Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Week 5 Digital Storytelling

Blog Post:Discuss the benefits and challenges that you anticipate from integrating video into your classroom. How can you best leverage this content to provide your students with enhanced learning opportunities? Do you use existing sources for high quality, relevant materials for your curricular area? If so, list the top two and briefly critique each resource. How can you integrate these resources into your curriculum in a meaningful way for your students?
I have no problem with integrating video into my classroom because I utilize YouTube all the time for demonstrations with clay and other media. Last year when we participated in a Raku firing I did an entire unit on the history of Raku and showed some wonderful examples of Raku firings on YouTube from all over the world. Students responded positively to the material because it's very difficult to explain how you would take out a molten hot piece of clay from the kiln and dip it in cold water to create a shock to the piece. The video was the only way to go and created an anticipation and understanding of the process we couldn't have achieved otherwise. I plan on working with Prezi this semester to accumulate a bank of informational art videos for classroom and home use. There are so many awful art videos on the market that are dry, uninspiring and staid that I think when I retire I could focus on creating some engaging videos and put them on the market (or open source them if my pension survives!)

Week 5 Podcasts

Blog Post:What challenges and potential benefits can you see in utilizing podcasting technology in the classroom? Although we often use podcasts to convey information to our students, what are the benefits of having students develop their own podcasts? How can you incorporate the concept of long term studentpodcasting in your curriculum (students recording a series of podcasts over the course of a semester)?
My biggest challenge with every aspect of technology is the time consumption. Teaching art is all about preparation of materials, studio maintenance, organization of materials, oodles of hours researching, demonstrations, keeping up with new techniques, preparing supplies and beating the clock when you teach a subject that requires processing time, clean up and experimentation.There isn't enough time during the day to actually ever catch up because my classes should be double the time we have to work. I have found that technology conflicts with my hands on studio process because we are a small department and I usually have 4 preps. Taking this tech course, I am flabbergasted by the amount of technology available for the classroom, as well as mesmerized by the possibilities. Ultimately I get stressed out because there is so much to embrace. I have found that sitting at a computer for hours puts me in a shell shocked state and I am a zombie afterward. I truly hate what it does to my body and my mind. Creating the podcast was okay after I accepted how I sounded on the recording with my south side accent, but then I wondered if students would listen to it without a visual component. 
I resent that it takes me away from my craft, as well as from my own philosophy that the digital world is actually doing a disservice to our children. I think it inhibits creativity, fosters attention deficit, shuts kids down and creates virtual worlds that aren't healthy. My greatest joy is to watch students delve into their artistic process and create something with their own hands that they are proud of and came from their own resources. We use technology to research, document, present, etc.. but ultimately the goal is to create something personal, inventive and engaging. I probably will not being using podcasting in my classes because it doesn't fit with our priorities-It would take up precious time we need to create. Thanks for bearing with me during my mini rant.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Week 4 WIKIS & LMS

How can you use a wiki to facilitate 21st Century learning opportunities in your classroom?
I think I will be able to utilize my Wiki site to collectively put out announcements and field questions for National Art Honor Society, events, field trips, special projects, gallery opening announcements and to remind students about our upcoming exhibitions. I think it's just another form of communication that will enable students to ask pertinent questions and engage in a collaborative setting. 

Blog Post: How is an LMS (Moodle) different from a standard teacher website? As you work with Moodle, what advantages do you see it affording your students? How can Moodle help you transform your classroom into a more student centered learning environment?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 4 21st Century Citizenship

  1. Design a curricular lesson which embeds one major theme from the Cornell University Digital Literacy Resource site. The Digital Literacy (DL) component should not necessarily be the focus of the lesson, rather cover the curricular content while including DL as an aspect of the lesson. Share the lesson as a Google Doc with your instructor.
Here is my Curricular assignment using the Cornell Digital Literacy site & my Alignment with Net's
Alignment assignment 
Curricular Lesson for Art Research

