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Web 2.0 and NETS-S (u05a2)

Posted by: cassielyn3581 | April 17, 2010 | 1 Comment |

The wide variety of unique Web 2.0 applications available today provide ample opportunity for students to meet The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S) through active and reflective learning. In this week’s coursework, we have explored multiple Web 2.0 applications that encourage students to virtually communicate, collaborate, and publish their work. While it’s exciting to browse through these tools with all their bells and whistles, it’s important to stay focused on why we are choosing to incorporate the tools. As educators, our goal is to prepare our students for their future. Therefore, the use of these tools must always tie back into the skills we are looking to encourage. I also believe that successful classroom implementation of these tools will depend largely on the learning strategies with which they are used. Instruction still should be differentiated to match students’ interests, readiness, and learning profiles.

Listed below are a few Web 2.0 tools I explored further this week. Included in the descriptions are potential NETS-S standards that can be addressed through the use of each tool.

Communication: Edmodo

I am intrigued by Edmodo as a means of extending my communication with students outside of the classroom. I like that there are features embedded, like file sharing, polls, and assignments; this way I can keep our work within one platform. I could see students posting digital photos and artwork and commenting on it, sharing art video and news links, and taking quick informal assessments with the polls feature.

NETS addressed:

#2 Communication and Collaboration

#5 Digital Citizenship

#6 Technology Operations and Concepts

* Note: I think ning would provide similar features, but would be more difficult to implement because of its marketing as a social networking tool. Even though Edmodo provides many of the same features, it’s clearly marketed towards education, making it easier for wary administrators to see the benefits.

Collaboration: Diigo

I really didn’t think about the classroom potential of social bookmarking until we started to use this site for our group project. Previously, I just thought it was a good way to access your favorites from multiple computers. While that is definitely true, I’ve learned that Diigo is also useful in evaluating and annotating what makes a particular site useful or interesting. I read somewhere – and forgive me, I don’t remember where it was – that it’s useful to assign group roles when using this tool in the classroom. For instance, group members can each collect, evaluate, extend, and organize the content. I think that’s a great idea, especially when engaging in research projects. For my students, I would probably start a set of links and have them develop the list further, so they could visualize how the tool can be used. I think I will work on organizing my own favorites in Diigo over the summer, so I can become more fluent myself!

NETS addressed:

3. Research and Information Fluency

Publishing: VoiceThread

I have already blogged about the potential value of VoiceThread in the art room here and here. However, I have yet to try it out… more due to schedule than anything else. This week I took the time once again to browse the features and examples, and once again I’m really excited to test the waters. I’m including it in my list this week with the resolve to dive in and get started.

NETS addressed:

1. Creativity and Innovation

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

References

ISTE (2007). NETS for Students 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForStudents/2007Standards/NETS_for_Students_2007.htm

under: EDIM 502

Exploring Project Based Learning (u01a1)

Posted by: cassielyn3581 | March 20, 2010 | No Comment |

I was inspired in my exploration of PBL principles for this first assignment. I’ve had the suspicion for a little while now that there was something missing in the projects that I currently teach. I would like the work to engage everyone, not just those who are already confident in their art skills or interested in the topic or media of the moment. I would also like the work to feel more authentic for my students. In researching project-based learning, I realized how this approach fills these gaps. I want to try this method to demonstrate the relevance of the arts to students in communicating, collaborating, creating, and contributing to the global society of the 21st century.

In the three case studies, there were definite commonalities in the approach to learning. I think the most obvious characteristic was that all three projects were inquiry driven by students. Rather than passively learning information, they were given a challenge, and they questioned, explored, and implemented the strategies needed to meet that challenge. Another key component in all projects was the authenticity in the design of the work. Even in the hypothetical school building project (Armstrong, 2002), students were completing a real-world job with real-world tools, processes, and assessment. One final main ingredient I found in all three examples was that project-based learning builds strong relationships through communication and collaboration.

I believe that relationships are a critical factor in the success of PBL. In particular, I noticed the emphasis on guidance and support in the student-teacher relationship. This is a shift in focus from the traditional top-down approach to schooling, where the teacher holds the information and makes the decisions. Trust and flexibility are necessary tools to facilitate this changing relationship. Students need to trust that teachers will guide them to meet their goals through the use of ongoing assessment. Teachers must be flexible in adapting the curriculum standards to fit the interests of the students through the parameters of the project.

Project learning also builds peer relationships among students. I think these learning outcomes are much more meaningful than in typical independent or group work. I was most impressed by the fact that students were expected to build successful working relationships with one another in order to accomplish their goals. In the classroom, I often say, “you don’t have to like everyone you work with, but you do need to respect one another to be productive.” This is such an important skill! While it may provide short-term peace, the separation of arguing group members or the allowance of worker bees and slacker bees as partners will not provide our students with the tools they need to build successful working relationships in the future. I feel it’s our job as educators to prepare our students for their future careers, and we owe them our guidance in learning these important social skills.

