Course 5: PLN Into The Future

 

img_3885The goal of this post: 

“Provide documented evidence of ongoing, back-and-forth communication. This reflection should include your participation in your personal learning network over the course of this program as well as your continued plans for future growth.”

Despite many of the challenges I faced with this task, I am actually really happy with my progress building up a PLN and being more involved.

Before COETAIL, I never used Twitter but this has turned out to be the absolute BEST tool for me to connect with other professionals. Previously, I had connected my blog posts to twitter automatically, I tried following without knowing what that meant but basically had never actually opened it.

BEFORE

AT THE START OF COETAIL

Twitter,      @rtjardin

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-12-15-09-pm

AFTER COURSE5 COETAIL and L2

Since I have started presenting I have found my following has gone up, and more importantly, after meeting people face to face, now that they know me I am getting a better response. It took me a while to figure out #, @ and how to send  private messages. I have definitely gotten better with my hashtags, and have found if you send tweets to specific people as well as hash tags you are more likely to get a response.

Before this part of the final project I was happy lurking and getting resources but now I want to be known because as I am discovering you get a greater response. The hardest part of this task I found was being active and getting “back-and-forth communication”. I used to tweet my blog post and retweet inspiring posts but now I am trying to comment, answer and question, basically letting people know that I am here.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-14-32-pm

You can see @rtjardin above, that is because Dave Caleb posted something about seesaw which I had recently heard about at Learning 2 so asked a couple of questions and then I was in the conversation. It was my first time of seeing and being involved in a back-and-fourth conversation.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-35-42-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-36-46-pm

I did reply to these tweets but once they had their answers that was it, no real back-and-fourth. Here is a sample of a “random conversation” which allowed me to practice replying and actually make a new connection not to mentions have a back-and forth conversation for the FIRST time.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-40-51-pm screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-41-08-pm

I also joined my first ever “chat” and REALLY enjoyed it. I had no idea you click on the hashtag and then the conversation flows. This conversation was about Sketchnoting, which I didn’t have much to input, but the discussions were awesome so I let them know I was there and commented when I could and now I have a brilliant feed of resources. This has really motivated me to keep an eye out for chats which are relevant to me.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-42-55-pm screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-1-43-23-pm

When I was attending the ARWAE2016 conference I asked many teachers which are the best forms of communication and PLNs for art educators and I was told, “Twitter is the absolute best for other art educators and Instagram is the way to connect with artists”.

INSTAGRAM

I had a personal Instagram account but didn’t really use it properly just added the occasional photo of travels or my classroom, but after seeing Brittmorganart I was really inspired to set up my own class account and connect to others. So I now have:

Not only did I set up a class page but I am now following some inspiring art rooms. Just by doing this I already feel more connected! I still need to learn more about Instagram and how to use it to connect with artists, but now I have Brittany in my PLN I should be able to easily get my answers. Exciting!

All inspired about my new connections from ARWAE and L2 I started to revisit groups I had previously joined to see if these were good for my PLN.

HOW HAVE I DEVELOPED BECAUSE OF MY PLN?

I think it is definitely too early to comment on this because I feel I could be doing so much more. I have gained some great resources and ideas. More importantly, I am starting to see the importance of connectivity, for the support, resources, new ideas, and just for the pure fact of not feeling so alone in the classroom. I would love to use my PLN for more collaborations and possibly Skype in the classroom, with experts and other classes. I could see a PLN helping spread the word about my student’s hard work. I don’t feel that I have a complete support yet, but I can see the benefits, and am starting to appreciate how I can grow and be challenged through my PLN. I am going to use everything I have to get my student’s book (final project) out there, and it will be very interesting to see who is following, listening and supporting. This could be my chance to try all forums and gauge their response and back-and-fourth conversations.

WEBSITES AND OTHER ATTEMPTS

PLN efforts for COETAIL from Rebecca Jardin

Despite my effort of trying to join groups and participate, I never felt like there was much conversation. Occasional likes and the random comment. I don’t know if it would be better if the followers knew me. I also find it overwhelming because there are so many different groups and I don’t always get the notifications. I often forget about my Facebook groups. When you see the numbers of people following them I can’t help wondering why more people don’t respond or start conversations?

deviantart_logo-svg

Wiki CC: http://spyed.deviantart.com/journal/Boldly-Facing-The-Future-498282387

I was excited to join Deviant Art but realized this would be better for me as an artist not a teacher. There is a great deal of anime and what I love about it, is the feedback people get so would be interested in my students joining but not as much as a educator’s PLN. Why isn’t there more than two people in the art teachers group? I think this site could have a great deal of potential. It reminds me of Red Bubble with is also a forum and place for feedback but again for practicing artists not educators. screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-4-46-39-pm

I found this on Edmodo in a group I had joined many years ago but had never used. I just happened to see this post on the home page so I replied and shared my final project video and school blog. I had forgotten Edmodo has groups for educators.

I did look into some articles for art educators and found this quote:

“To get started, explore the most popular PLNs in use. Three very useful and very popular places to start include Edmodo, Classroom 2.0, as well as the Educator’s PLN – Art Connection, which is an active community of primarily American-based educators.”  Arts Pop

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-5-22-36-pm

I looked up “Educator’s PLN” and the forum dates were 2011! I think the trick is to find the current PLNs for art educators, right now, I do think it is Twitter and Instagram.

My PLN Life After COETAIL

I would love to know what most art teachers are using these days. Just like my iPad research I’d like to have my favourite sites where I know I can access a PLN where you can have conversations back-and-fourth when needed. Art teaching can be quite isolating, so I am excited to connect. I feel like after COETAIL I have more to offer now, I have figured out my interests and strengths with technology and art, so would love to find my like-minded “peeps”.

I am planning on using Twitter daily, I’d like to explore Twitter lists, will keep an eye on some Facebook groups and see if they are worthwhile. I am interested in exploring Edmodo for teachers a little further and hope to revisit Creatubbles as a way of connecting with teachers. I would also like to try to connect more through Instagram.

Of course I will continue to follow the COETAIL blog to see the blog posts change as technology changes. Ironically, now that COETAIL is complete I will have more time for this and I can’t wait. I do know for certain, in my future, there will be continued growth and connectivity after COETAIL. Thanks for putting me on the right path!

 

 

 

 

 

C5 Final Project: Collaborating to Make a Difference.

COURSE 5, FINAL PROJECT VIDEO

What were your goals for your project?

My main goal was to successfully and meaningfully collaborate with a class in New York. The students needed to be truly connected with their buddy and be inspired by the task. I wanted my students to: CONNECT, COLLABORATE, CREATE, and CELEBRATE as mentioned in my L2 talk.  

I also wanted to achieve these ISTE standards:

1. Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

  1. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
  2. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression

2. Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

  1. Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media
  2. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

DE: GLE ARTS STANDARDS:

Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques and processes

Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions

Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

To meet these standards my students were required to collaborate on book pages inspired by Graeme Base’s Animalia. Sales from the book would go towards a charity that helps endangered animals. Both students from Vietnam and NY were responsible for parts of the same pages. I really wanted this task to be collaborative rather than cooperative. Meaning, the students needed each other to actually complete the task.

img_3884

Image by R Jardin

SAMR

Last but not least, I also wanted to reach the redefinition level on the SAMR model:

flickr photo shared by laura pasquini under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

UBD PLANNER

What tools did you use? 

Our first major task was to have our students connect and get to know each other so that the connection was genuine and meaningful. We used Superimpose, Padlet, Thinglink, and Edmodo to do this. The students had to create a collage about themselves with the Superimpose app, Photoshop or pixlr/editor, and then they added a video with Thinglink which explained their collage. This was shared on Padlet and Edmodo. The students reflected on their blogs, and shared what they learnt about their buddies, including their similarities and differences.

“Like Mariana, I like biking, swimming, and animals. Also in the future I may want to become a vet.” Lissa

“I learned that we both like to draw and we both like dogs. We also like to watch Youtube videos. Alexa doesn’t like to watch movies because she is impatient. On the other hand, I love to watch movies because I like things that are slow but gets better throughout.” Quang Hieu

We also used Edmodo to set up small groups because of the different class sizes we had two of my students work with NY. On Edmodo, they uploaded their work, asked questions and discussed ideas. This is where the true connection happened.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-52-49-am

After we had read Animalia, I told my students I had been in touch with Graeme Base via FaceBook, and he was happy to answer questions so, NY and SSIS wrote letters to him using the Lifecards app which we shared via Google Drive. He replied to us via email and the students were incredibly excited!

“I think that it was really cool how we were able to contact Graeme Base and actually communicate with him. The fact that we were able to ask him questions is even better because he gave us many useful tips, that helped us throughout the collaboration. I learned a lot about him and how he made his book Animalia. For example, he said that he got his alliterations from reading a dictionary. He also told us that he used watercolor and many other techniques for Animalia.”   TAM

“I thought it was very nice of him to reply on his busy schedule. I personally thought that he wouldn’t. Since I had read his book, Animalia when I was young, I thought it was really cool to actually get a letter back from him. Something I personally found interesting about him was that his inspirations for ideas comes from traveling. I didn’t think that traveling could get you inspirations, also, he said he didn’t know that Animalia would be so successful. Thinking how much people have read this book, I found this quite curious.”  SAN

The NY teacher, Grace Barrett, and I stayed in touch regularly through text, Skype and shared information and feedback with Google Docs and folders. This was essential to the success of the project, the texting was the best way to get instant feedback due to the time difference.

All the students chose one of three jobs for their page: alliteration, animal, or background. This was created with the student’s choice of media from pens to paint.