Review the District 219 Internet Safety materials at the following url:
Blog Post: Reflect on how one establishes a classroom culture where students respect others and interact safely on the Internet. 
The bottom line in a successful art classroom is building a classroom ethos that is safe, collegial and open to expression. This isn't an easy task, since art is one of the most frightening subjects for people. There is this myth that art is only for the talented and only certain people are blessed with the ability to create.  The truth is we are all creative and express our creativity in different ways. I approach using technology and the Internet the same way I set the tone in the classroom-we are here to support each other and to help each other grow in a positive and safe manner. Since art is so personal, it requires a level of risk taking that you do not experience in any other subject matter. Until an artist gains some confidence, they are on very fragile ground and could shut down easily. Navigating this process takes a certain finesse and trust. In order to gain this trust there needs to be a foundation built and a safety net for making mistakes (which we welcome). Training students to observe, analyze and honor where people are at in their process is mandatory in order to give students the chance to grow. Having secure limits in place and offering students the opportunity to fail, problem solve, experiment and not judge themselves or their peers is paramount to their success. Critiquing in a responsible way is a skill, since most students want to pontificate on their visceral reaction to a piece of art as opposed to addressing the formal qualities of a work. Content and technique are two different areas and people have to be trained on how to look at work with fresh eyes and respect where the artist is at. Giving feedback is critical and the rules for in school critiquing and online critiquing are the same-guided with questions that are formal and use art vocabulary as well as making connections to art history.

Review the District 219 Internet Safety materials at the following url:
Blog Post: Reflect on how one establishes a classroom culture where students respect others and interact safely on the Internet. 
I think I've already outlined how I cultivate a culture of respect in whatever we do in the classroom. I think it's my job to keep students aware of the pitfalls of technology in terms of social etiquette and empathy. Posting online can be a minefield for students who are not socially adept, nor have the basic communication skills necessary to communicate appropriately. Teaching social literacy can help a student who could potentially be easily misinterpreted. So much of what we do in art revolves around assessment and critiquing is a major tool that we use frequently-
Having stringent guidelines and a structure for critiquing is crucial to the success of using technology safely and respectfully. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 3 Linux-Foss

Read the article Open Source Content in Education: Part 2 - Developing, sharing, expanding resources.
Blog Post: Reflect on how the concept of Open Source content is compatible with educational philosophies such as the concept of the democratization of knowledge and development of an educated population. 
I agree wholeheartedly that our current educational system is not addressing the needs of the student of  today. I was overwhelmed by the Open Source article because I need a certain structure in order to learn and process and the open source possibilities are endless. I became frustrated when perusing the sites because there is so much to sort through. I would get excited by a title and then become disappointed with the content because it wasn't  applicable to my area. On the other hand, honing in and making selections using open source material is a great way to overcome and augment the sometimes very outdated, stale textbooks that we are required to use. Having current information that is more relevant to my students and sources I deem "educational" is a big plus. Teachers are great collaborators and inventors and the ability to invest in our students and share research and sources openly and freely is a powerful tool.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Week 3 Cloud Learning

Develop a student centered learning experience, assignment or assessment that utilizes the collaborative capabilities of Google Docs.
I have been using Google Docs this year and it's really helped streamline the process of keeping track of assignments and allowing instant student access. I can just say, "The information is in your Google Docs, JUST READ IT!"
Here is a sample of a final exam assignment:

Here is a sample of a student presentation for the art history component:
Sample of student slides with their own Tarot card

Blog Post: Post a reflection of your experience. List potential instructional situations where synchronousmeetings would lead to innovative or improved learning experiences for your students. 
I tried Skyping with a family member and it was easy to connect and read body language! A bit awkward at first, but it was nice to connect visually. I can see synchronousmeetings being useful for group projects, collaborating with home bound students, as well as offering opportunities to collaborate with students from other schools on projects. We have been involved with the Do Your P'ART organization and have teamed up with Chicago Public Schools and worked on art projects together. Skyping and engaging in online meetings would assist the process of connecting city & suburban teens with a common purpose.  

Week 2 RSS

Blog Post: Incorporating reflective writing into curriculum can help students develop an awareness of metacognition. What value is there in having students blog on a regular basis. How can you have students develop a blog to be used as an electronic portfolio? 
In my art classes students have to critique their own work and the work of their peers. I think setting up an electronic portfolio using DIIPO or the Dropbox would help students with the process of assessing their own progress, as well as building a visual portfolio of their work. 
Our classes are portfolio based and I really think having the students write reflections online would increase their ability to give authentic feedback in a positive and responsible way. Many times students are reluctant to share what they think in a class critique for fear of hurting someone's feelings or because they are shy.

Another great strategy for teaching would be to post a master work of art online and have the class analyze the work using the elements and principles of design. This would actually help students use formal art terminology instead of spending time delving into imposing their own narratives to a piece. Utilizing art terms will help students begin to think about actually applying the art techniques in their work. This would be especially useful for the AP studio art students.