Thursday, April 25, 2013

That's a Wrap!!!

Before this class i had little to no understanding of what technology could be used for within the classroom setting. I knew of the basic ways to use technology within the classroom but was unaware of how I could use a course website, a classroom blog, the interactive white board, a digital story, digital diagrams, or inquiry based activities to help my students learn about art in a more proactive and interactive way.  Before this class I was actually somewhat afraid of technology, not because I did not want to learn it, but because I was unsure how it would be beneficial for my students in an art related setting. I have seen how some of these tools can be used in an art classroom but have really only been used as a start up mechanism or a hook to get students interested. I wanted to learn how to do that in my own way but I also wanted to learn how to use these tools during my lessons/projects too. I wanted to learn how these technology could be used in a way for students to think about their work and progress in their knowledge of materials and processes.

As the class began with creating a classroom website, I could already see how I was going to use my prior knowledge of technology and education to incorporate the new use of it within an art classroom. The website gave me a way to build my foundation. Everything we have done has been uploaded or embedded into the website. Having a place that could be built upon with all of the information was very helpful. I cannot wait to use my website with students using it to guide them through the class.

From there we began the inquiry based activity, which I was not too fond of in the beginning. While I understand the usefulness of the Wiki and the interaction and collaboration students can have, I am not sure how it will be very useful in the art classroom on a middle school level. If I were teaching high school then I could expect from my students to maybe use the Wiki as a discussion board for continuing our art critiquing process or to discuss an art movement or even an artist that goes along with a particular lesson. For middle school I could see using the inquiry based activity with an art history lesson or with the discovery of a new medium or process. I am sure there are many uses to think of, however, when you are in a middle school art class the last thing you want to do or will probably have time to do is an inquiry based activity. I may only see my students three or two times a week if that. I need to use other means of teaching them art if we are going to get through completing multiple projects a semester.

The interactive white board on the other hand was fabulous. I have been waiting all semester to get my hands on creating one and interacting with one myself. After seeing them used in my observation classes, I was able to see how useful they can be in any classroom but with the art class, students really paid attention to the instruction going on. This is a tool I can see many uses for in my own classroom because I can see my students all being able to participate and learn what I am trying to teach them. The flipchart I made will be useful in my classroom. I already have more idea for other lesson and projects with the use of the interactive white board. What I like the most is that a blank slide can be placed within any flipchart and used for students to practice drawing, mixing colors, creating shapes, etc. I like having an actual white board so to speak within a lesson plan introduction.

The digital diagram and digital storytelling video projects were also very beneficial to learn and tools that I will have under my belt for differentiated instruction in the future. With art, these tools may actually become projects in themselves for students to learn how to create and pay attention to various ways of creating works of art by technology means. However, learning to create them myself will help me to assist students in creating theirs. I could also see the usefulness of these tools to present an artist, art movement, medium, or process to students.

Throughout the semester we have been blogging about all of these projects. Blogging is something I was never into nor did I really understand how it worked. Now I realize it is not very complex but their is a method to it. I see this tool as a means of communication with students and their families to inform them all of what we are doing in the classroom, as well as a means of communication for other teachers to see what is going on within a classroom of the same content area. 

I now feel ready and equipped to step into my internship classroom. While there is till much to learn, I feel more knowledgeable to better teacher my students about art in an interactive and collaborative way with differentiated instruction for all learner types. The most important thing about these tools it that they provide different forms for learning the same content. I do not feel that I have a particular disappointment, but that I feel as though their is still so much to learn. However, I now have a start and can proceed on my own, or with other art teachers around me, to build upon this knowledge. Teaching art has always been what I wanted to do. The more I learn in my education classes the more I feel prepared and excited to finally begin.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Website: My Art Experience

Technology was always a big part of my life growing up. My dad was very techno-savvy and knew how to work with computers, cameras, or any kind of technological equipment that was being promoted at the time. I also have a very close family friend who is techno-savvy and would always keep me up to date with the latest iPod, app, Wii, etc. applications. To be an aspiring teacher in the midst of a rapidly growing world that is always demanding new experiences with new things, can be a challenge in itself. I have felt this never-ending pressure to become aware of the world in which I live in. It is a world where technology is highly used and relied upon, and where having technology knowledge is highly valued. This class has aided me in becoming that techno-savvy teacher I need to be to be successful and marketable in the world of today. The entire foundation of this class revolves around our websites, and thus I am very much satisfied and appreciative of being taught how to create a classroom website, as well as all of the other projects now embedded onto my website for students and their parents viewing.