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-5-41-44-pm

After the work was shared in the folder on the drive my students downloaded them on their iPads and layered the art with Superimpose or Photoshop on their Macs. This is when the true excitement built, because they could start to see it all coming together.

img_0099

Feedback was given via Edmodo and text message we even sent our first two art pieces to Graeme Base and he was very impressed. The sample pages were printed and edited. There were some very interesting discussions and teaching moments as we received constructive criticism for some of the pages. Once the final images were loaded onto the Drive I played with Lulu, Shutterfly and Book Creator.

I was actually happiest with the flexibility of Book Creator, it was also the quickest. Not to mention when you press play you can flip through it like a real book which is incredibly inspiring for the students.

This video was shared with New York, because the PDF just wasn’t the same, I wanted the students to see what it was like as a real book.

We decided to try LuLu based on Kevin Honeycutt’s recommendation.

Lulu preferred a PDF with all pages collated so we created the final book in Pages and converted it to a PDF.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-1-14-03-pm

When the pages were complete, the students used social media, green screen, Pages, and Google Draw to design an advertising campaign to promote and sell their book. This is still on going and will continue for two more weeks until the end of the semester. NOTE: After this blog post has been submitted, I’ll update it with the total book sales and funds raised along with some student samples of advertising. I will also share it on Twitter.

andrew-lissa-and-kolton-endangermalia-poster

How did you go about introducing your lesson/project?

After we connected with New York, we sat as a class on the carpet, beanbags and cushions and did a read aloud. It was brilliant, as the students were so engaged. They were captivated by the images and were keen to help me read aloud. Then I introduced their project and told them that I had contacted Graeme Base, and we were going to write to him. They were incredibly excited about this. Overall, the students were excited about: making new friends so far away, communicating with an illustrator, publishing a book, actually selling it, and raising money for a charity.

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-1-00-41-pm

“When we were firsts introduced about the collaboration, i was very interested and excited. I was most excited on meeting my new buddy, getting to know her and making a new friend all the way from NY!”  ALINA

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-1-00-54-pm

“I’m excited getting to talk with our partners, and give out some information about ourselves back and forth” Antonio

“When we were told about this project I was kind of excited and then we found out that we were also going to publish our art into a book I got even more excited. I am excited that we can work with someone from NY and working on drawing the animal.” ANDREW

FINAL REFLECTION

Collaborating is not easy, however, it’s certainly very worthwhile, because the students (and teachers) had to face so many unique challenges, which they overcame. I could not be prouder!

Sometimes there were miscommunications but the students had to be empathetic and figure out solutions. This project was so much more than just illustrating a book. Even though it took a long time, the process was really incredible. The students particularly enjoyed working in pairs as well as meeting their NY buddy.

We certainly did succeed with connecting and creating an inspiring product that the students are very proud of.

As you’ll see in some of these videos one of the greatest challenges was the waiting. Sometimes we couldn’t move on until NY wrote back to us so we sent them this video.

Did this implementation meet the definition of Redefinition?

One of my main goals was to reach the redefinition level on the SAMR model: “technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable”. Without a doubt this task is completely impossible without technology, we could not have: connected with New York, and Australia, layered art from two different countries, set up an online shop, publicized our book with social media, published articles and created commercials. Even just the creation of the book and merging of designs, and ongoing communication across the globe is REDEFINITION.

WHAT DID I LEARN ?

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-10-10-59-am

Don’t give up, the journey is seriously worth it, and the learning is beyond your imagination for you and your students!

  • Patience, communication and having a central platform to share ideas is crucial for a successful collaboration.
  • Students need to be prepared to communicate in their own time since class time can be quite busy creating and reflecting.
  • The “handshake” (as recommended by Abena Bailey ) is incredibly important for any collaboration. It would have been even better if we had connected with a school which had more access to technology so that the conversations were regular throughout.
  • Check class times and holidays. Having the shorter classes (they had 40mins we had 80mins) made it hard for Grace to keep up with us, but I was very clear with my students about the difficulties they were facing. Being transparent really helped with developing empathy and understanding. 
  •  Skyping during class was brilliant because they could see it really was a different time zone, and they could hear what the teacher had to say about the progress being made in her class. Unfortunately they couldn’t Skype with the class because of the time-difference.
  • I learnt that even with thorough planning you can never really predict what challenges your students might face, but giving them the responsibility to solve the problems is the best thing you could do, they really will impress you with their independence.

Overall, I was very happy with our planning, texting, skyping and the fact that Grace really wanted to see this through, even though there were some trying times. I saw some great student discussions on Edmodo but not ALL students wrote back which made the bond hard at times.

Next time, I would encourage a little more personal chatting and make sure the school was uploading their collages at the same time or within a day. We had to wait a week and a half so the students lost enthusiasm. 

If I was to do this again I would have all students practise the layering so that they could see how the project was going to work because after the first page, the students who worked on a second letter were so efficient, more confident and seemed to enjoy the task even more, which, got me thinking, if they had a small practise task maybe they could have all experienced this for their page earlier. Not every student had the chance to do two pages.

Next time, I would make sure it wasn’t at the very start of the school year because in the first two weeks the students kept changing and there were big gaps as they settled into class whereas, we had already completed one unit and were ready to begin. The timing was definitely challenging for NY and I am so grateful that Grace was prepared to do this despite the COETAIL deadline.

As we worked and had many cross-curricular discussions, I suddenly realized that this could have been really awesome if the students: studied habitats and endangered animals in Science, they could write articles and develop their alliterations in Language arts, the commercials could have been created in technology or media studies and they could have studied NGOs and charities thoroughly for endangered animals in Social Studies and calculated habitat sizes, populations and predictions in Math. This could have been a school-wide collaboration for a quarter, which means the quality and depth of research, poster design and movie making would have been SO much better than what we created. (The students only had two weeks to create their commercials) Education Place has some great suggestions for this.

WHAT DID THE STUDENTS THINK?

NEWSFLASH: I just received an email TODAY after publishing this post, from Graeme Base and he has given a message for us to write in the book. My students don’t know yet but they are going to be INCREDIBLY excited! I can’t wait to tell them.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-12-47-27-pm

SKYPING NEW YORK

For a final celebration, Grace Barrett organized a family event at 8pm at night so that they could Skype with us for the first time. We had one group of students released from class to attend this. They were excited and shy at the same time. At the end the parents took photos of both groups. They also wrote this article on their website and tweeted the event. The parents are very keen to buy our book.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-9-15-38-am

Overall, I could not be happier with the outcome, including the student responses, and am so grateful for all the hard work put in by Grace Barrett and her fabulous students. This project would not have worked at all if they didn’t persist with us and see it through to the end. You have all been incredible to work with. Thank you SO much.

I also need to thank GRAEME BASE for his ongoing support, quick responses and willingness to respond to the students, and now, for providing a note to put in our book. You have been a very motivating factor to this entire unit. Thank you so much.

img_3886

How do you plan to share this with your colleagues?

The students have planned to present their work in a staff meeting and will hold a book launch for the school community. At this launch they will explain their process, and the purpose behind their book. It will be shared on: Twitter, Google+, Facebook and in the yearbook. When we receive the books we will also read them to an elementary class. I’ll share the link to my blogs on our school info page. A great deal of work has gone into this and I am more than happy to discuss the process with anyone.

What was your greatest learning in COETAIL?

COETAIL has been an amazing journey one that has been quite self-directed. Robert Appino said to me once, “You really get what you put into it, COETAIL is great, it’s a hands on course that has transformed many educators.” In the beginning, I didn’t really think it had transformed me, it just made me aware of how much I didn’t know, for example I had signed up to Twitter, Flipboard and Diigo previously, but had never used any of them before the course.

Now that I look back on it, I really have gained a lot from the general “technology kick up the butt” with my Powerpoint and display board designs thanks to Presentation Zen to Sketchnoting and even my classroom design.

The greatest inspirations for me were: visual literacy, the power of positive digital footprints, SAMR, collaborating globally, PLNs and the importance of connectivity (I’m still struggling with this but am definitely getting better), digital storytelling, copyright and how to attribute images the easy way using: flickr attributions helper. On another level I learnt how to set up blog posts properly, I also enjoyed getting the feedback on my posts, so I saw the value for students to have an authentic audience. I was even inspired with the way the grade sheet was set up.

COETAIL put me on the path of the 3Cs Connect, Create and Celebrate, or at least pushed me further with my connections, and had me nominated to be a L2 leader, which I NEVER would have dreamt of! Even though I was using the iPads and technology a lot in my classes before, my eyes have really been opened to the possibilities. I am excited and proud of this project and am already thinking what next? COETAIL is definitely just the beginning.

Thank you SO much Robert Appino for being an awesome and patient leader, Kim Cofino for inspiring me to sign up in the first place, after participating in your SAMR workshop at SSIS, and Greg Jardin for agreeing to sign up with me, and for being my dedicated sounding board. I’m so glad we were in it together!

d

Don’t forget to follow @rtjardin and please buy our book: “Before It’s Too Late” and support our chosen charity “World Wildlife Fund”. 

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-9-58-18-am

More information will be coming soon, including a link to our online store. THANK YOU.

 

   

Riding The Collaboration Rollercoaster

THE PLANNING

I was very fortunate to be able to meet Grace, from Commack Middle School when I was in New York last summer. Even though we collaborated last year we had never met before.

img_3863

We discussed what we thought needed improving from our previous collaboration, and decided COMMUNICATION was the biggest issue. The lack of communication between us, and the lack of connection between the students. We both saw the value of the collaboration and wanted to try again so, firstly, we created this Google Doc.