Based on these examples of PBL, students are more engaged in the work because they are challenged to develop active solutions to authentic problems. The work is hands-on and students must apply what they know and learn what they don’t know to meet their goals. As a visual learner, I’ve always been great at memorization. However, the more I learn, the more I realize that everything I’ve memorized I have also forgotten quickly. Project learning is a viable way for students to acquire and transfer knowledge because they are challenged to learn actively by doing, not passively by memorization. I am excited to incorporate this strategy into my classroom so my students can experience the passion that comes from using art to create, communicate, collaborate, and contribute to society.

References:

Armstrong, S. (2002, February 11). Geometry Students Angle into Architecture Through Project Learning. Edutopia. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from http://www.edutopia.org/geometry-real-world-students-architects

Curtis, D. (2001, October 1). More Fun Than a Barrel of . . . Worms?! Edutopia. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from http://www.edutopia.org/more-fun-barrel-worms

Curtis, D. (2002, June 6). March of the Monarchs: Students Follow the Butterflies’ Migration. Edutopia. Retrieved March 20, 2010, from http://www.edutopia.org/march-monarchs

under: EDIM 502

Reflection: Virtual Field Trip in Google Earth

Posted by: cassielyn3581 | August 8, 2009 | No Comment |

Talk about the instructional goals of your virtual field trip and comment on how your project provides students the opportunity to develop their respectful and ethical minds. Also, upload or link your Google Earth project (kmz file) within your reflection blog post.

In this project we were charged with the task of creating a virtual field trip in Google Earth. I must admit, I wasn’t as excited about this one – I think just because the previous Glogster project appeals more to my comfort zone as an artist. Nevertheless, I took on the task.

Here’s my resulting product:

Recycled Art Virtual Field Trip (Google Earth kml file)

This field trip is centered on exploring how recycling relates to the world of art. I also tried to rack up as many “frequent flier miles” as possible by traveling to a variety of countries. Most of my students are not well traveled. In fact, many have not seen what Cleveland has to offer them outside of their own neighborhoods! I can relate; my first airplane trip was my honeymoon 3 years ago. So with that in mind, my goal was to expose students to art from places beyond our backyards.

Students who take this Google Earth trip will have the opportunity to develop their respectful minds by exploring the work of folk artists from various countries. Specifically, I wanted to include the Fair Trade information so students could gain respect for how much these workers struggle to survive in making a living wage to feed and care for their families. Reading through the stories of these artisans and their work helps us develop an appreciation for the freedom opportunities and creature comforts we have that we often take for granted. Additionally, folk artists inspire us to learn more about our own cultural heritage and environment, and to support the cultural traditions, work ethic, and environment of others.

The conservation issues brought up in my related Discovery Streaming assignment “Plastic Waste” address students’ ethical minds. These days, learning and understanding this content is not enough. Environmental awareness is an issue that clearly shows the interconnectivity of our world. No matter where you look or who you hear from, environmental issues plague ALL of us, not just the locale of concern. Additionally, environmental solutions work best when shared unilaterally across borders and cultures, rather than in isolation. Therefore, students have to make the ethical choice of proceeding as usual in self-reflective isolation or assuming the “change agent” role by imparting newfound knowledge on others.

In my completion of this assignment, I find myself confronted with the same ethical choices I’ve given my students. I can’t very well create this presentation and continue drinking from plastic water bottles, forgetting my reusable bags, and failing to share environmental information in my classroom. The endless links I explored and articles I perused incur too much responsibility for me to ignore. I hope the information I’ve provided sparks the same introspection and reactions in my students.

under: EDIM 508

Additional Resources for Content/Product Variation, Part 3

Posted by: cassielyn3581 | August 5, 2009 | 1 Comment |

Each week (weeks 5 – 7) you will create two posts about resources that relate to the original list in Topic C, evaluating them as described above. These resources should be purposeful for your teaching, meaning that they should relate to your content and grade level teaching assignment(s).

Smarthistory (Rating: 4)
Smarthistory is a great resource for art historical research. It allows users to search content by time, style, artist, or theme. It then displays topic content through multiple sources: text, images, video discussions, etc. It’s so much more interesting than dry lectures and slides! I’m not sure I would have my 6th graders click through the site – there are quite a few mature artworks. Instead, I would probably link directly to the content I needed, in order to focus the learning experience. I gave it a 4; I think it has room to grow by adding additional content to the collection.

Content-based. Resembles HyperHistory Online.

Similarities:
Both have timeline features. Both provide art history research opportunities. Both allow you to search by category (i.e. people, time). Both provide map features. Both provide links to related content outside of the sites.
Differences:
HyperHistory’s information database is vastly more extensive. Smarthistory does a much better job of making the information user-friendly with flash technology, larger artwork views, and video clips. Smarthistory has a unique sharing feature: users can contribute photos of artwork by joining a Flickr group. It also has quick tools for content-sharing via multiple platforms (email, SNS, etc.). Mature images are more easily viewed in SmartHistory; HyperHistory requires you to click through the timeline before displaying any images.