I appreciate any head start I can get, so being able to learn how to create this basis of communication outside the classroom setting with my students and their families is very important. My classroom website is meant to be an experience in itself. I want my students to be able to easily go through the site when they need to and find inspirations that may aid them in their discovery of creation. With a little bit about myself and my art experience, students can get to know me as their teacher and as a fellow artist. I want to be a teacher who is open for communication at all times. Art can be a scary place and students who are unsure about their abilities are going to be unsure about the work they can create. Part of my plan for this website is to use it for guiding students in their exploration, as well as allowing them to see what has been created, what can be created, and how they can go about creating it. 

Students will find the support they need outside the classroom on this site, as well as the inspiration they may not have gotten during class time. It is important that this website be the place students go for looking up artists, researching project subject matter, and have fun learning about art. While students can get on the Internet and search whatever they want, I want them to begin at the class website. I plan to provide students will new material related to each project as we go. There are pages on the website specifically for this, as well I want to post documents for students to access that relate to the projects we are creating. Documents could include: vocabulary lists, rubrics, discussion questions, pre- or post- assessments, etc. Overall, I want my experience with this course to continue and I want to continue to grow in my knowledge of technology so that I can keep my students informed and up to date as well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogging In the Classroom: A Beneficial View

Before this class I was never a blog reader or a blog follower. I did not pay much attention to the use of blogs and how bloggers chose a topic of interest to them to keep up with in a journal web-based public diary. I have also never been someone to keep an ongoing journal or diary that is consistent enough to keep up with current events, emotions, or changes in my life. After creating my own blog and getting a feel for what it is like to make posts weekly that relate to an aspect of my life, I am starting to see what these bloggers are raving about and how they have become so easily addicted. In my attempts to express myself, I cannot keep a consistent physical written journal, I do not like simply posting on the website, but I feel best when typing thoughts out on a keyboard. Blogging has allowed me to be expressive in my thoughts, while typing my feelings out, without having to keep a physical journal that I have to remember to keep up with and write in. I really like using the tools Google has to offer. With my account I can access this blog anywhere, from any computer as long as I have Internet.

Furthermore, beginning the process of blogging now has been beneficial for embedding it to my website for my future art classroom. Using blogging in this form, with my students and their family, will be a successful way to keep everyone updated on what is going on. It can be accessible to all with Internet and will give updates as to art events, artists, what the class is studying/creating, and how we are thinking about art and growing in our explorations/experiences as a class. This can also be a great way to share ideas, unit/lesson plans, and thoughts on the art classroom from teacher to teacher. Not only is blogging beneficial for students and their family, it is also beneficial for the teacher to have a place to share what students are up to and how things are going within different classroom. Overall, this experience has been more than beneficial and conducive to my experience and growth as an aspiring teacher. I will use this blog to share what is going on in my classroom and to stay connected to my students and their family. Hopefully continuing this blog will be representative of the steps I have taken toward becoming a teacher, as well as the steps my class has taken to becoming artists.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Beauty of Detail: Digital Storytelling

While I am not an iMovie exert by any means, this was not my first encounter with the software. I took a video class about two years ago that opened my eyes and thoughts to a new world of creating works of art. Whether it be using photos (as I have done here) or actually using footage that was recorded, making a movie is not an easy task to complete. While working on this project, it quit on me several time, which I expected from my previous experiences. The good thing about the software is that it automatically saves the work you have done. With trying to figure everything else out, it is nice to not have to worry about saving every step of the way.

