When we arrived back at school after Spring break we were thrilled to find a box of surprises from Prang! Our students were thrilled to try out the products and fascinated by the “How we Make Ticonderoga Pencil” box. (The box contained actual examples of each step of the pencil making process!)
Some exciting news from the box is the Prang Power program that helps teachers earn free supplies! The Prang Power program allows schools to earn points by turning in the UPC Codes from any Dixon Ticonderoga product. The points can then be used to “purchase” valuable everyday school supplies that teachers need for the classroom.
I’ve been using “The Cloud” for a few years to host my web bookmarks on Delicious and gather digital resources in Livebinder making them accessible from any location and any computer or mobile device. More recently, I have adopted two other cloud computing tools to manage class schedules, supply orders, and lesson plans: Evernote and iCal.
My “must have” cloud application is Evernote. I keep a running list of supplies needed, track students who need to complete artwork, and use images to organize and plan for future lessons. The video below shows how I have used the Evernote desktop application to sort out and sync all the details of my teaching life.
iCal and Google Calendar
Since I have hundreds of students and lots of classes to track, keeping a planning calendar is essential to my sanity. Instead of using one calendar, I create a separate calendar for each grade level as well as one for school events that can be viewed individually or all together. Like Evernote, a “cloud” calendar travels wherever you are, viewable from any computer or mobile device.
Here is an example of my iCal calendar.
Another great option is Google Calendar. Here is an example:
While I don’t exactly teach painting or ceramics in “The Cloud”, my schedules, lesson plans, and “to do” lists certainly do live online. As a result, I am a more organized and thorough teacher ready to get my hands dirty with art supplies.
How do you use the cloud? What works best for you?
The following is a guest post from Suzanne Tiedemann who teaches art at Brunswick Acres School in South Brunswick, New Jersey and Tricia Fuglestad who teaches at Dryden Elementary in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Tricia: In late 2010, I wrote a grant to receive an iPad for the art room. I hadn’t any experience with one at the time, but thought that they may have a use in the art room some how and I was curious to explore the possibilities. I imagined that students would publish a collaborative book, record their voice for video, or access the Internet. The iPad 2 hadn’t been announced yet with camera/video so my thoughts were mostly on apps for exploring art and making art.
I asked my building tech assistant to allow me to play with an iPad over winter break.
That’s when it happened. That winter I was completely smitten with the touch- swipe-pinch-zoom-undo-ease of the iPad. I loved the “tweet this”, “email that” simplicity of use.
I started to play with the Brushes app with layers, transparencies, textures, and playback mode and thought…this is transformational!
For years I’ve been trying to do technology based lessons with my elementary art students and found that they needed a great deal of instruction in how to use the tools, where to click, and how to troubleshoot issues. This meant that I was more of a tech teacher than an art teacher during class time.
Since those days my school purchased 100 iPads that travel throughout the school one grade level at a time each month. This means that I have the opportunity to create a digital art lesson with every grade level on the iPads in my K-5 elementary school. I jumped right in with uncertain expectations. I didn’t know how much my students could accomplish, how many issues we might have with network connectivity, and how I would deal with image management.
Some of the things I’ve learned:
- Find a way to project the ipad as you teach (I use Apple TV to wirelessly mirror the iPad through my projector. View my blog post to learn more)
- Learn the vocabulary for the ipads (home button, settings, wifi, share button, swipe, pinch, zoom, undo, double click, tap, shut down, mute, etc.) Manual
- Teach students to respect the iPads as learning devices (not for playing Angry Birds and filling the camera roll with silly pictures)
- Teach what you would have normally, but digitally if you can. Don’t let the ipads disrupt learning, but rather transform. Here are some examples.
Suzanne: Over the past four years, I have been taking steps to acquire touch screen devices for my students to use as art making tools. In 2009, I took photos of my family and friends with my iPhone and created silly portraits of them with bulging eyes and very lopsided features using the app, “FaceMelter”. Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” popped into my mind, and I thought that if I was having this much fun creating images in this style, my students might like it too. I found myself lending my iPhone and iPod Touch to my students. It was both hysterical and inspiring for them to learn about surrealism by creating “Melting Self Portraits” . Their excitement about using the touch screen to create made me look past the possibility that my devices could suffer any casualties. Fortunately, students took great care of my technology. The administration in my district believes in demonstrated practice; therefore, I was determined to prove that my students needed touch screen devices in the art room. At that time, I began uploading student work to their online Artsonia galleries and printed others to display in my school.
In 2010, I invited my supervisor to observe a lesson where my students were using my iPod Touch to create digital collages using the app Faces iMake. To this day she recalls how amazed she was that first graders were all completely engaged and in awe when trying to watch a demonstration on one tiny iPod Touch. She was equally impressed with how intuitive they were when it was their turn to create digital collages on such a small screen.
At the end of the 2011 school year, my district acquired iPads through a grant. Select classroom teachers and a couple of specialists, including myself, were invited to be a member of the iPad Pilot Program. I was given one first generation iPad to use with my students. We explored digital storytelling, augmented reality, graphic design, photo and drawing apps and more. Each week, I was required to submit a form to my technology leaders that described how I was infusing the iPad in the art room. It was a super exciting time, but only for a select few. Students wanted to use the iPad, but only having one iPad for 550 students meant that the odds of using the iPad were pretty slim for most.
Some of the things I have learned along the way:
- Publish your students’ digital work online if possible and share the work they are creating with your administrators and technology leaders. Demonstrated practice could possibly go a long way. Read about how the iPad has been infused in the art room B.A. Art/iPads and see my students in action by viewing our B.A. Vimeo iPad Library.
