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?
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?
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?
One of the highlights of the 5th grade art curriculum is our trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the museum the students become art docents, presenting researched information to their peers while standing next to the original work of art. Prior to our trip, the students spend six class periods working in collaborative groups researching one of eight artists and prepare their information for presentation at the Art Institute of Chicago. This past year was especially exciting since we had access to iPads as our presentation tool instead of just reading from a typewritten report as we have in the past. Keynote was used on the iPads to display images of the artist, other artist works on display in other museums, and even show video footage such as Monet in his garden or reference Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The success of this learning experience is dependent on careful attention to detail. But believe me, it is well worth all the effort! Here’s a look into how I organize this great learning experience:
1. Painting assignment: I start by showing my students eight different paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago and briefly share a couple of details about each. (*Note: paintings chosen based on availability of research material appropriate for 5th grade.) Students then rank their favorite painting based on the one they are most interested in learning about. (Tip: use a different color paper for each class to stay organized.) Next, I go through and sort the completed rankings by preference and create research groups of 2, 3 or 4 students. After lots of shuffling, I have close to equal numbers of students researching each of the eight paintings. For example, of the eighty students in 5th grade, I had ten students researching eight different artists.
2. Begin research: Although I have a variety of books on each artist for student reference, most of the research is done online. Instead of setting the students free to roam the Internet, I have gathered quality and age appropriate multimedia resources into Livebinder for students to access.
The students are asked to work together gathering basic artist information. Research roles are assigned to engage all the students in the collaborative learning process: information recorder, word definition researcher, fact checker, and group progress monitor. Students are encouraged to find and record only useful information – content important for understanding or something others would find interesting to learn.
3. Presentation Creation: Since the iPads at my school are shared across grade levels, I have my students use Keynote on a Mac to create their presentation before loading onto an iPad. (This can also be done using PowerPoint that is easily converted to a Keynote on the iPad).
Essential Keynote requirements:
Each Keynote must include full screen images of the artist and/or artwork not found at the Art Institute of Chicago. (A great resource for finding images is Wikipaintings.) The presentations must also include accurate information about the artist, the painting featured, and concluding open-ended questions for the audience. (See student checklist here) Here are a few finished student examples in Keynote:
4. Museum Preparation: You will need to separate students into new groups for the museum. For example, a research group of three students learning about Picasso at school will all be split up into three different museum groups. In the end, each museum chaperoned group will have all researched artists represented . . . one student representing Picasso, one student Monet, O’Keeffe, Cassatt, etc . . .
Next, find out exact room location of paintings and prepare a rotation map for each group.
5. iPad Preparation: Upload all student Keynotes to a wiki or Dropbox. You will need one iPad per museum chaperoned group. In my case, I had 10 iPads (10 groups of 8 students). Just use iPad to link to your Dropbox or Wiki, then click on each Keynote to load onto iPads. (Tip: Students should save Keynote with all group member names to make it easy to find correct Keynote to upload)
6. On location! Students rotate throughout museum taking turns presenting at each painting along the map route. For example, group #3 starts at location #3 and then moves in rotation order. I usually add in a few fun stops along the way if there are fewer artists studied than museum chaperoned groups (such as the Thorne Miniature Rooms or a St. George and the Dragon activity)
Check out the video overview to see what our experience looked like:
Since the Keynotes were uploaded online, I just had to share the link so the students could download it at home and share with family. I have even had former students return and tell me that they visited “their painting” over the summer loved feeling so smart as they discussed it. I can’t wait to do this project again!
The following is a guest post written by Bo Gorcesky, a Middle school Media Arts teacher passionate about sharing educational technology findings. Once an independent filmmaker, Bo now touches lives with technology.
Minecraft is a $7 app that I use with a class set of iPads during my media arts class. (There is also a free version, but you can’t save on it.) If you don’t have access to iPads, Minecraft Edu is another option. When I first started using Minecraft, I had no idea what this game was all about or why it was so addicting to my students. What I did know was that I had to capitalize on my kids’ interests while also creating the perfect opportunity for me to do a Flipped Class Project.
Since I was new to Minecraft, I asked a few students to lead class demonstrations. We started the project by just letting the students play in the “creative mode.” In “creative mode” the player has unlimited resources to build any three-dimensional form.
Minecraft Project #1: Convert a drawing to a Minecraft
I started off the project with my students creating a grid drawing on Drawcast. They would then re-create that drawing out of Minecraft blocks in the form of a dilation. The students got to experience the world of Minecraft with no worries of losing or messing up – it was all about stretching the limits of their creativity.
Minecraft project #2: Connect architecture with other subject areas
After about three to four days I felt the majority of the students had a firm grasp on the Minecraft material – I was ready to move onto the next part of the project. Inspired by some resources at Minecraft in Education, I connected careers in architecture with other curricular areas.
My 7th graders were studying medieval castles in their social studies class, so I thought it would be an awesome way to collaborate with an interdisciplinary plan. To help my students get started I used a great web site that showcased blue prints of castles. Then, I gave my students five days to build their castle in the Minecraft environment. Other grade levels made architecture connections with colonial homes (8th grade) and Pyramids integrating the study of Ancient Egypt (6th grade).