I had in mind creating a movie that could then be a lead in t another art project or new lesson. Juxtaposition is the act of positioning close together or side-by-side of two things that are either related or have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I decided to take the route of relating with this video and juxtaposition my photos of flowers with that of a poem about flowers written by Emily Dickinson. Her poem Transplanted allowed me to visually express the words of the poem through the use of images I have taken of flowers. While the pictures do not relate word for word, the poem speaks about love, and in this case I absolutely love flowers. There is something so wonderful about walking into a room with real flowers sitting on the table. My mom says that flowers are a waste of money, but I think that they are a brief time for us to reflect on the small details of beauty that we too often miss in our hectic lives.

This digital storytelling video was made to allow students that practice of juxtaposition in a media and technology filled way. This idea can then be transitioned to students learning to apply it in their works of two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art. I also have intent to move on with this video in mind and have students create a piece based on the artist Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as get students thinking about poetry, language, and the use of words when describing their works of art to viewers.

Overall, this was a new experience for me as I had never really used iMovie in this way to create a video. It was fun collecting my photos and playing around with ideas. I believe that the music I chose to use enhanced the mood and tone I wished to set by juxtaposing the photos and poem together, as well as the use of effective transitions that aided nicely in the flow of the video as a whole. It is an odd way of deciding to create this project, but then again I am aspiring art teacher, and I do have an art background when it comes to interpretation and execution of assignments, no matter the class.

 The Beauty of Detail

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Digital Diagram: Pop Art

The world of Pop Art is explored with students through this digital diagram. Through visual introduced, students learn about three influential artists of the Pop Art Movement. The link attached to the "Pop Art" heading will take students to a site that provides various examples of Pop Art works, as well as various quizzes and project ideas for learning how to create Pop Art in the classroom. This digital diagram will begin students' steps to creating their own work of Pop Art

Creating this diagram was educational and gave me a different perspective on the ways in which I can even take the time to begin a project. Inspiring students to get involved and be interested in the lesson you are trying to teach can be hard. With the use of this digital diagram, I think students will find it beneficial to access their prior knowledge, or create new knowledge about the world of Pop Art. Learning to use this program is something that will only enhance my tool belt. However, it was hard to figure out what would work best in this format to help students learn and become involved. While it will be good for some topics, this program is definitely not for everything. Then again, that is why we learn differentiated learning. Students need a variety when they come to class and this is just another way to teach them.

Pop Art 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Color Wheel, Color Theory Interactive White Board

First impressions of the interactive white board included: there is no way I am going to be able to work this thing and how the heck can I get my lessons to connect to the uses of this technology tool. However, I spent about four hours one Sunday afternoon just messing around with the program and trying different things out. Come to find that I really enjoyed creating the flipchart. My mom has always said, "Never judge a book by its cover." I know this is the oldest saying, but it is very true. Especially in today's world, we are surrounded by new technologies and ways of doing things that we have been doing for decades. The challenge comes when we are not open to the new way of doing things that will further inspire and expand the knowledge and understanding of our young people. This flipchart really gave me a new set of skills that I will be building upon in my own future classroom some day.

Creating my own flipchart for the first time meant trying new things and being open for just as many failures as successes. I am a very hands on person so doing everything once for myself was a must. Once, I got past being able to use the program, rememer when to save, and become comfortable with the property objects I really began to have fun with it. I chose the color wheel and color theory because I thought it would be more beneficial for my students to learn about color and color relationships without actually using any color mediums yet. The final project of the whole lesson has students eventually creating their own abstract color wheel. Before they did that I wanted them to learn about mixing colors, what colors can be mixed, what colors are not relatable, and how colors that are side-by-side can either enhance or detract from each other.

I believe that my art background really lent itself to the neatness and creative aspects of this flipchart lesson. I wanted to create a cohesive look and keep the flow of the flipchart engaging for students. For the subject area of art, I believe that the tools I used really complimented what I wanted students to learn and get out of this interactive way of teaching and learning. On the other hand, creating this flipchart lesson around an art project made it a little more challenging to get my students involved and having fun. I did not want to just have them learn vocabulary or use the tools to see what was missing and filling in blanks. While art vocabulary is essential to creating art, I wanted them to actually engage and participate in discussion about color with real life, and to learn how to think about the use of colors without actually touching the paint medium yet. In all, I believe that I did a good job considering that this was the first time I have worked with this program. We are all in this together as aspiring teachers. We will all learn and grow together, expand from one another, and proceed with our future abilities related to the growing technology as one working teacher preparing for a variety of ways to teach and help our students grow.