Other than creating the basic outline, one of the most successful and necessary things we achieved was, swap Skype addresses and phone numbers, and agreed to stay in touch regularly throughout. This alone was a huge improvement to the last collaboration.

We also decided to have more of a “handshake” where the students connect and learn about each other beforehand. We decided to set up a Padlet board and use Edmodo for ongoing communications. Neither of us had used these much before so had to test it out a little.

Lastly, we chose the unit theme and made a basic outline. The task was to collaborate on a book page inspired by Graeme Base’s Animalia. It had to have an alliteration, animal and background. Both students were responsible for the pages because we wanted the students to need each other to be able to complete the task. To make this an authentic experience we decided we’d actually print the book and donate all sales to a charity which supports endangered animals.

When I left our meeting I was feeling really happy with the improvements, and authenticity of the task. Little did I know how much planning was still needed for this to be a success!

RETURNING TO THE CLASSROOM

My students started class quite a bit earlier than NY did so I focused on developing their drawing skills. They did not know at this stage that they were going to be connecting with a class in NY. Instead, we researched an endangered animal, practised four drawing techniques, and experimented with watercolours and charcoal.

Their final artworks were beautiful.

Commack Middle School was still on holidays, so I extended the unit by having the students manipulate their images, ready for a banner which was going to raise awareness for the cause.

I found Graeme Base on Facebook and messaged him. After a little bit of time he replied and gave me his personal email. This was very exciting, but I couldn’t tell the students yet, because I wanted to surprise them.

img_3805

CONNECTING

The NY class had started school so I could finally introduce the task to the students. In the beginning the students were VERY excited and engaged! They created collages to explain something about themselves, and Vietnam. We used Superimpose and TypeDrawing to create the collages.

Afterwards, we uploaded videos explaining our collage to YouTube, which were then linked in Thinglink. This allowed us to merge the collages and videos together and easily share them on Padlet (password “connections”).

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-11-34-50-am

CHALLENGES

Unfortunately, it took over a week and a half (or longer) for the NY students to upload their collages so my students were becoming impatient and disconnected with the project. NY had their reasons for the gaps, because they were just settling into the routines of class. To be able to use the technology they had to book into a lab. Whereas, our students had access to iPads and laptops daily. I set the collage and video for homework thinking NY was doing the same but this was not possible without permission forms signed by parents (to use Edmodo). The waiting and delay made it very hard on my end.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-5-42-28-pm

When the NY collages were uploaded my students were excited to play them, but the time was limited, because so much time had passed, we had other things to do in class. If I was to do this introduction again I would make sure we were starting the task at the exact same time, that the buddy students have their own laptops or access to technology, and that the deadline for the collages was agreed and acted upon. I would have the students reflect more on what they learnt about their buddies and create questions inspired from the videos.

We were also meant to post the collages onto Edmodo but Grace, the art teacher, couldn’t see the small groups and couldn’t get her students on. So I had one of my students create a video without sound, showing how we were accessing the small groups.

VIDEO (no sound, sent to the teacher) showing how to find the small groups on Edmodo:
This helped a lot, so slowly the students started writing, but they still had some issues, so were accessing it through her desktop which meant the messages were short and quick.

Since we were waiting, we skipped ahead a little and we used LifeCards to write a letter to Graeme Base and posted questions to our buddies on Edmodo (before we had their collages). While we were waiting for NY we actually had a reply email from Graeme Base, which was incredibly exciting, it really came at a great time because my students were getting frustrated with the silence from NY.

Here is the link to the letter written by Graeme Base.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-11-34-24-am We remained ahead until our first quarter break (last week) which was a little disheartening. Here is what the students had to say about it:

WHY DID WE NEED TO WAIT?

My students posted a list of animals which were endangered and started with their letter of the alphabet. NY was meant to vote from the list. Since there was a delay, my students could not start any drawing without NY’s choice. We (the teachers) could have given the animals, but we wanted all students to feel involved but timing and lack of technology was a problem. Next, we needed to know the final verse before we could begin the page since the animal was meant to be “doing” something.

Four weeks in and my students had posted their art, uploaded collages, wrote questions, brainstormed 3 animals, created verses, sketched the animals 4 times and came up with some letter designs but haven’t seen anything from NY. So far it has been a lot of waiting.

The idea was for us to be doing this at the same time, I was getting ready to give up, but during class I decided to text the teacher and tell her my concerns.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-9-23-31-pm

Grace responded with an awesome Powerpoint showing her students at work. This gave my student hope and reignited their passion and interest.

STUDENT RESPONSE NO.2

In this video you can see the enthusiasm and interest has gone up. The Powerpoint was a success. Now, we have to hope for a bit more conversation on Edmodo.

OUR MUCH NEEDED HOLIDAY

Fortunately, we had a week holiday (last week) which meant NY could catch up. Another issue we discovered was their class times are much shorter than ours so they are getting less done, they also had many public holidays, and some students missed class because of EAL. There are all sorts of valid reasons for the tough start. During the week off Grace had her students come in for an afternoon to catch up.

So when we returned we saw a significant difference! There were beautiful art works posted on Edmodo, we had their alliterations, and the students had also selected the job they wanted (from verse, animal to background). NOW we can finally get to work!

My students are very engaged and definitely more inspired since the break.
We even skyped Grace during class, to make some small changes to the alliterations. This was incredibly exciting for the students. This video shows some of the communication but it is a bit choppy due to wifi.

VIDEO OF SKYPE CALL:

There is also a student who doesn’t speak English, she is missing classes for EAL so has not been responding, but Grace reassured Kolton and Andrew that Sophia IS excited, so I think they feel better now about the lack of communication. We talked about empathy, and being patient. Overall, the energy of the class is much more positive.

You can now see the change with some of the conversations on Edmodo:

All students have now begun their final drawings, some even began painting. We are finally on our way to a gorgeous book!

In the last 5-10mins of class they uploaded their work to Edmodo. Hopefully NY will continue to respond. Each class, from now on, will start with 10mins to write on Edmodo or their Blogs. At the end of class they can upload their work and add extra comments if they are needed.

I am so happy now with the progress of the task. I’ll be honest it was a rough start mainly because we had to begin straight away to meet COETAIL’s deadline. Ideally, we would have done this during Commack’s second quarter when the students were more settled, there would have been less disruptions, and the students could have been familiar with Edmodo and Padlet before the unit started. This would have saved quite a bit of time.

Overall I am feeling very optimistic about the end result! 

Improving the Collaboration Process

Introducing My Final Project

img_7742

Meeting their NY buddies

Last year I tried my first two “global” collaborations with New York and China. Even though the results were good, there were quite a few things that I thought could be improved. Therefore, for my final COETAIL project I decided to:

Improve the collaboration process by make it even more exciting, engaging and AUTHENTIC for my students.

During the previous New York collaboration my grade 6 students swapped photos, which, was definitely the most exciting time for them (seeing who their buddy was). Both schools learnt the same four art techniques, and applied them to their final artwork.

They photographed and sent their art to each other, with letters and videos. Seeing the excitement from the videos and the true connection, made me realize how things could be done differently.

What Did I Need to Change?

  • No real chatting or connecting, it was more co-operative than collaborative because the students didn’t need each other to complete the task, they just needed the photos.
  • I couldn’t communicate with the teacher, there were big gaps because of the time difference and I didn’t have a phone number.
  • It was as if the students were attending a normal art class except at the start and end when they were sharing their work.  
  • The excitement was short-lived and didn’t feel authentic.

WHAT DO I PLAN TO DO DIFFERENTLY?

  • Meet the teacher in New York to plan properly and see if she is completely on board, despite the lack of technology. 
  • Have a proper sharing platform for collaborating like Edmodo.
  • Have a phone number, Skype address, figure out the best times to chat.
  • Have the same due dates and work together, stay in touch, swap information regularly.
  • Get the students to work together to create their task so that it is collaborative and not co-operative.
  • Have the students connect properly with videos and collages. Use Thinglink.
  • Build up more excitement around the unit, maybe connect with an artist.
  • Celebrate properly and authentically.
  • Support a charity this will help with an authentic purpose and celebration.

THE PLAN

After meeting Grace, we decided to have the students illustrate a book inspired by Graeme Base.

Before we begin, the students will create a collage, on their computers or iPads, which communicates information about themselves, their school and where they live. They will support this with a YouTube video which, will all be combined in Thinglink.

All collages will be shared on Padlet and Edmodo.

Processed with Snapseed.

R.Jardin

Earlier my students had a social media challenge to see how far they can spread their previous endangered animal art. This was the task they completed while they were waiting for New York to get back to school. This is a practise, before sharing their final book, which will raise funds for animals. It was also a great time to introduce positive digital footprints.

img_2895

Positive Digital Footprints

My students will try to contact Graeme Base and ask him some questions.

Together each group will  vote on: the animal, a verse, illuminated letter and then they will delegate jobs. The art will be combined and superimposed on the iPads. They will need to figure out how to make the collaboration work as they ALL need to be equally involved.

When we are looking at and using images we will discuss fair use and copyright. It will be important that photos are transformed and artwork is original, especially since we are publishing and selling the book.

THE CELEBRATION

When the work is complete we will publish the book and share it with Graeme Base, and a wider audience. A book launch or expo will happen just before the end of the semester to raise funds for endangered animals. The students have designed two large banners with their earlier manipulated, watercolour and charcoal drawings to help promote an awareness of endangered animals. These will also be used at the book launch.

