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.
Major contemporary artist John Baldessari launches new iPhone/iPad app John Baldessari: In Still Life 2001-2010 in conjunction with For Your Art and support from Ovation. According to the the official website, “John Baldessari created the first In Still Life in 2001 for an exhibition at LACMA. He hung Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life on the wall next to an empty frame and invited exhibition visitors to digitally rearrange or remove the 38 objects in the original 17th-century Dutch painting, thus creating a new still life of their own. Visitors were encouraged to print out their still lifes and hang them in the room or take them home. When someone completed a still life using In Still Life, it became his or her own artwork, not John Baldessari’s or Abraham van Beyeren’s artwork.”
Although, the app is free through iTunes you might not have access to a classroom set of iPod Touches. That’s why we really love the online preview that allows anyone with a computer to create his or her own still life (click here to preview app online). This is a wonderful alternative for giving a whole class access to creating their own Dutch influenced masterpiece. The website would also work well with an Interactive White Board to introduce a lesson on Dutch still life painting, show connections between modern artists and past art or to talk about symbolism. While visiting the site make sure to check out the “Learn” tab in the menu. It lists each of the 38 objects in Abraham van Beyeren’s original artwork and describes the and meaning behind each object.
I’m always looking for different images to help communicate the concepts I’m teaching. The images I saved were taking up a ton of space on my computer and really slowing it down. Plus it wasn’t very efficient for locating what I needed in the spur of the moment. Then I discovered the Vi.sualize.us website as a way to catalog and collect images. If you like Delicious, you will love Vi.sualize.us for bookmarking images you find on the web.
Vi.sualize.us is a free social bookmarking site that allows you to surf the web as normal, and bookmark any images you find along the way. Images can be tagged so that you can search through your bookmarks to find what you want for your next art lesson. It’s very easy to use, just add a bookmark button on your browser or install a Firefox plugin and start surfing the web. When you see an inspiring image you want to remember just right click (control + click for mac users) or use the button in your browser. There is even a free app called Cooliris for your iPhone or iPod Touch that will let you utilize your images on the go. The feature that really sets Vi.sualize.us apart from other image sites is the “Safe For Work” feature. Just click the “Safe ON/Safe OFF” button in the top right-hand corner of your screen to filter out inappropriate images while you browse.
Below are some of the features Vi.sualize.us offers:
- Bookmark images you want to remember on the Internet
- Safe ON/Safe OFF filter for work environments
- Bulk edit
- Comment on images
- Add tags to pictures so you can easily search for them again
- WordPress plugin to display your images on blog or website
- A watchlist to keep track of images posted by others you want to follow
- Can search with the “And”, “Or” and the negation (“!”) operators. For example, you could search for still life apples or oranges.
You can check out what The Teaching Palette is bookmarking by clicking on this link. We also want to see the amazing images you discover around the web. You can share images by emailing email@example.com with your Vi.sualize.us name or by adding it to the comments section below. Then we will add your name to our “watchlist”.
Below is a short video that shows what the Vi.sualize.us site looks like and how to tag and save an image. There’s no sound, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)