Interactive Color Wheel
This website is used as a way for students to learn color relationships and mixing colors prior to actually getting their hands on the paint medium. It is a good chance to allow students the experimentation before allowing them to use real paint. We want to be conservative in our paint usage so we do not waste any. This helps students learn to be sparing and that they can always go back fro more.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Colorful Color Wheels

A color wheel is an abstract illustrative organization of color hues around a circle that shows relationships between primary colors, secondary colors tertiary colors, complementary colors, etc.

Primary colors are red, yellow, and blue arranged at three equally spaced points on the colors wheel. These colors are not able to be created. All other colors come from the primary colors except black and white. When an artists goes to buy tubes of paint they can only worry about buying red, yellow, blue, black, and white if they want to because everything else can be mixed or created from these colors. An artist has a lot of flexibility with the primary colors.
Primary Colors
Secondary colors are purple, organce, and greem and are also arranged at three equally spaced points on the colors wheel placed between the two prinmary colors that make them. They are made by mixing the 2 adjacent colors together on the color wheel.
Secondary Colors
Tertiary colors are red/orange, yellow/orange, yellow/green, blue/green, blue/purple, and red/purple placed between the primary and secondary colors that make them on the color wheel. Their are two tertiary colors on a color wheel per every primary color. When listing them it is important to note that the primary color always comes first then the secondary color second.
Tertiary Colors
Values of the colors are created by adding black or white to any color. You can create shades by adding black to any color and tints by adding white to any color.

Complementary colors are red/green, blue/orange, and yellow/purple. When mixed together they make brown. If used together side by side they create a brighter appearance of each other. You can locate complementary colors on the opposite side of the color wheel.

Warm and Cool colors:

Color wheels have been, and continue today to be an artists tool to understanding color and values. Color wheels help artists to create an understanding of mixing and creating values of colors to use in different mediums of art. Artists need to be able to use the color relationships to their advantage. The color wheel has been used to focus on many aspects of life outside of the art room. People use color wheels and the relationships of colors in decorating their homes, school or work presentation, dressing for the day, etc. People use color wheels in their everyday lives and careers as well. Tattoo artists, interior designers, hair colorists, publishing/advertisements, coating cars, fashion designers, etc.

The interactive white board will be a great way for me to explain the color wheel to my students. At the moment the program scares me a little and I am somewhat intimidated by its many features. However, I know that it is a great way to teach students in a fun, engaging, and collaborative way. I plan to create a lesson that allows students to create their own color wheels in their own style. I first want to give them the background information so they understand the relevance and importance of the color wheel and colors in general in the art room and in the real world. I found a few started websites that have interesting ways of getting students to play with the way a color wheel is set up and why/how the colors came to be created. The Interactive Color Wheel: Fun Color Theory is a great website where student can click on the different colors that make up the color wheel and learn more about how the colors are made and their properties. Another great site is the Free Art Game for Kids: Interactive Color Wheel, which is a site where students can learn how to mix the colors without using real paints just yet. It is like a trial and error. The site also provides other activities that will help student further their abilities once they have learned why color is so important.

By the end of the interactive white board presentation I want my students to be ready to create their own abstract color wheels to resemble the below image:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Digital Images - Lines/Georgia O'Keeffe

With an art background I was aware of the ways in which to use digital images properly. Through this project I have learned quite a bit about copyright issues and laws. As an art student myself, we are allowed to use Google images from the web because they are for educational purposes. Although we are reproducing the image in another form through our artistic medium, we are not reproducing them for public accessibility. Once we are no longer students, and for most of us in the education program, we will have to be aware of the images we use, where we get them from, and the resolution at which we place them on a computer tool. Working with various ways to take, import, edit, and then place images into an album, presentation, or on a website will be things that I continue to use in my future classroom with my students. Visually images are a great way to capture your students attention and to present new information to them in a substantial way without having to verbally discuss everything.

