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:
There has been an explosion of Web 2.0 tools for educators. Recently, National Art Education Association (NAEA) launched an online interactive tool for Elementary Art Specialists. The goal is to link teachers with a common bond: young children and art. Escape the isolation of your classroom and communicate with other elementary art teachers on topics that impact art education.
Another great interactive resource is Art Education 2.0 reaching all levels of art education. Art Education 2.0 has over 3,000 members and counting. Find information on anything from teaching animation to VoiceThread to innovative teaching ideas in technology. To learn more about the Art Education 2.0 social network, watch the video below.
Learn about art or any other topic that interests you on Twitter. Not sure how to begin? An earlier post on Twitter may help you get started. Also, click on the SchoolArts icon below for some great ideas on using Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools from the March issue.
(You need to be a SchoolArts subscriber to access School Arts Digital)
How many times have you sat in front of a staff development presenter frustrated because it wasn’t relevant or bored you to tears? If you’ve ever wished you could choose your own learning experiences then Twitter may be right for you.
I was wasn’t expecting much when I started using Twitter a few months ago. What could you possibly learn from others in two sentence increments? The simple answer is something new, every day. I’ve gathered great links to websites, fun tools for teaching, and a chance to smile at funny things that happen in education.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Go to Twitter.com and create a username and bio. You won’t know the benefits unless you give it a shot.
2. Find people to follow who share your interests. Art teachers on Twitter listed at The Teaching Palette and TwitterGroups: ArtEd20 are two great places to start. Browse the Museum Twitter Group for access to great museums world wide. Look and see who others follow – this is a great way to build your learning network.
3. Look at others’ bios, then look at their recent posts. Both are important in shaping what you learn.
4. Create your first tweet – share a funny line from a student or a favorite website. It is OK if you just sit back and learn through others “tweets” for a while . . when you are ready join in.
5. Add Twitter to your routine or make it your web browser home page.
Email us your user name and we will add you to the Teaching Palette “Art Teachers on Twitter” list!
Use the comment area below to ask questions or just let everyone know what your Twitter experience is like!