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.
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 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:
For the last three weeks, I’ve been addicted to Pinterest, the virtual pinboard and ultimate idea generator for art teachers. I use it to gather inspiration and cool ideas from other art educators around the world wide web, such as how to more effectively utilize technology in the classroom. Below, I’ve “pinned” all my favorite tech tidbits for you to browse. Many of the tech tips are things I’m already implementing in my art room, including the Mac keyboard shortcuts poster that I created for my elementary students (inspired by the PC version I found on Pinterest). Below you will find several versions of keyboard shortcuts and wire organizing ideas.
Share your tech tips for making technology in the classroom a little easier
to organize in the comments section below.
As art educators, we know that images are powerful tools to communicate ideas. However, our world also relies heavily on written communication to share information. This makes it necessary to have good writing skills. Good writing is key to effectively advocating for your art program, communicating art concepts, and sharing ideas with colleagues. New media, from blogging to tweeting to collaborating on ArtEd2.0, has made it easier for us to do just that.
Despite having a blog and the Tech4Arted column in SchoolArts Magazine, I simply don’t like to write. Words just don’t flow smoothly from my head to my fingertips.
What I do love to do is communicate and share ideas. I just finished my first year writing the Tech4Arted column (check out my articles below) and I have been getting great ideas from SchoolArts for years so it has been exciting to contribute to a large audience.
I know many of you who are reading this may think: “If I could just show you what I want to say with a picture instead of words, it would be so much easier!” You have a great idea on art education, but you may hesitate to share if you dread the thought of writing. Here’s the writing process I have developed over the last couple years that works well for blogging, writing for SchoolArts, and writing e-newsletter communication to parents. Maybe it will inspire you.
1. Choose your topic. What art lessons have been successful? How have you improved on someone else’s idea? Don’t reinvent the wheel. All great ideas are inspired by something else, right?
2. Start typing. Don’t worry about how incoherent you sound. Just get the ideas out of your head and written down.
3. Read it afterwards and fix the things that do not make sense.
4. Go do something else for a few minutes, a few days, or a week. This is the magic time when you will think of a new idea or perfect phrase. Then run — don’t walk — back to your writing to make your edits.
5. Read what you wrote and ask yourself: Did I communicate my ideas? Revise your writing. Repeat steps 3-5 until you communicate your ideas effectively.
6. Choose a friend or colleague to read your rough draft. I always do. Make revisions and let them read it again.
In case you missed my first year of the Tech4Arted column for SchoolArts, I have linked to the articles below. I share my writing with you with hope that you will take the leap and share your ideas with us as well!
Creating a Compassionate Curriculum
Take an Art Tour in Google Maps
Wallwisher: Collaborate and Interact
Twenty-First Century Storytelling
Out of Place
Create Your Own Customized Art Quiz
Technology Transformation [Infographic]
Wired to the Natural World
Ready to share? SchoolArts is always looking for lesson ideas and art expression in your school and community. Or write a guest post on The Teaching Palette. Check out some of our fantastic guest post submissions here.
Special Note: A great resource for grammar is the Associate Press Guide to Punctuation.
I love the new artist statement feature on Artsonia. There is just one problem . . . participation. Since its rollout earlier this year, I have had some students enter artist statements from home, but not enough. Entering the artist statements myself is another option, yet, I just don’t have the time (or want to) type out all the hand-written reflections. Then it hit me – why not use Google Forms and have the kids do the typing! I describe how I use Google Forms for self-assessment in an earlier post, but to be more specific for artist statements, I have created a tutorial below. Or, you can download the artist statement template I created for my students and edit to use as your own.
Can’t see video above? Click here.
New technology is emerging everyday. It seems almost impossible to keep up, let alone find ways to integrate it into your art curriculum.
View larger image on Flickr.
I originally created this graphic for SchoolArts Magazine in the Tech4Arted Column.
Another great place to start for beginners:
How have you integrated technology into your art curriculum?
We know we are not alone when we say “We love Google Art Project!” This amazing multimedia tool takes some of the most revered works of art to a new level. So, now that we have a grasp on the navigation, we wanted to present a few ideas on how to incorporate this fantastic resource into your curriculum. Not sure how Google Art Project works? Watch the video below:
Create a detail detective game. Use the amazing detail found using the zoom feature and take few quick screen-shots. Have your students match your detail to the correct location on the artwork. Learn more in this earlier post.
Integrate into other online media. The first of the three “Bedroom” paintings created by Vincent VanGogh is featured in Google Art Project. See an example on how these Bedroom paintings are used in a Livebinder format.