Minecraft project #3: Play together using virtual structures built by students
In a Flipped tradition, one of my students suggested that we capitalize on the use of the Minecraft server (which allows up to five players to play on the same world at the same time) and do a mock version of the Crusades where we have to invade each other’s home. Everyone loved the idea, including myself – so a tournament started up. Server set-up tips here.
I didn’t want the students to just go crazy playing Minecraft every day; instead I wanted them to reflect upon what they were learning and share their findings within the small group function on Edmodo.
Want to try Minecraft in your art curriculum? Here are a few tips and observations:
I was AMAZED to see the collaboration between students as they started to build their structures. One person would be the main builder, while the others would gather resources. However along with some great teamwork, I also ran into some difficult management issues. In one situation there was a student who just liked to cause trouble in the game by killing their own teammates. In another situation a student would just go off and fight Zombies and Creepers (not to mention other enemies that attack you during Survival Mode of the game).
Did I forget to mention “survival mode”? Unlike “creative mode” mentioned earlier, “survival mode” gives you a health bar and you have to actually mine for resources. For example, If you want to build tools, you need a crafting table – if you want a crafting table, you need wood. You also want to get to a shelter by night time or monsters come out to get you. If you die, you lose all of your resources. After the five days were up, the students would then go into “attack mode”. Basically, the King/Pharaoh/Plantation Owner would host the Minecraft server, and four people from another team would invade and attack. My point system was pretty messed up, as some times they could find each other and fight, some times the King would just hide and others – the monsters or the team mates would kill each other.
When I do this project again, I will make CLEARER guidelines and expectations. Surely there is the chance that somebody could accidentally “hit” their teammate, but I was getting into issues where students were just wasting time. I would encourage teachers to be constantly roaming around and talk to the students. If somebody complains that a partner is killing them, I would send them out for a time out. ANY time that a student is taken away from Minecraft seems to be one of the harshest punishments. When a student is sent out, it hurts the team but I think it shows them that they must all work together at all times in order to succeed.
Overall this was a GREAT project. Students that never played this game soon found out how addicting it was. I had students come into my room to record a tutorial for future players and others that were eager to share their findings with the program. We still have “Make Up / Free Time Thursdays” where the students still like to battle and brag to see who is the best crafter around.
Ultimately, by introducing the Minecraft project into my art curriculum students learned:
- basic programing skills, tools and principles for creating interactive digital art in an engaging environment.
- how to work in a creative collaboration and the consequences when collaboration fails.
- how to take two-dimensional drawings and turn them into three-dimensional digital forms.
Watch additional video footage from this Minecraft project on this YouTube playlist.
The Art Institute of Chicago’s guest blogger Carolina Kauffman was kind enough to let us republish her excellent article about the use of technology to enhance and extend the museum experience. Read the article below and the original can be found here.
Is There an App for that Brushstroke?
In deference to the safety of the museum’s collection, painting in the Art Institute has traditionally been restricted to a limited number of students and professionals. But thanks to creative uses of mobile devices, the museum has been able to extend that artistic experience to a wider audience without spilling a drop of paint. In a recent Teen Studio Workshop on Experimental Painting, museum education staff—using an iPad app that simulates painting techniques—provided teens with a digital canvas and virtual brushes and paints. Inspired by artworks like Gerhard Richter’s Ice (1-4) shown below, participants “squeezed” virtual paint onto their simulated canvases, blended and smudged colors with a palette knife, and built up layers and textures, all through touching or dragging their fingers over iPad screens.
Museum lecturers also use iPads as virtual portfolios to show images that supplement understanding of artworks discussed on public gallery talks. Digital images on the iPads permit the audience to view sculpture from different angles, and to explore related works from the collection not on display, or comparative artworks from other museums or collections. The speaker below, for instance, shows the image of an ancient coffin to help convey the original purpose of the Egyptian funerary objects in the cases behind him. Lecturers use them to zoom in on minute details, some not detectable to the naked eye, and the highly visible backlit screen gives iPads an advantage over their paper analogues.
Lecturers have even begun to incorporate audio and video into their tours. During a gallery talk, for example, visitors might listen to the atonal music of Arnold Schoenberg and compare it to the abstract compositions of Vasily Kandinsky; or they might compare movement, rhythm, mood, or repetition in an artwork to that found in an example of jazz or classical music. A lecturer might invite visitors to explore Richmond Barthé’s bronze sculpture The Boxer and watch an archival video showing the artists process and sculptural techniques in his studio. Most recently, children were introduced to the illustration exhibition Animals around the World: Picture Books by Steve Jenkins in the Ryan Education Center both literally and virtually. First, students looked closely at the dynamic paper collages combined with amazing facts about inhabitants of the animal kingdom. Then an educator showed videos on an iPad of the animals in their habitats, enabling some of our youngest audiences to see examples of where an artist drew inspiration for his work.
Mobile technology is increasingly demonstrating its potential to connect museum audiences of all ages with the artists and their works and to provide opportunities for creative experiences through dynamic interaction with the collection. Stay tuned for more ways in which the Art Institute of Chicago will engage 21st century visitors with mobile and touch-screen technology, bringing them closer to the collection in new and exciting ways.
—Carolina K., Education Technology Manager, Digital Information and Access