CONNECTION TO COETAIL

I am very excited about this project because it is very authentic, the connections should be very exciting for the students, we will be using social media plus many of my discoveries and inspirations from COETAIL, such as, positive digital footprints, service with technology, collaborating globally, and publishing online. We will follow the Zen principles when putting the book together. This unit is completely inspired by SAMR.

Everything we are doing is impossible to achieve without technology.

I mentioned this project and the reasons behind it in my Learning2 talk at SSIS last weekend. “Redefining My Classroom with the 3Cs”

The collaboration is enriched because they are creating a book, the creation is meaningful because there is a worthwhile celebration.

This really is the goal of my final project for COETAIL!

UBD PLANNER

Course 4 Final Project- Collaboration, Communities and 21st Century Skills

I can’t believe it is time to start planning my course 5 final project! I feel like my journey is just beginning. My mind is spinning with possibilities, therefore I am not ready to be writing up a unit for Course 5 yet, so I am going to take option two for my project:

“In a blog post, describe a minimum of two or maximum of three options you have in mind for your Course 5 project.”

I began by going back over ALL my posts and documented everything that appealed to me that I felt I could take back to my art room.

CloudArt App

CloudArt App

I then re-read one of my sentences from my blog, which, completely inspired my thinking,

No one can deny, inquiry, creation, collaboration, technology integration, connectivity, environmental awareness, service, health, balance and the awareness of how to learn will all be very important for the school of the future.

The key word which really jumped out at me was BALANCE. It is a skill I lack certainly when I have final projects due at the same time as large art shows. My life is definitely not balanced right now. It got me thinking maybe I could become better with balancing my life and incorporate it into my teaching to help my students do the same. In fact, ALL of those key words are beneficial for my students. What if the unit I teach allows me to, restructure what I do in my classroom to provide balance for my students yet expose them to: inquiry, creation, collaboration, connectivity, service and an ability to learn how to learn by following the design process?

I would combine what I do well, with what I’d like to introduce, and then add what I’d like to get better at. I’ve decided for the BIG picture I’d like to restructure my class entirely beginning with the classroom layout. I have many projects that I am very, very happy with but, I also feel there are many areas for improvement, which would allow me to push “outside of the box”, in fact, outside the four walls of my classroom!

Robert Appino said, “You’ll want to think about how you’re moving towards redefinition. “

So that is where I began. To me redefinition is when your teaching has changed significantly, because without the use of technology the task would be inconceivable or impossible. One of the big areas mentioned at the redefinition level for a classroom is to connect and go beyond the walls, so that will be my BIG goal for course 5.

Overall, my greatest interests from COETAIL were:

  • Connect and collaborate
  • REMIX- Copy Transform and Combine
  • Positive Digital Footprints
  • Blended learning
  • PBL and CBL
  • Passion Projects
  • Authentic Audiences and global feedback
  • CARP and design skills
  • Digital storytelling
  • InfoGraphic posters

I know I can’t do it ALL, but I am going to try to mix and match, and BALANCE as many as I can for this unit. I know I want to collaborate for course 5 so I contacted a MS art teacher who I met at EARCOS. He seems interested in connecting. I will see how that goes before moving on to my PLN.

IDEA 1:

Note this is just an idea I’d have to really sit down and plan this out a lot more.

Grade 8: Remixing Art History. Creating An Arts Based Passion Project.

I was originally going to introduce the crushed can art, since that was such a success, and I know I can get amazing results from the students. I thought they could create a tutorial which would be shared with another school and then they’d create their art from the tutorial.

Since this would be my course 5 project, I wanted to push it further than that. Therefore, my changed thinking became: open up the task more to make it student-centered and follow the PBL model but still focus on Remix. I could introduce the unit with this very appropriate quote:

“It’s not where you take things from- it’s where you take them to.” Jean Luc-Godard

I would challenge the students to choose one (or more) famous artwork and Remix it using the iPads. This would be followed with an introduction to REMIX, Creative Commons and Fair Use.

Superimpose App

Superimpose App

I would also like them to share their art, which would be an introduction to Positive Digital footprints.

We would use social media that the students currently use, plus Creatubbles and Deviant Art. The students would be the right age to use this site and I think they’d love it. In the beginning I’d encourage them to add critiques, likes, and collect favourite images, basically use all the features of the site, in the hope their own interests would take over.

FINAL TASK

To remix 2 historical artworks by artists who were passionate about the same topic, and produce a final piece following your passion. Use your art to create a collaborative book which will raise funds for a charity of your choice.

Passion Project

I’d include some flipped learning where the students watch videos from Khan Academy and look at websites. They’d answer questions on a Google form as proof of learning the content, before moving on.

In class they’d review in small groups two artists they will be comparing. From the information gained at home, they will create an infographic poster demonstrating their understanding of the two artists. Inspired by this image:

flickr photo shared by coolinsights under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

They could teach what they have learnt to the other school that we are collaborating with. Or they could work on this with their buddy if the school had access to technology- they could brainstorm and share info on Padlet then design a poster together using Google draw or Google slides. They’d have to study the same two artists. This would be a great time to introduce CARP.

I’d introduce the design cycle and have the students begin the process by planning their time. Then they’d brainstorm and research. The final product will be completely open to each student’s interests. They will have to watch video tutorials, test materials, push ideas and create their own product. We’d have group critiques and maybe Skype with the other class who would be doing the same project. They could be put into buddy groups that help each other. Edmodo could be great for this.

R Jardin's Design Cycle

R Jardin’s Design Cycle

The other school would then remix and create their own art but will also receive feedback from our school. Or it could be a surprise. After they have evaluated their work using LifeCards or their choice of media (poster, video, presentation), each student works with their buddy to create a double page spread in a book which will be published and sold online with Lulu.com. The final product will be shared on Deviant Art and Creatubbles with an explanation of the task and a link to the book. Profits of the published book will go to a charity chosen by the students. They would also be responsible for book sales through social media.

flickr photo shared by Rosaura Ochoa under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Describe the project: What will your students do?

My students will learn about two historical artists. Create a new artwork (based on the concept of remix) of their choice, whilst following the design cycle, and PBL model. They will explore global communities and connect with “buddies” from another country. They will support and evaluate each other’s work. The final product will be a gorgeous book which will be sold to raise funds for a charity of their choice.

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

It will apply the PBL model, and some blended learning, my students would be connecting, collaborating and using technology in a variety of ways. Not only would they be responsible for their learning but the end result is an authentic product which can benefit others.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

My greatest focus would be to successfully collaborate by having more student input. Try to have the students work together more so there is a greater connection compared to my last collaboration. I’d be using technology to create an authentic audience for my students and show them that art can make a difference in the world. We would also address some key understandings: digital footprints, copyright, fair use, remix, the power of networks and connections.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

It is combining all my favourite parts and addressing balance. Since I use technology a lot already and have collaborated before this would be making me use completely different tools and push the boundaries. I want my final project to be transformative, not something that has been done before in my class.

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

It is not so much a concern, but a possible challenge would be the collaboration with another school. This is a large unit I’d imagine it would take a quarter. The other teacher would really need to support it and believe in it. I would also have to research better ways of communicating between countries. I could set up a wiki or use Edmodo. I know Padlet is a great brainstorming platform, and Google is awesome for collaboration, but there is so much more out there. I would need to create a “toolbox” for myself and research collaboration a little more thoroughly. Maybe even chat to Kim Cofino. A huge goal for me is to do this right. Document it and have an awesome, hands on model for others to use.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

PBL, and flipped learning would be new for me. Giving students more choice and control in the end product is also a shift. Being more on the side with less demonstrating is a change. In fact I think I’d try filming some of my demonstrations for this task so that it is truly like a flipped class. The whole unit is not flipped just small parts of it. Trying to be better with connecting to global communities is also very new.

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

The students would need to be open-minded, caring, responsive and sensitive to others, hard-working, committed, and passionate. They would need 21st Century skills such as an ability to research, blog, communicate, design, question, inquire, collaborate, reflect, and critique. The practical skills would vary depending on the task chosen however the students would need to know how to work in layers, manipulate images, how to create infographics and how to design a book page to a professional level not to mention an ability to follow the design cycle.  

IDEA 2a:

I am also keen to explore entrepreneurship (inspired by Kevin Honeycutt) and service through the use of technology. I have a few ideas for this one but the sites that have inspired my thinking are:

 Shapeways: pendant design with a 3D printer. Students can create and sell their work world-wide.

Storyjumper: write and illustrate a book. Have it printed and sell it.

Zazzle: print any art onto products. Students could promote and sell their art for profit and charity.

Spreadshirt: t-shirt printing but also onto items which can also be sold online.

Spoonflower: printing onto fabrics. I LOVE this idea because we could end with a fashion show.

YouTube Preview Image

My mind once again is racing with possibilities! My two favourite options are shapeways pendants and Spoonflower fabrics. I have a few ideas with these but I’m going to focus on Spoonflower.

flickr photo shared by arbyreed under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

One option is to take a unit I am already working on which is Printmaking Propaganda, it is a collaboration with Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. The students are studying Human Rights issues in Social Studies, they get into groups and work with a charity, following their areas of interest. For my unit I am teaching them about Propaganda. Rather than telling them they need to create a poster which would be layered onto a large graffiti wall, which was my first idea, I have opened up the task to be more of a challenge:

Propaganda Challenge

Propaganda Challenge R.Jardin

We analyzed the question, discussed what they needed to know and do to complete this task. They created their own plan, and are currently designing their prints. Their final work will be on display in an expo. I was actually very happy with this idea but, unfortunately, they don’t have much time because the expo is coming up in less than 4 weeks, so is the end of the year! They will have to work a lot at home on this.