Create an art scavenger hunt. Present a series of clues about a work of art featured by Google Art Project. Here’s an example (see if you can figure it out): Start at the Google Art Project home page. Clue 1. Painting is located in Spain. Clue 2. Created in a Cubist art style. Clue 3. Contains a musical instrument. Clue 4. Uses a neutral color scheme. Clue 5. Signed artwork in the lower left corner (Click here for the answer.)
Explore Perspective. The zoom feature enables you to reach deep into a picture and see items otherwise missed. Does the artwork follow the rules of perspective? A few examples include Young Knight in a Landscape and Mary Enthroned with the Child.
Discuss copyright and fair use. Older students can tackle copyright and fair use issues in our digital culture. Here are some resources to get you started: Columbia University, BlackBook, Curator the Museum Journal, The Official Google Blog.
Use Google Maps to Explore Google Art. See a thumbnail view the exact location of each museum in Google Maps while exploring the artwork room by room.
Compare and Contrast. Easily toggle between works or art using the collections feature. Compare by genre, media, or artist.
Integrate writing. Ask students to reflect on how viewing artwork in the context of a museum or with increased detail impacts their opinions about a work of art. Students can write out ideas and share with the class or use a Google Form for idea collection. See an earlier post on how to create your own Google Form.
Create a Picture Book. Get inspired by Istvan Banyai’s picture book Zoom. Create your own picture book by printing detail images in a series that zooms out from an unexpected perspective. You can click here to see an example of an art collection zooming out. You can also create a group problem solving and communication activity by giving each student one picture. Then have students try to organize images from most zoomed in to most zoomed out by using only words to describe their picture. Click here for activity details and an example using the Zoom books.
How do you plan to use Google Art Project with your students? Share your ideas in the comments area below.
Update 4/3/12 See the Art Lesson Plan from art teacher, Holly Bess Kincaid who was featured NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
Since publishing our 30 Best iPhone Apps for Art Teachers last year (August 2009), we have discovered many new apps that are worthy of being added to our best list. Covering a wide range of interests and uses, below are the Teaching Palette’s 10 Best iPhone, iPad and iPod Apps for Art Teachers 2010 – the latest and greatest apps for art teachers and their students. Consider this an amendment to last year’s list.
Apps for Student and Teacher Use
Animalia Based on the beautiful illustrations from the classic book by the same name, this app brings “eye spy” to a whole new level. Explore various artwork by hunting for hidden items.
Accudraw Update your traditional grid drawing system with technology. Photograph an object or use one from your library and overlay with a grid to create precision drawings.
Faces iMake Appropriate for younger students, this app uses a creative mix of collage materials inspired by author and artist Hanoch Pivin. Upgrade to the premium version for additional features. See our full review of Faces iMake here.
KidsOrigami Beautiful images illustrate simple origami folding techniques for kids. Just click on a paper crane, frog, etc. and follow the step by step instructions. Great for the analytical thinkers in your classroom. Recommended for late elementary and up.
Sketchn’ Guess Lite Available only on the iPad this app capitalizes on the larger screen size for game play. Players divide into two teams and try to gain the most points by guessing their team’s themes the fastest. Features include a timer, score sheet, “Sketchn’ Guess” cards and several colored pencil choices for sketching in an easy to navigate format that allows for self directed play. Recommended for late elementary students and up.
fotobabble Great for an art critique or personal reflection, this simple app allows you to record and attach audio to a photo. Saved content can be posted publicly or privately accessible on the fotobabble website.
Art & Music If you enjoy integrating music into your curriculum, this is the app for you. This app matches up music and art from corresponding time periods, ranging from Russian to the Classical West. (not iPad compatible)
Apps for Art History
MoMA AB EX NY Experience 200 Abstract Expressionist paintings all housed by the MOMA. Beautiful images of art that can be enlarged and displayed with additional information. The iPad app includes a selection of videos featuring comments by the curators, artist painting techniques and art terms in action. My favorite video is The Painting Techniques of Jackson Pollack: One: November 31, 1950. There is also an interactive map and Art Terms glossary.
SmartHistory The closest you can get to Italy from home, this app gives an amazing virtual art history tour through Rome using various multimedia including video and google map locations.
French Impressionism Showcasing artwork from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, this app is perfect for Impressionism lovers. View detailed video descriptions, gallery views, and biographies including Monet, Seurat, Ceznne, along with many others.
ArtPuzzle HD (iPad) / ArtPuzzle Lite ArtPuzzle HD is set in an art gallery that you virtually walk through and unscramble over 70 famous art masterpieces. The iPad app features classical music, four levels of difficulty, information about each painting and the ability to save the image to your photo gallery. ArtPuzzle Lite is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and offers many of the same features but, also has a quiz feature.
Art Start Created by an art teacher from Seattle, this idea generator can spark creativity in your students. Simply pressing the start button produces ideas for media, prompt, and color.
Learn about many other great apps reviewed for education though IEAR.