It can be a challenge to implement technology, but it is essential to be a 21st century teacher and create and equip 21st century learners. I have spent the last few years coming up with strategies to implement technology as instructional tools, as well as implementing free and low cost web-based programs and apps for art production. Keep in mind that this is a working knowledge of resources. I am building up my arsenal of technology tools and strategies every year to streamline my classroom and be a more effective teacher. These strategies and instruments help broaden the perspective of my students on what exactly is considered “art media”. That being said, here are a few resources for you to explore and try in your art room.
The “Re-teaching” Document Camera
One of my most essential instructional tools in my document camera. I use this tool to demonstrate a technique, a step in a project, or even to set up a still life for students to observe. I have found it especially useful as a re-teaching tool. Even after I have verbally given instructions, demonstrated the instructions, and written them out, there is still can be that one student who may have been distracted. (Gasp) Here is where the document camera comes into play. For example, say I am teaching my second grade students how to make the paper relief sculpture, and we are starting to make our petals. I set the camera to record as I am demonstrating, and when I finish that step, I stop the recording. It saves the file and there is a digital video of me teaching. (I try to keep these short and sweet). I open them to play (in a program like Windows Media Player or QuickTime) and set them at “Fast” and loop. This plays (on mute!) on the projector, freeing me up to monitor and teach students one-on-one or in small groups while the other students may catch a step that might have missed or are confused about.
(FREE!) Web-based Media
Here are some fantastic websites for students to create art on the computer. I have used these time and again as stand-alone projects or to incorporate into a mixed-media lesson.
Mr. Picasso Head – a great program for an artist study! Students create portraits in the style of Picasso!
Brushster – A program on the National Gallery of Art’s Art Zone page. This program allows for students to explore different brushes and styles of art. Versatile and fun, this program is great for upper elementary and middle school.
Collage Machine – Also on the National Gallery of Art’s Art Zone page. This program allows students to use shapes or textures to create digital collages.
Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas – Allows you to paint fractals like Pollock. This is a great program for younger elementary as it is simple but creates colorful works of art – mess free!
Sea-Saws – This National Gallery of Art – Art Zone program allows students to create collages/found object “relief” sculptures using a variety of textures. It even has an added animation capability.
Art Pad – This web-based program is similar to Brushster. You “paint” with a brush and can even add a frame. As an added bonus you can “replay” your painting, and it demonstrates the brushstrokes step-by-step.
Others include: Jungle, Still Life, Flow, Photo Op, and many more found on the National Gallery of Art website under Education.
This is just part one of Technology in the Art Room. Next time I will be discussing apps in the art room for instructional use and art-making!