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.