Student Example Shadow Puppet Theater by Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School
- Worlds of Shadow Teaching with Shadow Puppetry by David Wisniewski and Donna Wisniewski Shadow Puppets & Shadow Play by David Currell
- Four Dragons Script 1
- Four Dragons Script 2
- Four Dragons Script 3
- Four Dragons Script 4
- Four Dragons Script 5
- Four Dragons Script 6
- Four Dragons Script 7
- Four Dragons Script 8
- Four Dragons Script 9
Production & Puppets Materials Used
- Skewers or dowels
- Paper fasteners
- Masking or scotch tape
- X-acto knife with extra blades
- Black Cardstock/Oaktag
- Craft Straws (to connect dowels to puppet)
- Craft Hair
- Light Source - Overhead Projector (s) * Bulbs
- Special Effects – various materials depending on effect(s) Refer to the book Worlds of Shadow Teaching with Shadow Puppetry.
Many schools are beginning to redirect money once set aside for textbooks toward technology and purchase iPads. Although some app prices may seem out of reach, they often can purchased in bulk for a fraction of the listed cost.
So what are the best apps to actively engage your students in meaningful art content and help you organize curricular resources? We included our favorites but want YOU to be the judge where they belong on the list!
Please feel free to interact and rank up or down what apps you set as a priority. View as a list or filter by tags such as painting, organization, collage, etc.
Please leave a comment on how you use it in your art curriculum! Great way to send and retrieve documents and images. Teach your students all sorts of symmetry applications including tessellations. Learn more and see student samples here: http://baart.weebly.com/1/post/2013/01/the-amaziograph-app-is-amazio-ing.html Is a good drawing app with layers for more advanced interactions. Here is a nice review of the uses in the art curriculum: http://www.theartofed.com/2012/06/26/the-app-every-art-teacher-must-have/ Lots of great textures and layers for making beautiful artwork. Student example here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69435082@N06/6779684628/in/set-72157629802735527/ Create and share presentations using images and embedded video. See how art students used them at the Art Institute of Chicago: http://theteachingpalette.com/2013/02/01/artist-experts-on-ipads/ Pricey but it is a fantastic app if you want to do any video production with your students. Create virtual sketchbooks for each of your students. Percolator app is useful to create abstracted effects. Nice introduction to using the iPad for younger students. See student sample here: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/percolator/id385454903?mt=8 Motion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS. Great for primary level students and integrates literature and symbolism too. Student examples: http://www.artsonia.com/museum/gallery.asp?exhibit=610488 Check out our interview with the children's book author that inspired this app: http://theteachingpalette.com/2010/04/02/conversation-with-hanoch-piven-about-his-new-iphone-app-“faces-imake”-3/
Here is a video overview of the featueres: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn2id0MjD18
SketchBook Pro offers more layers and additional features including the Photoshop format. Check out this video geared toward kids learning the basics of Sketchbook Pro. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnxQRJUwPi0
Take pictures, edit your movie and export HD 720p videos to your device or directly to Youtube. See how this was used for claymation: http://splatsscrapsandglueblobs.blogspot.com/2012/11/claymation-with-5th-grade-students.html
Great way to send and retrieve documents and images.
Teach your students all sorts of symmetry applications including tessellations. Learn more and see student samples here: http://baart.weebly.com/1/post/2013/01/the-amaziograph-app-is-amazio-ing.html
Is a good drawing app with layers for more advanced interactions. Here is a nice review of the uses in the art curriculum: http://www.theartofed.com/2012/06/26/the-app-every-art-teacher-must-have/
Lots of great textures and layers for making beautiful artwork. Student example here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69435082@N06/6779684628/in/set-72157629802735527/
Create and share presentations using images and embedded video. See how art students used them at the Art Institute of Chicago: http://theteachingpalette.com/2013/02/01/artist-experts-on-ipads/
Pricey but it is a fantastic app if you want to do any video production with your students.
Create virtual sketchbooks for each of your students.
Percolator app is useful to create abstracted effects. Nice introduction to using the iPad for younger students. See student sample here: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/percolator/id385454903?mt=8
Motion HD is an intuitive and powerful time-lapse and stop-motion app for iOS.
Great for primary level students and integrates literature and symbolism too. Student examples: http://www.artsonia.com/museum/gallery.asp?exhibit=610488 Check out our interview with the children's book author that inspired this app: http://theteachingpalette.com/2010/04/02/conversation-with-hanoch-piven-about-his-new-iphone-app-“faces-imake”-3/
I’ve always thought it would be great to have my own college course. iTunes U gives me that chance to deliver content for free to you. I have recently developed a couple iTunes U courses available to view from your iPad or iPhone .
Digital Tools in the Art Curriculum If you’ve been following The Teaching Palette for a while, you may have already seen a few of the techie resources included in this course. But what makes the iTunes U format so great is the note-taking capabilities during a video tutorial and the ability to digitally highlight text within the posts (watch video below for overview). This course will show you how to easily create digital lesson plans, organize online content and collaborate with other art educators while equipping you with the tools to become more prepared and resourceful teacher.
Common Core: Literacy in Art Education This fall the art teachers in my district presented at our state art ed conference on how we integrate literacy into our art curriculums. Following our presentation, I gathered our resources together as a digital handout and as a way to share well beyond the walls of our conference session. I am so lucky to work with such amazing art educators!
If you’re not familiar with the iTunes U app, watch this quick demo:
I would love to hear what you think! Anything I can add or do you have any ideas for new iTunes U courses?