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