Along with learning how to manage and edit my photos for the best quality on the web, I learned about embedding the slideshows of images from Picasa Web Album and Google presentations to my website. Learning how to work with Google and digital images in this way has been the most beneficial aspect about doing everything through a Google account. I am appreciating the tools that Google offers for me to create a website with many interactive links for my future students and their parents to have access to outside the classroom. Adding in presentations has also been great so that students and parents can see what we will be doing or what we have done in class. It allows them to go back and reference the material from class if they need to.

Overall, the digital images projects have broaden my knowledge about photo editing and sharing in term of usefulness on the web or within the classroom for students learning. I look forward to continuing to build this knowledge and expanding the use of digital images to highlight my lesson plans and projects. 

Below are two slideshows I created in Picasa Web Albums for my students to reference images in relation to learning about lines and the way Georgia O'Keeffe creates beautiful flower compositions.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Resource Wiki

From Picassohead Site
The resource wiki has already been a very useful thing to have under my tool belt. I am not against technology or using the Internet for websites or WebQuests with education, but I was hesitant about their relevancy and the ways in which you could always find them to fit in with your lesson plans. This resource wiki has opened my eyes to a new world of technology and using the web. The websites that I have found, the websites that my peers have found, are all very informative, useful, and provide a completely different atmosphere when it comes to teaching students about a subject. The most interesting part of this process of collecting information is that I found sites my peers did not and vice verse. Also collecting the resources in a common area allowed me to see what they had found, them to see what I had found, and for us to come together to think about how these sites or WebQuests could benefit our students inside or outside the classroom setting.

Digital Imaging
Their is so much out there on the Internet. We now have some of it to refer back to when out in our own classrooms. Students want to be stimulated and motivated to do and try new things. As teacher, we have to have the same mind-set. Just because technology was not as big of a deal when I was in school does not mean that their is no need for it now. These websites have shown me ways in which I can pull my students into a lesson and get them started off on the right foot. Most of the sites that we all found lent themselves to students playing some sort of a game, interacting with art programs, researching artists' works from around the world, etc. Another great thing about using these websites that we have all collaborated on placed into the wiki, is that they provide teachers with information to show students what you want them to know if you cannot do it first hand in the classroom. Especially with art being such a broad topic, I may not always be able to show my students every medium or process, but some of these websites provided wonderful interactive activities and videos that demonstrated what I may not be able to. Overall I truly look forward to pulling sites off of this wiki for my classroom, I have already incorporated one of the sites I found into a unit lesson plan about portraiture and students discovering who they are. Their really is something out on the Internet that can be a good resource to go along with the topic at hand, this wiki process helped me weed through the successful sites that can help make my students successful.

Abstract Web-Art

Links to interactive art websites from the wiki:
smART Kids
MoMA: Museum of Modern Art 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reviewed Wiki

Ceramic Houses
Of course I wanted to find an art wiki that was fun, creative, and used the wiki to the fullest. Their has been a lot of discussion lately on whether these wikis are really used in the classroom setting. I believe that they are and I believe that their best purpose if for educating our students but also educating our educators. These wikis provide a place for teachers to collaborate and share what they feel is effective, what works, and projects that have been done before and were successful with students. So that is exactly what I found. This wiki is well organized and thought out. Art Education is a wiki about art and for those teaching art. It is made specifically for teachers who need ideas and inspiration. I thought this was so wonderful because sometimes art teachers do not have anyone they can collaborate with in their content area within their own school. I have observed a few schools with more than one art teacher and I have also observed schools where there is only one art teacher. Either is going to be fine because the students still get to learn art in your classroom, but when you have someone in your same content area who knows what you are going through and the lessons you are trying to plan and teach, it is so much better than to be out there on your own without anyone to bounce ideas back and forth with.

Charcoal Drawling
This wiki offers many other links that a teacher can go to if they want to create a project for their students but need some direction in doing so. It is a wiki of practical art lessons for teachers to use in their classroom when they just need a project to do that can also relate to objectives and the standards of the unit they may be in. Sometimes a teacher, of any content area, just needs a break. Sometimes it is just easier to give the students something to do so you can just breathe for a minute. And let us be honest that sometimes teachers and the students are just not in the mood for a big, elaborate project. That is life sometimes and it is okay. We are only human after all and so it is very important to always have small, crafty lessons planned just in case. This wiki provides the opportunity for that. Students still learn about art in a constructive and effective manner but they feel like they have freedom and choice. The wiki also provides some step by step projects for teachers to learn how to do so that they can teach their students how to do it.