Ideally I would like to have it at a different time of the year so there is more quality creation time. I would also love to see their prints uploaded onto Spoonflower, printed onto fabrics and have a fashion show. Whilst they are parading their art, there could be also be a digital story explaining what they learnt about the issue and how they and the community could help with this cause. The charities that were invited into speak at the beginning of the unit could be judges for the event or give participation prizes. There could be donation boxes or computers set up so people can buy the products online. The profits would go to their chosen charity from the panel. With time and proper planning and support this could be an incredible, and powerful unit.

One problem would be not all students take art so not every group would be represented. The show could just be a part of the expo so that everyone is involved. The whole unit could be evaluated using a choice of tools and then shared with the wider community. We could have a board collecting comments, likes and responses worldwide. This could wrap up the unit with a focus on the power of positive digital footprints.

IDEA 2b

My other idea, still using the fabric would be to create a canvas painting showing students from another country what is amazing about Vietnam. They would share stories and make comparisons. The final art would also be printed onto fabric both schools would have their own fashion parade and share via a video. They’d reflect on the process and share their learning on social media or they could turn their learning journey into a book. Again, sales could go to charity or it is printed and put into the library and art room as a keepsake/memento and kept private. NOTE: If we couldn’t do a fashion parade then we would use a green screen and create student movies to share.

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

It is introducing online communities, businesses and experts to the students. The students would use technology to transform, print and share their art. Some of the Propaganda learning would be flipped, students would be connecting to another school or other subjects, the structure would be very similar to the CBL or PBL models. The students would have an authentic audience and a proper, unique celebration. There would be opportunities for digital stories. This project would also be balancing some of my key takeaways from the course.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

I would like for my students to see that they can earn money by creating art. I’d like to expose them to a variety of stores whilst encouraging high quality art. I would like their learning to be truly authentic, student-centered and inspired. They would be transferring skills and knowledge and raising awareness either for human rights or promoting their “residential” country to an online audience. I hope this unit would transform and redefine my students learning and my teaching.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

For the same reasons stated above, I would not be able to do this without technology. It is a fabulous “tradigital” blend which really promotes the positives of daily technology use. It is pushing me to explore communities and businesses I have never heard of before. Yet, the skills required to create the art are still hands on, exploratory and traditional. I think it is really going beyond the four walls of my classroom which is a big goal of mine.

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

I think a concern or challenge could be cost, but I have already emailed the company and asked if they can do a deal for a class. Time can be an issue because they’d have to do the task plus design and outfit. We would get the outfit made at the tailor or have the student drape the fabric and still parade. If cost was an issue. Relying on a business, getting quick answers, having enough time to meet with the other teachers or if we were connecting with another class the Skype times and ways of staying in touch could be an issue. Their scheduling, class numbers and willingness and reliability to follow through could be an issue.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

Collaborating is still new to me. It would be designed following the PBL or CBL model. I’d be teaching a little more technology skills and include more awareness about digital footprints, safety online, and would try a little more of the flipped/blended learning model. Especially since time could be an issue, this could really support the learning. Even just for students to review key points.

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

My students would have to be hard-working, motivated, willing to connect and collaborate, excited by raising money and awareness for others. They’d develop printmaking or painting skills, plus, blogging, brainstorming, connecting, critiquing and collaborating online. They would need to be able to use the provided websites, learn design skills, how to promote with social media and possibly use green screen. 21st Century skills definitely would be needed.

I am actually happy with all of these ideas and might pursue some of them anyway, even if they don’t become my course 5 project. It really depends if I connect with another school, as to how flexible and in depth my final project will be. If I choose not to connect then I would definitely like to pursue a product of some sort, Deviant Art and look at the power of social media and I really want to redesign my classroom like a cafe. Exciting times in Studio A300!

Restructuring The ART Room- Through Balance and Breaks.

IMG_6926

Reflect On Your Own Use of Devices in The Classroom.

At first when I read this question I thought it was purely about what technology I use with the students. But after reading the articles it is more about the way I structure use of technology in the classroom maybe even balance it with no-technology sessions.

My room is definitely as Kevin Honeycutt says, “tradigital” (traditional skills blended with digital/technology skills). I use laptops every day in just about every class for a wide variety of tasks. Some of the tools and tasks I use with laptops are: research, idea generation, collation, note-taking, blogging, back channels (TodaysMeet), reflection, quizzes, Moodle, Google Docs, social media, Pages and Keynote, just to mention a few.

IMG_6562

I have also been using iPads daily for similar but different purposes. If you entered my classroom you’d often see students painting/drawing/sculpting with both an iPad and laptop open, maybe even their phones. We use them to: research, collect and post ideas, photograph, manipulate artwork, upload to online galleries, participate in social media, reflective tasks, movie making and stop motion videos. As I said it is definitely a “tradigital” class. Admittedly having an iPad cart has made all the difference.

The devices are mostly used for “ Communication and Content Creation”.

Common Sense Media states:

Studies have shown a link between heavy media use and issues such as obesity, lack of sleep, academic challenges, aggression, and other behavior difficulties.

The reality is that most families will go through periods of heavy and light media use, but, so long as there’s a balance, kids should be just fine.

That really is the key, BALANCE! Fortunately, in my classes my students are creating, moving around the room, and viewing art. My subject alone could be considered a “brain break” from technology and from classes where they have assigned seats. However, I have had issues more recently, with students being glued to their devices watching YouTube video clips, television series, messaging, and streaming sports (Passive consumption). During an art class when students are creating they might need their laptops for instructional videos, handouts, assessments on Moodle, and visual resources. I also let them play music if it is in a playlist in iTunes. Watching YouTube was never OK (unless it was instructional) but at some stage it has begun in my classes. I don’t even know when that transition began. I often wondered whether I should ban devices completely when “pure creation” is happening.

IMG_1168

The computer is not needed here.

I have personally found when they are watching anything on YouTube for pleasure they often forget to continue with their art. They get that glazed look which is when I usually wander over and take the computer away. It can definitely be a distraction. I have often explained to the students that, “I don’t mind devices being out, but when it stops the flow of your artwork then it is a problem”. All students WANT to be in my class and they love the tasks we do, but the distractions slow down the pace significantly and then there is a divide between those on devices and off.

I have been using technology a lot but do feel there should be complete breaks in between. The students get edgy when their devices aren’t out. When I saw the title of “The Amazing Power of Tech Breaks“, I thought it meant increasing no-laptop and device time in classes. However, when I actually read the article it was the opposite.

Larry Rosen said

“ If your brain keeps thinking about a text message you need to return, it’s better to send that text to get the nagging impulse out of your head. Once you stop thinking about sending that text, then you’ve literally freed up space in your brain to focus on more important things, like solving the global energy crisis or creating world peace. Or, just getting that research paper done.”

He is actually saying to give students time to message, get the basketball score, post on Facebook so that they can refocus on class. Liz Dwyer supports this by saying:

For every half-hour of focused work, he recommends allowing a 15-minute tech break. Once a student sees that nothing is happening on Facebook or send a friend that critical text message—they’re able to refocus.”

I think I want to stop the laptops from being music devices and have the old way of creating a playlist which all students hear through the class speakers. If the students aren’t using the laptop for a specific required task I’d like them closed. After a period of time I will trial the tech break and see if the students respect the rules more when they know they’ll get to use their computers at some point for pleasure. Maybe in the last 10mins of class could be a great way to reward focused and productive work. I wonder if doing it at the start would help? Or if there is something they need to respond to they will focus on that during my entire lesson. I love the idea but am not sure when to slot it in. If it was every 30mins it would be too disruptive in the creation process.

flickr photo shared by itonys under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

These articles also got me thinking about balance but in a different way. During EARCOS, Manila 2016, I heard Mike Kuczala talk about Kinesthetic learning and it was fascinating.

YouTube Preview Image

Kinesthetic learning is about providing brain breaks, increasing blood flow, focus, concentration and having fun through movement. This is completely opposite when sitting down for hours using computers! As I said earlier I am definitely a tradigital teacher. I do love to expose students to a multitude of apps and programs and love it when they come back and say, ” I am using … at home and this is what I created.” If students take away what I am teaching and apply it elsewhere, then I feel like I have done my job. However, I do also believe we shouldn’t be on devices ALL the time. PBL and PBC models could be fantastic with balancing that.

After attending a session with Mike Kuczala I really could see the benefit of movement in class, even the simple “preparing the brain tasks”. This video explains a little more about this.

YouTube Preview Image

Overall, I feel like I am doing well with the technology in my class but how am I doing with BALANCE, movement and brain breaks? Is my subject a brain break already? Should I introduce 10mins tech-break and see if anything changes? As the year is coming to an end I do want to sit down and think about how I’d like to structure my room based on everything I think I can apply from COETAIL. I need to make a pros and suggestions list for what is going well, what I’d like to try, including redesigning my whole classroom, and most importantly how I will balance it all? If I can figure this out maybe it would be a great Ted Talk for Learning2 at SSIS!  

Making a Change For the Future

flickr photo shared by rAmmoRRison under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

This week’s question is: “Will education as we know it change because of technology?”

Of course it should but WILL it?

Maybe we should be thinking how should schools change to keep up with technology?

