Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Students owning the learning

The incredible shift that is occurring in our district right now has to do with students owning the learning.  How to make thinking about learning transparent to our students -- so that they engage and understand what their role in their education needs to be.  Regular use of a formative assessment model and standards based grading practices ensures that students begin to understand that they own their learning, not the teacher or the school.

I am delighted with this shift because it reflects what I have tried to do in the artroom with  choice based art education.  What I noticed last year is that when I gave students more freedom for making choices and thinking about what was in their head and heart, their engagement and pleasure in art making went up dramatically.
Digital Painting of a Sunflower by Lauren (6)
In fact, I heard students say they were initially a little afraid of TAB because it meant more "work" --and more thinking!  And it was more work for me and for them.  I created more resources and materials for them to engage with -- and they in turn had to turn up their energy for experimentation and making thoughtful work.  But overall, the result was an amplification of learning -- definitely above what a traditional teacher directed art assignment would have produced.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Re-Imagining OMSarts

I have spent the summer learning, studying, listening, following and playing with different ideas surrounding art education and education in general. I have used social media primarily Twitter, but also blogs and Facebook, along with a couple of conferences (virtual as well) to hear about what my colleagues are doing and thinking.  I'm pleased and excited to be in the midst of a great explosion in connectivity and sharing of information, content, resources, but also feel very overwhelmed at the same time. To some degree I have anticipated much of the change I have seen coming and I know I am guiding the visual arts program at Orono Middle School in the right direction to best engage and inspire my students and prepare them to think critically and visually!  Two major initiatives I have undertaken in the past year include incorporating TAB, or Teaching for Artistic Behavior, which allows students to make choices in terms of subject matter and materials and to rely on their own ideas, and Arts Fusion, which incorporates multiple art disciplines to look at specific content in the arts, this year specifically social issues and contemporary artists.

While transitioning the art program to become relevant and current on all sorts of levels, I am pleased that I will be able to incorporate a classroom set of iPads and styluses to help students create, publish, share, research, reflect, assess their experience in the artroom.  Since content and information is so omnipresent now, giving students the necessary tools and skills to discriminate and manage all that information is important. Here is the list of apps(most of them FREE) that I have vetted for my  #iPad program and plan to integrate this year. Future posts will address that integration and what it looks like.

Drawing, Painting, Animation & Sculpture
DoInk Animation & Drawing
iMotion HD
Layers Pro Edition for iPad
ArtStudio for iPad
123D Sculpt for iPad
InkFlow for iPad

Video Production
Video FX Live for iPad

Art Concepts & Resources
Colored Uncovered (Nature of color explained)
Art Lite

Social Learning Networks & Notebooks

Student Product apps
Red Laser Barcode Scanner & QR Code Reader
Audioboo for iPad
Snapguide (make tutorials)

Student Clicker-Socrative

Additional Browser
Google Chrome for iPad