Nature Photography

Friday, February 15, 2013

Inquiry Based Activity

The Inquiry Based Activity was so much fun for me to create. I cannot say that my students will find it as fun, but hopefully the activity will do what it is supposed to in aiding my students in learning about a new art medium. I hope that in the end my students will thank me for giving them an assignment that allowed them freedom to just go and do. Instead of me having to go step by step with them, I think these inquiries can be a great motivation for independence, group work and inspiration.

The activity I chose to do covered various techniques of printmaking. Students have to navigate through one site with several links that lead them to answering the questions I have provided on the worksheet.
Masterworks Fine Art website:
These activities provide a different way then the teacher just standing at the front of the classroom talking about a topic. They get students involved before you have them create an actual product piece of art. I like that this is a different form of introduction because objectives and steps to completing projects are so crucial. Once students have gone through the inquiry activity then they are more prepared to look at, for example, printmaking with a more focused and thoughtful manner. Instead of just approaching a topic in the usually sense of asking questions to see what students know, and to find out that they probably do not know much, you can use this inquiry activity as a way to help those students who do know a lot about a topic to breeze through the activity and help their peers, or answer those questions you would have just verbally asked of the students who know nothing about the topic at all. This is a visual way that students can see what you are talking about, get familiarized with what they are expected to know, and help them brainstorm and get inspired by researching about the topic so when it comes time to have them create, a print, they can do it. There is reading, writing, following directions, and critical thinking involved. I keep saying this, but I have always been somewhat afraid of technology. There is so much out there that could be very beneficial to teachers in helping students learn, but the programs are so complex to figure out. These tools and methods for creating educational lessons that we have been using lately are simple, to the point, but allow room for creativity in all teachers. Art teachers are not the only ones who can have all the fun. I love this inquiry because it really give teachers of all content areas a new approach to subject material and allows opportunities for great collaboration among teachers and subject areas.

Friday, February 8, 2013


This was an interesting lesson as I was not very familiar with the WebQuest world and all that these sites could offer teachers and students. The components of the WebQuests are a great way to organize the information and process you want your students to take when teaching the lesson using technology. Beginning with the introduction is key because this will set up the project so your students understand the objectives and reason behind doing it. Next comes the task page that describes what you will be asking them to take part in. After that the process page will divide up the steps the students will take to complete the lesson you are teaching. I really enjoyed looking through different WebQuest sites to see how different teachers used this form of learning to ask their students to fulfill the requirements. The resource page is a good reference for your students to see how you gathered and used outside information, as well for you to go back and refer to the sources you collected. The evaluation page is key. I saw many of the WebQuests use a chart or table to help their students either assess each other’s work, their own work, or see how you will assess them when the lesson is done. Anyway you put it, your students will be fully prepared for what you will grade and expect them to complete. The conclusion page will wrap everything up and reiterate the lessons purpose, as well as give your students a review of what they just learned. Credits and teacher pages are optional but they are also beneficial for completing the whole WebQuest.

One WebQuest that caught my attentions is called Pop Art, it focused on the Pop Art movement and the artists who created this genre of making art.

I also learned that, like websites or wikis, a WebQuest should be readable for you and your students when you present it, should have working links, promote group work, be efficient for what students can get out of the project/lesson you have planned, and have a way set up for your students to practice higher order thinking where they learn how to assess materials and then make appropriate decisions.

After learning about the WebQuest further, I can definitely see myself utilizing them in my classroom. Art really requires you to set up a project before the students even get started using their hands on materials. If I present my projects/lesson plans using the WebQuest method, then I can get my students interacting with me and each other about the project more before we get into working with the materials. I see myself presenting the history and background information of the projects through using the WebQuest method and then adding in questions, outside links to artist websites, galleries or museums, and even videos. The creation of a WebQuest is even an art form in itself as you must make conscious decisions about how you will place text, use colors that enhance the theme of your project, and creating a technology based lesson association within the context of your project theme.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Website Evaluation

The process of evaluating websites requires close detective work and sifting through the site to see what it has to offer and what it is lacking. Before this evaluation I knew what a good website was supposed to be and what made a website reliable as a good source of information. I did not know the process or steps that were necessary to go through to make sure the website you want to use is one that is pure about its intentions as a source of information. I learned that it is important to first check the author or organization of the website to make sure that it is updated often and with current information. I also learned that there are many things that make a website valuable to a wide range of people and their needs or uses for the website.