The traditional chalk and talk style of education has been slowly changing especially with programs like the PYP, Makerspace and with the push for SAMR and technology integration but change is incredibly slow. We are still working in traditional 4 walled classrooms. Students are still sitting MAP, WRAP, and SATs. High schools are focusing on “traditional academics” and are still aiming purely for getting students into the “top” universities, even though those opportunities and demands will be changing. Especially with the introduction of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

YouTube Preview Image

I believe not only what and how we teach should change but the very spaces we work in. The spaces should be welcoming, light and airy with moveable walls, couches, carpets, areas for construction and collaboration, not to mention exceptionally strong, reliable and speedy wifi.  As  Prakash Nair states:    

“The classroom is a relic, left over from the Industrial Revolution, which required a large workforce with very basic skills. Classroom-based education lags far behind when measured against its ability to deliver the creative and agile workforce that the 21st century demands.”

Not only the spaces need to change but the content, structure, testing and timetabling need to change. Prakash Nair also states:

“The following is a fairly universal list of education design principles for tomorrow’s schools, though it would be tailored to the needs of particular communities: (1) personalized; (2) safe and secure; (3) inquiry-based; (4) student-directed; (5) collaborative; (6) interdisciplinary; (7) rigorous and hands-on; (8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations; (9) environmentally conscious; (10) offering strong connections to the local community and business; (11) globally networked; and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning.”

Based on this summary, today’s classrooms should be “learning studios” where a combination of PBL, flipped learning, PBC, collaboration, inquiry and connection occurs. Technology has opened up the classroom to a wealth of brilliant resources. The key is about learning how: to learn, find and follow passions, be open to making mistakes and most importantly know how to find the information, analyze information and connect to others to build on that knowledge and experience.

In my own school it is in ES where you are seeing true change as they are embracing the Makerspace, coding, collaboration and inquiry. It is a very exciting place to be for teachers and students. I am slightly jealous!

Soon those students will be joining us in middle school which has me wondering how can we embrace and build on their knowledge, skills and curiosity?  We have one technology teacher but I have never been asked to collaborate or connect and have no idea what he is doing in his room. As an art teacher I would love to be involved with this. 

I think schools should encourage students to have a say in their education. It should be self-paced, student centered. Technology allows us to record videos, create forums and opens up all kinds of public feedback and global collaboration and connection.

 YouTube Preview Image

“Research indicates that, at every age level, people take their writing more seriously when it will be evaluated by peers than when it is to be judged by teachers.” 

THE CHRONICLE REVIEW

This brings us back to the importance of authentic audiences. Not only is Connectivism great for getting answers and opinions but it is also fantastic for sharing, showcasing and receiving authentic unbiased opinions worldwide.

  • Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains. The tools we use define and shape our thinking.
  • Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).
  • Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today.
  • As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.                                                             Elearnspace

IMG_6861

I am fortunate to be in a school that is slowly transforming into an Apple school. We have brilliant tech support, I work with one of the most knowledgeable and passionate IT coordinators, Robert Appino. I have an iPad cart and the way I teach and integrate technology has really changed for me significantly. I am astounded by what the students can achieve. I have connected to a school in New York and a school in China, without technology this would not be possible. So what is next?

I would like to incorporate a semi-flipped model, set up my room differently with couches, coloured walls, plants and make it a space where students like to hangout, play and experiment in a safe environment all the time. I am keen to introduce personal projects. I would love to see a Makerspace open in middle school. If our school keeps embracing and supporting technology then I’d like to stay for another 5 years. They are already making us redefine our units with SAMR so I think they are heading in the right direction.

I would love to use technology to raise money for charities so that my students can see that art can heal. We can do this by publishing and selling ebooks, printing our art on fabric and making/selling clothes. I want my students to see the world is their oyster and through technology and connectivity they can build any business and really make an impact in society. Art can be so much more than the “traditional classroom”; who needs walls?

In 10 years the dream would be to work for a “future” school. One that has really embraced technology, values the importance of creativity and arts integration, allows students to use social media and devices in class, is open to new initiatives, has knocked down the walls for open spaces with funky furniture, collaborates, and gives opportunities for student input. Encourages passion projects, allows time and space for students to think, offers a balanced and integrated education. Ideally the visual arts would be celebrated but not assessed traditionally.

I always thought I’d open my own art school but I never saw technology as a part of that. If I ended up in a place like my 10 year dream then I think it would be hard to leave. Of course in 10 years the technology is incomprehensible. Some of the things in this video already exist.

YouTube Preview Image

I would love to have some of those small projectors in my room so that we can bounce multiple student work and videos at the same time. It would be brilliant to have them in my exhibitions too because so many of my classes are infused with technology which I want to share.

We have no way of predicting what the future will look like. However, watching these kind of videos, the concepts really don’t seem so far fetched. I do think we will have desks which are tablets, multiple screens/projections and hologram phones. We have been exposed to many of these things in the movies, but really our future could be heading that way. I remember when I was in university (1991) and we had a guest speaker who told us about books which will be digital, phones that were computers, headphones which won’t need to be plugged in. At that time we all were blown away and generally thought “NO WAY” but it has all happened now. Nothing is impossible.

So what is the possible future of schools?

YouTube Preview Image

This is scary but also super exciting. However, despite all of these changes I still think the previously mentioned, “Universal list of education design principles for tomorrow’s schools” is spot on.

It doesn’t matter what devices we are using. No one can deny inquiry, creation, collaboration, technology integration for every subject, connectivity, environmental awareness, service, physical health, balance in education, interdisciplinary education, learning how to learn, and embracing life-long learning will definitely be essential for the future.

The teacher will always be the facilitator, the guide on the side, the personal face to face experience will never be replaced with robots. Maybe they will work with robots and students but they will never be replaced!

Flipping The Art Room

flickr photo shared by AJC ajcann.wordpress.com under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Flipped learning is a term I have heard of, but more recently last year because I worked opposite a very passionate science teacher who flipped her room. She was experimenting with and presenting about flipped learning. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend her sessions. I knew I had missed a great opportunity. Therefore, my learning is beginning now with COETAIL, but she is why I chose “flipped learning” over play and game-based learning for this post.

What Is a Flipped Classroom?

It is basically when teachers provide the content/lectures/videos for the students to watch at home, and then class time is used for creation, collaboration, discussion, research and applying the content. Some of the following benefits stated by Jackie Gerstein really connected with me:

  • The advantage of the flipped classroom is that the content, often the theoretical/lecture-based component of the lesson, becomes more easily accessed and controlled by the learner.
  • It allows students with multiple learning styles and abilities to learn at their own pace and through traditional models.
  • One of the major, evidenced-based advantages of the use of video is that learners have control over the media with the ability to review parts that are misunderstood, which need further reinforcement, and/or those parts that are of particular interest.

Personally, when I was a student I would have really benefitted from these videos and learning content  at home. If the tasks were engaging, challenging but non-threatening I would have done so much better at school. 

This is a great video explaining why Katie Gimbar flipped her room.

YouTube Preview Image

The Cycle For a Flipped Class

I had no idea there was an official cycle for the flipped classroom. As I am a visual person, it makes so much more sense now. Basically, the teacher provides an engaging hook to make students want to learn. This hook could be a challenge, game, or project.

With their new found passion and interest the students will be motivated to learn in their own time through online methods such as videos, lectures, podcasts. Then they can blog, reflect, create, and apply, to build on what they know.

The final step would be a demonstration, project or presentation. Teaching, presenting or creating a project makes student learning authentic and provides an audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aGuLuipTwg

Benefits Of Flipping My Room

As my classroom is very project-based and hands on the students are very motivated to be there. Usually they blog about their learning and share their work through expos, teaching others, or hosting an exhibition. I feel like I am addressing some of the cycle already so the transition would not be that difficult. I would need to organize my content more thoroughly and have the resources ready for homework. My planning would have to change.

“Good teaching, regardless of discipline, should always limit passive transfer of knowledge in class, and promote learning environments built on the tenants of inquiry, collaboration and critical thinking.”     Ramsey Musallam

I completely agree with this quote and have no problems including inquiry, collaboration and critical thinking in my art room. Students need to inquire, experiment, push their ideas, work together and problem solve. However, if content such as art history, and basic skill development were learnt at home then I could see there being more class time for creation. Which students want, and art teachers always struggle with. I rarely have time to teach art history which I always feel bad about because it is also important.

Sometimes my introduction lessons take a whole lesson. By the time I have gone through the presentation, had discussions and allowed the students to research, the lesson is gone. This part of the learning is very important but if it could be done at home then my students could come in and get straight to the creation and critiquing.

Here are some great infographics for implementing the flipped classroom: https://www.pinterest.com/MrGuysArtroom/art-flipped-classroom/

Concerns About Flipping My Room

  • As my subject is an elective it is important the students enjoy the class are engaged but don’t feel like there is too much work to do at home, otherwise they will choose the subject that doesn’t set homework.
  • Students often complain about homework from all their other subjects so I try to make mine fun by setting a creative art challenge or a free draw. Most students have been very enthusiastic about the homework but not all of them complete it. Many of my students go to schools, clubs and tutors after school so I don’t want to burden them with too much work to do at home.
  • Would key content be missed if they had internet issues? I used to work in Ghana, power was an ongoing issue. Giving this kind of work to do would have increased the gap between students with generators and those without.
  • Would my students feel like they always had to catch up?

However, for those who take their work seriously, I can definitely see being able to play back videos and take notes in their own time a great benefit. I know a flipped classroom is not just videos but it is a great deal of organizing and planning with more videos than what I already create. This video by Katie Gimbar answers one of my main concerns.

YouTube Preview Image

Time to create the videos would be another concern.

