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.
After taking a six week online course in Multiple Intelligence theory in the classroom offered through PBS Teacherline, I designed a lesson about the artwork of Pablo Picasso that would engage my diverse learners through their multiple intelligences.
I set up six centers in the art room for students to rotate through. Prior to our first day of this Picasso Carnival, students watched an intro movie, shown below, to give them an overview of each center.
Intro to our Picasso Carnival from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.
Center One: Pin the Feature on the Face (Kinesthetic)
In this center students take turns blindfolding themselves and pinning a feature of the face onto a blank head. This will result in a portrait with randomly placed features much like the look of Pablo Picasso’s cubistic portraits.
Center Two: Mr. Picassohead (logical, visual, and interpersonal)
In this center, students use the online game, http://www.mrpicassohead.com/create.html
to virtually design a Picasso-styled portrait. Students are to work collaboratively, read through the posted instructions together, take turns, and make group decisions to create one final design. This design can then be save with a screenshot (apple shift 3) to the desktop. This center will be set up on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard.
Center Three: The Picasso Polka (Musical, linguistic, interpersonal)
In this center, students will listen to the Picasso Polka Song by Greg Percy individually on iPods while reading the lyrics. Then they will discuss and interpret the meaning of the lyrics with the group.
Center Four: Art Critics (interpersonal, linguistic, visual)
In this center students evaluate the cubistic styled Picasso painting called, Girl Before a Mirror. They read these questions and discuss as a group their responses.
1.What colors did Picasso use?
2.Are they bold, faded, mixed, or pure?
3.Look at one color. Does the color show up more than once?
4.Is each color balanced throughout the composition?
5.What shapes do you see?
6.Do the shapes repeat?
7.What line patterns do you see?
8.Do the line patterns repeat?
9.Can you find the face and the reflection of the face?
10.Is it Realistic (looking real) or Abstract (not looking real)?
Center Five: The Grouping Group (logical/mathematical)
In this center students will categorize 65 small printed images of different pieces of art by Pablo Picasso. The instructions will ask students to group the images according to different criteria, first being Abstract (not trying to look real) vs Realistic (trying to look real). If time allows, students can then pull out images and sort them into another group for those created during the Blue Period (sad looking, painted in mostly blue hues) vs cubistic (scrambled up with multiple views of objects all at once).
Center Six: Playing the Blues (Kinesthetic and Intrapersonal)
In this center, students take turns becoming the Old Guitarist, the title and subject of a Picasso’s paintings created during his blue period.
They put on a blue sweatshirt and sit cross-legged on a blue blanket and hold a guitar (a made a guitar out of foam core scaled to their body size). One group member uses a flip video camera to videotape while the other holds up the “cue card” for the actor. The actor reads, “I am the old guitarist. Pablo Picasso painted me when he was feeling sad. The last time I was playing the blues was when…” At this point the actor fills in the blank with a personal story. Then the students can switch roles if there is time.
The art room is a perfect place to reach all learners, not just the visual/spatial. So far my students have wowed me with their enthusiasm for this interactive learning experience. My role during this time is more of an eavesdropper spying on some excellent learning. Below is a video reflection on the use of Multiple Intelligence theory in my art room.
MI Class Reflection from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.
Teaching Palette guest blogger: Tricia Fuglestad
Dryden Elementary Art Teacher
Arlington Heights, IL
Wordle is a site that generates “word clouds”. These word visualizations are generated from a source of text that the user enters. Words that are seen more frequently in the text have bigger prominence in the finished “word cloud”. This makes Wordle an
especially interesting tool for seeing the focus and direction of a piece of text, website or blog. The “word cloud” shown here was generated from entering The Teaching Palettes web address so it visualizes all the content from this site.
There are several ways to create a Wordle. You can use a blog, blog feed or any other web page that has an RSS feed. You can also paste a bunch of text. Once our “word cloud” is created you can save it to the gallery, take a screen shot or print it. There is also simple editing tools for changing the color palette or font of your “word cloud”. Just a “word” of caution (pun intended) that the Wordle gallery is not always appropriate for young audiences.
