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Showing Jill Sayers

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3-5 | The Arts | Mobile/Handheld

Station WTTW in Indiana

My Classroom Innovation

Students learn that Art connects to all aspects of their lives, whether academic or personal. Our art program integrates core subjects and technology strengthening our students 21st century skills. iPods, Smartboard, and laptops are tools utilized by all students to create digital artwork. Projects showcased illustrate technology utilization to reinforce core subjects while using creative outlets. Technology is not the end goal, but part of the creative process; an extension of art.
Before beginning a digital lesson students watch "The Computer - Another Tool". We discuss how artists create in various media and how it would be impossible to create digitally without knowing how to model. The video reinforces that the ultimate goal is the creative process itself and not necessarily the tools chosen.
Students created digital snowflakes and learned about “Snowflake” Bentley who discovered the snowflake form through photography. The lesson is enhanced with the PBS Newshour piece, “The Science of Snowflakes, and Why No Two Are Alike". It allows me to connect to Science and also explain how snowflakes are created and why they are unique.
Whimsical portraits allowed for learning about an artist and how to create with an app. Son of Man Portraits connect to artist Magritte and we discuss healthy living choices. These projects allow students to connect Science and Art.
Through the use of Radial Symmetry, Perspective, and Portraits, students connect to Math.
Language Arts connections are reinforced through typed artist statement, added text, or digital superhero's when we discuss good character traits.
Student’s engagement is visible when they are watching what a classmate is working on or when they are helping each other work through a problem. The discussions are more focused on art then when we work traditionally. Collaboration, a 21st century skill, that students need to develop and artwork helps reinforce that.

How Students were Engaged

While the lessons could have been done in just the traditional art media, it has more impact and sticks with students longer because the are using devices much like they might have at home and that they are interested in. I see that the inquisitiveness in technology has them more focused on the overall project and committing more of the concepts to memory.
Through the use of an online gallery students also have a chance to share with other family members that may not live near-by. The on-line gallery boosts students pride in work because they have an authentic audience who can comment on their work.
Many times students want to know the name of the app or program that we used so that they can create another artwork when the get home. In turn they are taking their 21st century skills home to teach others.
A practical application that students come away with from using the handheld devices is how to take good pictures and how to edit or enhance them. Students are introduced to software that they will be utilizing in their higher education.
I have had teachers ask me what we are working on because their class comes back to them with so much information and has been a surprise addition to a lesson that they are teaching. Since the projects not only focus on art, but incorporate the other school subjects it reinforces what the regular teacher is working on. Art blurs the lines between subject areas.

PBS Program/Content Used

The Computer - Another Tool with Don Chadwick