“Those who have adopted the Flipped Classroom generally create at least three videos a week. These videos usually are around five to ten minutes.” Incredibleart.org

It takes a while to create videos. Three a week seems like a lot to me. I thought I’d look into what other art teachers are doing and found this video:

YouTube Preview Image

 

I would not mind trying a flipped classroom model, but I still think getting a 100% participation at home could be challenging. However, if tasks were fun, engaging and if the students want to know the content so that they can participate in the class tasks, it might motivate them to put time in at home. It would also give a chance for those who saw the video to explain what they know. We learn so much more when we have to reteach!

This video is a brilliant introduction for her students. I want to be a student in that class!

YouTube Preview Image

 

This course, The Art of Ed-Flipping the Art Room looks awesome too. I have taken one of their courses before and it was excellent. I can’t take it right now because of COETAIL, but I’ll add it to my “list”. The takeaways from the course would be:

  • Plan and prepare to flip a unit or lesson that you’re currently teaching.
  • Successfully record video tutorials and create handouts to assist in your instructional delivery.
  • Develop an engaging online platform for student viewing.
  • Create powerful assessments to accompany your flipped unit or lessons.
  • Empower your students to use technology as an effective learning tool.

I could try to do this on my own with my next unit but how do I make that first class so engaging that all my students will want to go home and watch the videos, use the websites and be in charge of their own learning?

Resources

Whilst researching art education and the flipped classroom I found these interesting Resources:

Flipping the Visual Arts Class  – A HS teacher has some clear steps which could be easy to recreate.

Flipping the Class Without Flipping Out – This is a great step by step explanation from an art history teacher point of view.

Mollye Crowell’s Flipped Pinterest Board– Has great videos, infographics and a variety of awesome ideas for flipping your room.

Artspop wrote about the flipped classroom in the visual arts and stated:

“As a consequence, students take more responsibility for their own learning and are guided by the teacher. It also allows teachers to spend class time focusing on students’ learning and understanding rather than delivering content as one-way instructional activity. It requires careful organization by teachers, but the resources can be archived and used more than once.

Students who miss lessons can easily capture content in their own time. It does not mean students spend their lessons staring at a computer screen, working in isolation or completing the equivalent of an online course with limited guidance or support.”

Interestingly, Shelley Wright says the same thing about “students take more responsibility for their own learning” but the article is about why she doesn’t flip anymore. When I read this article I can’t help thinking YES, that is so true.

“When students own their learning, then deep, authentic, transformative things happen in a classroom. It has nothing to do with videos, or homework, or the latest fad in education. It has everything to do with who owns the learning. For me, the question really is: who owns the learning in your classroom?”

After my research I think I want to put the learning entirely on the students. We could begin with a flipped model but then have them find and use their own resources. They don’t need to hear me speaking about art history when they can access other incredible resources. Maybe I should try a half flip and PBL blend. Then as Shelley Wright did, ask the students what they thought, how they learnt, and what do they need from me now? I would like to give my students the opportunity to view the videos and learn at home but make it flexible. Those who don’t view them will be able to view them in class while others are creating. I am excited by the possibility of a flipped classroom giving more time for creation, collaboration and inquiry whilst having my students completely OWN their learning.

The Benefits of Real Life Inquiry- PBL & CBL

flickr photo shared by San José Library under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Authentic learning through real-world ideas, group work, multidisciplinary knowledge, problem solving, creativity, evaluation and presentation, are what I understand to be the elements of the following:

  • Project Based Learning (PBL),
  • Problem Based Learning (PBL) and
  • Challenge Based Learning (CBL)

Interestingly, these methods seem to take some of their key elements directly from an art room, but I still have a long way to go to bring these into MY room.

What is Problem Based Learning, Project Based Learning and Challenge Based Learning?

Problem Based Learning  is when the students build on what they already know by researching answers to an open ended question. To do this successfully they need to figure out what they need to know, how to access the information and work towards answering the question. It is completely student-centered.

Here is a fabulous quick explanation of Project Based Learning:

YouTube Preview Image

Project Based Learning is a teaching strategy where students own their learning, through inquiry, into an engaging question or challenge. The key elements have been brilliantly summarized by BIE (The Buck Institute For Education): 

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

This is a great video showing the process in action. Note how many teachers are involved.

YouTube Preview Image

Challenge Based Learning is also similar to the previous two methods however it is completely collaborative between teachers, students and experts around the world.

A big difference with challenge based learning is that they need to reflect regularly and share their thoughts and final product publicly. It also focuses on an “idea of global importance”.

CBL is a collaborative learning experience in which teachers and students work together to learn about compelling issues, propose solutions to real problems, and take action. The approach asks students to reflect on their learning and the impact of their actions, and publish their solutions to a worldwide audience.” Wikipedia

YouTube Preview Image

In the Art Room

After watching a few videos and looking for examples from the art room, I have realized for this to be a success, I would need to definitely work collaboratively with others. I can see a huge amount of potential for PBL and CBL in the art room.

There are many things I do already in my class which is similar to a certain extent, but I am missing the real-world problem (idea of global importance), group work and multidisciplinary knowledge, and there could be more guiding questions.

One of my most current, successful projects, was my grade 8 chair sculpture unit. The students were exceptionally engaged because they created their own plan, and taught themselves the required skills. They were completely in charge of their learning, in fact, the best thing I could do for them was to move away and just observe. We did give peer and group feedback and they answered questions collaboratively.

Last Friday, they just finished their chairs, we are exhibiting them this Friday and having an artist party. Even though this was an individual task the students did meet many of the PBL elements:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – learnt about the elements of sculpture, the design process, sculptural skills. They applied critical thinking/problem solving skills, collaboration occurred with peer feedback and input, and they certainly self-managed the entire task.  
  • Challenging Problem or Question – How can you turn this simple chair into a sculpture which is interesting from all angles and applies a minimum of four elements of sculpture?
  • Sustained Inquiry – Students had to research: the elements of sculpture, possible themes, techniques, and different types of sculpture.
  • Authenticity – The project did not feature real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – however, it definitely did speak to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice – Students made many decisions about the project, including how they worked, their timeline, what they created on the chair and how they shared their learning.
  • Reflection – Students reflected using ComicBook, Pic Collage and Pages. They created posters which will be on display with their chair. Reflections were uploaded on their blogs too.
  • Critique & Revision – Students provided, received, and used feedback to improve their process and product.
  • Public Product Students made their project public by displaying and presenting it to people beyond the classroom. They used Artsonia, social media and held an exhibition.

IMG_9694

If I was to incorporate PBL/CBL properly, I would definitely struggle with coming up with real-world problems that truly inspire the students. However, when I attended EARCOS 2016, one of the best speakers was, Kevin Honeycutt , he was very passionate about authentic projects for students. His website is crazy to navigate, but I did find this page, which is so relevant to my post: LifePracticePBL. This is exactly what I need; tips, tricks and ideas for PBL in the art room. Then, I’d have to get a group of teachers together to support this, as I am definitely not comfortable with Math and Science. However, maybe that could be a benefit because I could say, “I don’t know, how could we find out?”.

To be a genuine PBL experience the task would have to be real-world, challenging, collaborative and multidisciplinary.

I do find this method a little scary because it really can go in any direction, the results would be out of my control, especially when it comes to skill development. I am sure many teachers would feel this way because as Connie Weber summarizes:

For the teacher, there’s this giant letting go. Now, that requires some effort. I can see it in my mind — it’s me walking away, turning my back, going somewhere else, not allowing myself to hover. It’s me communicating, ‘I’m at your service,’ and, ‘May the force be with you.’ It’s me utterly and totally handing over the reins, come what may. The project is theirs.

I did find this online course, Project Based Learning In The Arts which sounds very interesting. I would love to do it but not until COETAIL is complete. So why would I like to pursue PBL and CBL in my art room? As BIE states:

Once teachers feel comfortable with PBL, they usually find teaching with projects to be more fulfilling and enjoyable. PBL is a way of working with students as they discover more about themselves and the world, and that brings job satisfaction. 

Who doesn’t want to increase their job satisfaction, and engagement of their students, whilst creating incredible things you never thought were possible in your classroom? I would love to try this next year.

 

Rocking My World With SAMR

IMG_2141

What is TECHNOLOGY Integration?

Technology integration is the use of technology resources — computers, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, digital cameras, social media platforms and networks, software applications, the Internet, etc. — in daily classroom practices.” https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

Technology integration is not just the use of technology tools, it’s how we incorporate them into our classes. Students have to be confident, so that they can successfully choose their OWN tools (seamless integration). As teachers, we should never assume they know how to do it. I have been at fault with this many times. I assume they know how to compose photos, insert galleries, and create videos.

The more I have been using technology the more I have been seeing how little the students actually know. I tend to take for granted that students born to the digital age “know everything or will find things out in seconds” however, they do not!

Student Sample Pic Collage

A sample of Pic Collage when all design skills have been forgotten! 

Since being in COETAIL I have noticed how little the students actually know about:

  • Digital footprints
  • Online safety
  • Design skills
  • Fair use and Creative Commons

Even the knowledge of a variety of tools they can use to research, create, communicate and connect is limited. I have found they tend to use the tools they are comfortable with rather than try and learn new ones. Even if the tools they know are not necessarily the best option for the task. I am still seeing fast slideshows, crazy, dizzying transitions, distracting cursors on blogs, cluttered blogs, flashy distracting visuals and sounds, and jumpy stop motions. Yes, the students are being exposed to technology in a variety of classes but how often are teachers actually guiding the students through the process?

Not to mention modeling to the students with their OWN blogs, podcasts, videos and slideshows.

