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.