How can you apply Wordle to the art room? You could take a student’s existing written work, a new short essay or have students write a list of self-describing words and then copy and paste them into Wordle. The more frequent the words appear in the text, the larger the words appear in Wordle. The “word clouds” can be printed for display, saved for a digital display at open house or posted to your classroom digital gallery online. This is what Tricia Fuglestad’s art students did with Wordle. Check out their “Word Clouds” at Artsonia. Students could also use their writing from a poetry or creative writing unit and create it’s visual expression. Share your ideas and examples for incorporating Wordle into the art room.
Update 1/21/09: Use ~ sign to hold two words together (ex. Art~Education)
Tricia Fuglestad, an art teacher at Dryden Elementary School in Arlington Heights, IL, uses technology to enhance learning in her art room. We love the movies she uses to teach art concepts, and wondered how she created them! Read the Q and A below to gain some tips and insight into the process of movie-making in art.
Our interview with Tricia Fuglestad:
Q: How long have you been creating movies to teach your students? My earliest movie dates back to 2002 with the Godzilla Educational Movie. I took some video clips from the movie Godzilla and used voice over and text to point out the art concepts I wanted students to use in their “Dinosaur in the City” project.
Q: What motivates you to create these movies? These movies become an entertaining learning tool that quickly illustrates/teaches/defines art concepts. Students seem to pay attention to the videos (and even request them). Funny, they don’t beg for me to lecture, but they do beg for me to show them these movies.
Q: How do you begin? What is your plan? I write a storyboard. This helps me put images and text together for each scene and shot of the movie. I always try to think short and to the point. I throw in as much “meat” as I can get away with and sugar it with as much humor as I can invent.
Q.) What software do you use to achieve your outcome? I make movies in a variety of different ways. I have drawn and animated movies in flash (ie. Repeat) I have shot and edited movies in iMovie (see Interview with a Pencil at end of page) sometimes using Stupendous Software for split screen and picture-in-picture special effects. I’ve also tried using chroma key effects in Final Cut Express to replace the green screen with anything we wanted (see Swept Away.) Finally, my latest movies have been in Keynote where I animate images set to music (see Digital Portfolio)
Q.) What advice would you give a teacher who is considering using digital media to create similar leaning experiences? I’m still learning the answers to these questions. I find that AFI’s ScreenNation resources online have been really helpful for me in learning how to organize my movies and organize my students who want to make movies with me. Also, Jason Ohler’s website and Digital Storytelling in the Classroom book is a great resource. I also enrolled in an online graduate class through Wilkes University called Digital Storytelling where I was introduced to these resources and expected to apply their concepts in my classroom.
Q: What kind of permission process do you go through with the students before releasing a movie on the internet? I use permission slips to gather my movie-maker volunteers. Whoever turns in their signed permission slip by a certain date is included in the movie experience. This permission is redundant in my district since parents sign a media release form that gives blanket permission for internet, cable, and other media. However, I find that the permission slip is a great little advertisement for the art program and keeps the parents informed on the unique experiences available to their student. I have learned to ask for parent email addresses on the slips. This gives me a way to send the movie link to them directly when it is uploaded to my site.
Q: Do you use any specific hardware to help with filming or to capture sound? We just have a mini DV camcorder, tripod, USB external microphone, green screen, wireless mic, and lights. I’m always writing grants for more things when I see how it can improve our movie-making. Our newest addition is a 25 foot AV cord that plugs into the video camera and to the classroom TV monitor so all the students can help frame the shots. We used this technique when making What a Cheap Trick. Students on camera could see for themselves how they looked in the camera.
Q: I’m sure all of your students want to be in your movies. So how do you choose who participates in each film? That’s a good question. I intend to give each group of 5th graders one movie-making opportunity. But, time is a limiting factor. Movie-making is very exciting, energizing, and an extraordinarily creative process and I would encourage all art teachers to give it a try…your students will love it!
One of Tricia’s latest movie adventures conducts an “interview with a pencil”. Tricia asks, “Do your students press too hard with their pencils when they draw making erasing mistakes impossible?” According to Tricia, instead of lecturing on this topic let Mr. Pencil give some advice to your young artists.
(Trouble viewing video? Try this link.)