These thoughts were particularly inspired by this quote:

Seamless integration is when students are not only using technology daily, but have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provide them the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content.https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description

I do believe at SSIS since Kim Cofino came to the school and introduced the SAMR model that people have really been trying to incorporate technology. I do think it is being used daily (the fight for our limited iPad stands is evidence of that) but is it seamless and really building a deeper understanding of content?

I do strongly believe we should all be technology teachers and it should be embedded into our curriculum. However, one problem I have seen is the students often don’t transfer skills.

For example:

  • My husband knew I was using the iPads for digital art- mashing text, photography and using layers. He is an English teacher, and has no experience with these apps. The students were given a choice of apps, or laptops to create a visual for a poem. This would have been a brilliant collaboration but was not possible because of timetabling. I was disappointed to see instead of using what they knew from art, they mostly took images from the Internet. Some students used Google Draw. The results were ok but it could have been so much more creative, challenging and rewarding.
  • We recently had student led conferences, where the students were required to create an ongoing blog post with me. I showed them how to insert galleries, single images and slideshows. When they began my new unit I asked them to insert a gallery of 6 images. Most of them did it incorrectly so I had to reteach them. To get the results, I am finding I am teaching the technology skills more often. Therefore, the skills didn’t even transfer from unit to unit!
  • Sometimes I use the iPads because I want quick effective results but the end result was lacking the professional element because I didn’t remind the students of the elements of design.

The more I embed technology, the more I am I needing to teach technology!  This seems to connect very well to the TPACK model.

Tpack

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tpack.jpg

Time is often an issue when I am also juggling the art/design cycle, art history, reflection and art skills. I do use technology all the time, but I feel it could be even more advanced. Especially, when I watched some of the videos on The Matrix. It was really interesting to see how other teachers were redefining their rooms with technology, for example: Poetry with Podcasts.

I thought I was on track with redefinition of technology but after watching the videos I realized, there is so much MORE I can be doing! I need to be more familiar with other tools such as Podcasting, Wikis, Digital storytelling to open the choices for students. In fact, I should use them myself.

Pushing the use of technology in “unconventional” ways really appeals to me.

I do feel like I don’t know enough. I love attending technology conferences but I found recently at L2, Manila and VTC, Hanoi it was more about pedagogy and great ideas and not as much hands on. The sessions that were hands on were definitely my favourites. They are saying students need to create but at these conferences I don’t feel there is enough creation to inspire teachers to take it back to their classes. Especially at VTC, Hanoi this year. Even though both conferences are brilliant and I would still highly recommend them!

A Great Explanation of SAMR

Here is a fabulous summary of what I have been trying to do in my class since I attended Kim Cofino’s workshop this year.

How Have I been Integrating/Embedding Technology in the Art Room?

I have been documenting my use of technology on my blog:

Mrs Jardin's Art Room

Ever since I attended Kim Cofino’s workshop at SSIS, I have been thinking a great deal about redefining my classroom with technology. Once again, I thought I was on track because I had been using technology in a way that changed how my students viewed and shared their art. However, I actually learnt:

The key to redefining was the ability to connect and collaborate, which also gives an authentic audience to the students.

So I made this my goal three times this year and I am still figuring it out! Previously, I have used technology for research, brainstorming, concept development, abstraction, analysis, presentation, reflection, and sharing. Here are some samples:

Concept Development (Stocking sculpture)


My grade 7 students created stocking sculptures. First, they made the sculpture and then let the form of the sculpture inspire their colour choices and design. The task was completely open to the students to interpret. They had to draw their sculpture from observation three times in their sketchbooks and plan their design (traditional drawing, colouring skills) but they also had to photograph their sculpture, put it into Megaphoto and then draw their ideas in Procreate. The videos were embedded onto their blogs. The favourite design was then painted onto their actual sculpture. The process was reflected upon in LifeCards and ComicBook. The last task was to turn their sculpture into a stop motion.

By Alina

IMG_2509

I was really proud of this unit because it certainly has technology throughout the whole process. The students were exceptionally engaged. The learning is way beyond what it would have been if I didn’t have access to technology. Originally, I would have thought this was the REDEFINING part of SAMR but it isn’t! I learnt that the students had to collaborate world-wide for it to be authentic.

So how could I do this? My students could have shared their process to another school and the school built their own sculptures. They could have created a Wiki where both schools added their sculptures, reflections and videos. Maybe the videos could be added together to create a longer collaborative film. They could film a how to paint/sketch video have it played in ES art class and they apply the skills to their own art.

Research (Global issues)

For this task the students took a screenshot from Google Earth of their home country. Then we manipulated the image in Art Rage and Megaphoto. The final concept was traced onto canvas and painted using traditional paint skills. The students were then required to research global issues in their country. The key words were superimposed and merged with their final painting. The work was shared on Twitter, Facebook and Artsonia.

Again without the authentic audience beyond our school this isn’t quite redefinition either. Maybe they could have Skyped/interviewed a professional about global issues in their country. Communicated their concerns to a newspaper. Sent their work to a large GIN (Global Issues Network) Conference.

 Abstraction (Animal Eye)

The students began with a traditional task of drawing an animal eye. The focus was tone, texture and colour. They gave each other feedback using a traditional method on paper this was then summarized in Lifecards and shared. Once the eye was complete the students reflected upon their results using Visual Poetry and Tellagami. Normally, this would be the end of the task but we decided to push the learning further by abstracting the art with Megaphoto, printing it and cutting it up to make a relief sculpture. Now we were discussing traditional skills connected to design, movement, focal point and sculpture!

This work was shard on Creatubbles and commented on by another class in New York.

Creatubbles

I would normally have created the animal eyes and that was it. However, this unit I taught after attending Kim Cofino’s workshop. I believe because it connects to another class it IS Redefinition. In fact people are still bubbling and liking the work even though it was completed two quarters ago.

On my blog you can see where we have used 30Hands, Explain Everything and Skitch to analyze student work and work of others. These have been  fabulous tools because they are easy to use, quick and more importantly easy to share. We have used Pic Collage, Comic Book and sketchbook Pro to present work in an interesting way. For reflection my students often get a choice of tools from: Google Slides, Prezi, apps, Pinterest, Creatubbles, iBook Author which all can be emailed, embedded and commented upon. All work is shared on Facebook and Artsonia. I have also encouraged my students to put it on any social media they use.

Artsonia

ARTSONIA

Artsonia Comments

Pushing it further- Connecting and Collaborating

Still inspired by Kim Cofino I decided to truly redefine my art room so pushed one of my other passions (other than iPads), COLLABORATION. This was actually the end result of my Course Two final project. I had huge issues connecting with willing art teachers but in the end it worked out brilliantly! Even though I feel there are areas to improve it was still a huge success. You can see more about this project here.

New York to Vietnam

We filled out surveys and swapped photos.

We filled out surveys and swapped photos.

We then learnt four techniques to REMIX the photo. The art work was sent back to the school with letters explaining what we did.

Then we used the iPads to create digital art of the second student. Words describing the student had to be included.

Meanwhile, in New York they were doing the same thing to our photos.

My students LOVED seeing these photos of the students at work. Next time, I would like to figure out a better way the students could communicate. Since it was New York the time difference was an issue. The students didn’t use email so it was a little tricky.

The students from New York also sent letters to our students. The whole unit was completed with a final response to the art work. The students from New York recorded videos and my students had a choice of video, Comic Book, and Life Cards.

I have another collaboration starting after the spring break with a school in China. An obvious difficulty is connecting the students because they don’t have a VPN. Almost everything we use on the Internet is banned. We might have to do traditional letter writing. The school has already sent their artwork.

IMG_9399

We need to create ours and send it to them. Then both groups are turning the drawings into sculptures. We will try to Skype because I feel the connection between students is crucial for a proper authentic experience. I would love for my students to try GreenScreen and create videos for the other school but I have no idea how they can view them if You Tube is blocked.

How Can I Improve?

I am always learning and always pushing the boundaries when it comes to incorporating technology and collaborating in the art room. I have a better understanding of SAMR but also realize it is actually very time-consuming redefining, connecting and collaborating overseas. This is something in future I will try to do once a quarter, yet will continue to include technology daily and look for awesome ways of sharing student work. I still love having an authentic audience for my students because they work so hard and deserve it!

What would I do differently when I collaborate again?

IMG_8838

  • Be more vigilant with timelines, planning and communication with the teacher involved. There were many times I sent emails and had no response for weeks. The photos of the students woking didn’t come until the end so I had no idea if they were even doing the task.
  • I would like to figure out a better way to have my students communicate. They love meeting new people and would have loved to ask questions but since they didn’t have student emails I didn’t know how to do this. I want my students to have more of a bond to the students they are working with.
  • I felt our task was more co-operative than collaborative. Maybe they could create art that comes together to create one piece. But this is a lot more complicated to plan. I would like the classes to need each other a little more.
  • Perhaps all the pieces could come together to create a book, movie, documentary about the schools and the experience. A bigger final product. If you have any suggestions I am keen to hear them.

Overall, I have seen the benefits of connecting to others as the students take their work very seriously. Using technology in my room is definitely a daily occurrence, but the traditional art skills are still being taught. My students are often working with laptops, iPads and phones as they are ALL tools. They have not taken away from my role as the facilitator and will never replace the messy, hands on creation that students love!

Technology is not an end result it is a part of the cycle of learning, and should be used seamlessly throughout the entire process.

It opens up doors and authenticates what we achieve in the art room. Discovering SAMR and TPACK has changed my entire thought process about my art curriculum. How has SAMR rocked your world?

flickr photo shared by langwitches under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license