It was interesting to go through the evaluation process and note how or why someone might need to use the website. That is a very important thing to be determined. If a website is for a specific area of content is not fulfilling in the ways that it should be surrounding that content area, then the website is obviously not going to be as beneficial or helpful to someone as a website about the same content area that can provide many different links or ways to utilize the website for information. The key thing I learned is that websites can appear to look great, have lots of information, but not be true or very reliable to the user. This can backfire.

It was really eye opening to go through the process of evaluating a website and focus on the things that make a website really valuable, rather than just looking at the website and seeing only its outer shell. The structure and content of a website must be evaluated before we, as educator, proceed in sharing them with our students or using them in projects or lesson plans. I plan to use several educational/artistic websites in my classroom to help aid me in teaching my students about the world of the arts. These websites can be great for me to help show my students visuals of the art that has been created, is being created, and will be created. It is so important to have tools or resources such as these websites where I can present the outside world to them in a safe and fun environment. Using websites about art will help me show them art and connect them to artists that we cannot see or learn from first hand because of geographical separations or time.

Friday, February 1, 2013


In the beginning I was very shy about using the wikis on PBworks. After a while of getting familiar and warming up to the wiki process, layout, and purpose I have found it to be a very useful tool. The wiki will be a great way for me to set up art history lessons, get my students communicating with each other or me, have posts on local artists or artists abroad, get students involved in discussion about their projects in my class or about other artists projects, and much more. This tool is such a unique and different way to visually aid me in my art classroom. Through the wiki I want to help my students become comfortable with technology and the wonderful things it can do. In my experience I have had a lot of interaction with technology but I have not always been given the proper uses of it. I do not want, and do not think, that my students will have as much trouble as me, however, for those students that are not as familiar with technology, the wiki can be a great step to helping them understand it in a fun, interactive, and useful learning way. Creativity is going to be the main focus in my classroom, making art is the purpose. I have learned how to incorporate technology through the wikis into my classroom in a creative way for students to be able to learn by hands on doing through projects or the wiki page of our class. This can be a great tool for my students to contact me or each other outside the classroom setting or to share whatever is on their creative minds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Introduction/Expectations for the course

Hello! My name is Rachel Mezger. I am from Nashville, Tennessee. I am currently studying at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, double majoring in Studio Arts with a focus in Printmaking and Art Education K-12. My love for art has been developing over many years. When deciding what to do with my life, I thought, their is nothing I love more than the thought of getting to create art all day long. As an art teacher, I get to share my art experiences with students while creating art myself all day long and getting paid to do it. Art has been a constant in my life when other things have seemed so out of my control. I can only hope that I pass along to my students the same things my art teachers instilled in me. Through teaching students how to communicate that which sometimes cannot be verbalized, I aim to provide an environment where students can interactively learn about art and about themselves in a creative, expressive way.

As for the TPTE course, my expectations were somewhat limited in the beginning. I did not know very much about the technology aspect for this course. I have already found great uses for the things that have been covered and the technology aspect that lends itself to another form of communication. Being able to know how to create a website for my classroom is already the greatest thing! I could not ask for a better way to, freely, communicate with my students, parents, other faculty and staff about what I am doing with the students in my classroom. Art is such a visual way of learning and it is extremely hands on, so this technology course has given me lots to think about when planning my future classroom expectation for myself and my students. With what has already been covered, the website and blog creations, I can easily share photos and news about the works of art my students are creating. Technology can be such a great tool if used in the right ways. For this class, I have high expectations of learning all that I can. I want to absorb what I can while I have the safe and comfortable environment of my own learning classroom to try everything out. I expect to build upon the website, linking all of the other things we create together. I expect to be able to manage and update all of my sites within reasonable timing and on my own.