- Download and install Dropbox on your computer, iPads and iPhone. I cannot imagine managing and uploading my students’ digital files without it.
- Talk to your students about your efforts to acquire technology for them. My students seem to appreciate that I include them in on the process. This could possibly be part of the reason why they take proper care of the technology when it arrives for them to use.
- If you do not have a class set, create an iPad station where students can cycle through and take turns using the iPads while others are using traditional tools at their tables.
- If you do not have a class set, provide time for students to work in groups. They enjoy solving problems together and are less frustrated when navigating tools for the first time in apps like “Brushes”.
- Apply for grants when possible and look for opportunities that may help you acquire more iPads and perhaps a class set. Having an iPad station makes it possible to offer basic digital lesson extensions. A class set will allow you to teach digital lessons to an entire class on some days while using traditional tools on other days.
Suzanne Tiedemann and Tricia Fuglestad spent the last year exploring uses for the iPads in the Art room. They presented on their findings at the National Art Education Association on Saturday, March 3, 2012 in NYC. Fnd their resources on their iPads in Art resource site.
I was blown away by Sotheby’s Your Art World movie series! The viewer gets an unprecedented look into the world of creating and collecting fine art from the traditional to the modern. I certainly learned a lot about the selling and buying process of fine art. This series is broken into four short movies: The Artist, The Collector, The Rostrum and The House. The short films make it ideal for showing students how the fine art world is a thriving business. Yes, there are lots of careers in art from the gaming industry to advertising to design, but the fine arts are alive and not just for museums.
As a child I was lucky to live close enough to the Art Institute of Chicago to visit the Thorne Miniature Rooms. I imagined how different my life would be living during the historical time periods depicted in the extraordinarily detailed 3-dimensional interior designs. A new interactive game from The Art Institute of Chicago, Escape from Thorne Mansion, allows me to take a virtual leap back into those rooms.
The interactive adventure begins in a 16th century French parlor with a cryptic note explaining details to escape the mansion. Clicking on different areas of the image reveal verbal clues at the bottom of the screen and open doorways to gain entry into the next room. Your students will enjoy the challenge escaping the labyrinth of rooms using the clues found along the way.
Escape from Thorne Mansion could be easily integrated with a study of linear perspective, composition, or design. Alternatively, create a literature connection at school or at home incorporating the book, The Sixty-eight Rooms reviewed in an earlier post.
Connecting with Music
Other than the light strum of a harp in the French Anteroom, the Escape from Thorne Mansion interactive missed an opportunity to couple era music with the room design. So, I’ve decided to pick up where the Art Institute of Chicago has left off and pair a few Thorne Room images with sounds from the time (click the widget to the right of the image to listen).
The Thorne Miniature Rooms create an amazing opportunity to connect history, literature, and music with art and design. How else do the Thorne Miniature Rooms connect to your curriculum?
The Edublog Awards nomination shortlist has been posted and were thrilled that The Teaching Palette is in running for the 2011 Best Group Blog category.
Congratulations to all the amazing art education blogs that made it to the Edublog finals! Let’s show our support and put art education at the top! It only takes 2 seconds to vote so be sure to do so in each category, EVERYDAY! Based on the extremely close vote tallies from last year . . . every vote counts!
- Best group blog – The Teaching Palette
- Best ed tech / resource sharing blog 2011 - The Art Teacher’s Guide to the Internet
- Best teacher blog 2011 - Brunswick Acres Art Blog
- Best educational use of a wiki 2011- Fugleflicks
- Best use of audio/visual/podcast – Dryden Art
- Best class blog – Art of Apex High School
- Best new blog – Dryden Art by Tricia Fuglestad
- Best educational use of a social network 2011 - Art Education 2.0
- Best twitter hashtag 2011 - #artsed
- Best free web tool – Artsonia
We love pointing out some of the more unique blogs to honor for the Edublog awards. Our one regret is that only a few blogs can be nominated when there are so many great educational blogs out there sharing ideas, resources and inspiration. So, without further ado here are our 2011 nominations:
- Best individual blog = The Carrot Revolution
- Best new blog = Adventures in Middleschooling
- Best ed tech / resource sharing blog = Art + Tech + Education
- Most influential blog post = Art Teachers Hate Glitter “Dear Crayola” (Can a blog post really get Crayola to change a marker design?)
- Best twitter hashtag = #artsed (just a little biased)
- Best teacher blog = Art of Apex High School
- Best free web tool = Pinterest
- Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast = Dryden Art
- Best educational wiki = Fugleflicks
- Best educational use of a social network = ArtEd 2.0
Great video from TEDTalks featuring Sunni Brown discussing the power of the Doodle to engage multiple learning modes. How can we promote learning in our classroom through the power of the Doodle?
Sunni is well known for her book GameStorming: A Playbook for Rule-breakers, Innovators and Changemakers she also spearheads The Doodle Revolution. To learn more about her visit sunnibrown.com.
Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.
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:
Google Image search is a quick and easy way to find an art image you need for a class discussion or powerpoint presentation. However, a fantastic new painting encyclopedia, Wikipaintings may change the way you search for images.
Still in its early stages of development, the non-profit Wikipaintings already contains over 60,000 painting images. Browse paintings by art movement, technique, genre, artist nationality, or keyword. My favorite feature is the timeline scrollbar that places each painting created by the artist in chronological order.
I still love Google Art Project for the amazing depth and detail, but Wikipaintings is much better for understanding and visualizing the growth of an artist through his or her lifetime. I look forward to seeing how Wikipaintings grows once it is open to contributors; maybe it will even expand beyond 2-D work into sculpture and installation art.