Jing (Rating: 5)
Jing is downloadable software that allows you to record your screen via image capture or video. I see this as a useful way to demonstrate new technology processes. It can also function as a user-friendly tool for students to show what they’ve learned – they can demonstrate what they’ve done back for you! It allows you to narrate your recording, as well as to add comments and share easily over the web, IM, or email; these are great collaborative features! I especially like that you can embed the product into a blog or web page. That way you could add instructions right along with content.

Product-based. Resembles ColeyCast.

Similarities:
Mr. Coley has used podcasting as a method for students to demonstrate what they’ve learned. Jing provides that same functionality. Both ColeyCasts and Jing screencasts are able to span multiple content areas and topics. Both products allow you to communicate ideas to a large audience, and can be shared over the web.
Differences:
Podcasting doesn’t provide an easy way to share feedback. I see it more as a culminating product; Jing is more of a process tool. Coleycasts are audio-only; Jing provides visuals. (However, you can now produce video podcasts, too.) Podcasts allow portability – you can download to your mp3 player to take with you. You would need a computer or a smartphone to view a screencast.

under: EDIM 503

Inspirations for Professional Growth

Posted by: cassielyn3581 | August 4, 2009 | 3 Comments |

As the world changes at a rapid pace, so do our students’ interests and learning styles. In order to keep our instructional practices current, relevant and effective, we need to continuously develop our own five minds. For the final blog post of the course, identify at least one educational blog or podcast that connects to your current or future pedagogical efforts and explain why you selected it in the context of your own work and ongoing professional growth. Hint: an easy way to identify educational blogs is to use Google’s Blog Search.

Throughout the summer I’ve spent quite a bit of time searching for resources. This has proved a few things about how I use the Internet:

1) It’s easy to lose track of time!
2) I love to learn – I often find myself exploring multiple series of links as means to find new things about related topics that interest me.
3) I’m a discerning consumer of knowledge: if it’s not user-friendly, if it doesn’t engage me, or if it doesn’t go above and beyond to meet criteria for what I need, I find a better resource.

I am excited about this week’s assignment in particular, because I feel I’ve just begun to build my “personal learning network” in earnest this summer. I thought I had great resources and ideas to begin with, but I now feel like my eyes have just been opened to extend what I thought I knew into a vast new world! Coincidentally timed with this week’s topic, I recently came across some great blogs and podcasts that inspire me as an art educator. Following are my favorites:

The Teaching Palette

The Teaching Palette
In teaching art, classroom management skills will make or break you. I just don’t see how it’s possible to effectively engage in the content without it! Every single material needs a procedure for storage, use, and clean-up. Every single activity needs a procedure for introduction, performance, interaction, and in many cases, assessment. This blog has a wealth of authentic information regarding classroom management in the art room. In addition, I’m really excited about the product reviews and tech resource links, as well as the ability to see/hear how other art educators are applying new ideas in their classes.

The Art Teacher’s Guide to the Internet
This blog is authored by art educator Craig Roland (who is also the founder of the Art Education 2.0 Ning). I see it as a great professional growth resource because it discusses the two topics that most interest me: teaching art and exploring technology. Specifically, his “100 Web Tools and Resources” page is spot-on in the identification of useful links for the art teacher. Anyone can Google “art”, but these tools are so much more useful! Without a doubt, my “discerning consumer” guidelines are met.

Teach Paperless
When I came across this link, I knew it was worthwhile when I couldn’t stop reading! I’m intrigued by the new perspective it brings to the use of technology in the classroom. My understanding so far is that the point is not solely to save paper, but to question the point of using paper instead of using tech tools. It definitely is food for thought in educating the 21st century student.

Fugleblog
This link is one I’ve had for some time now, but I included it today for its inspiration factor. The application of technology tools in Tricia Fuglestad’s art room is exciting and great motivation for professional growth. If you’ve not heard of a Fugleflick, you MUST check them out! She has a great knack for getting kids to dissect and think through the everyday practices of an art room. In fact, I would go so far as to say her work is what made me have that “aha” moment: to decide that pursuing this program would be a great way to integrate my interests in graphic design and technology into my current teaching situation of 6th grade art.

Art:21 Video Podcast
Last but not least, I wanted to include a podcast on this list. In fact, I just recently introduced my brother to the concept of podcasting. “You mean, you can learn all this stuff for free?” he asked me. His excitement inspired me to search for podcasts that might interest him, and that spilled over into podcasts that interest me. Art:21 is a series on PBS spotlighting the work of contemporary artists. I enjoy the content because each episode is organized by themes, like “identity” or “power”. The podcasts are especially useful because they allow me to focus on specific segments. For instance, I’m really interested in the work of Jenny Holzer, so I can select and download just her segments for viewing. This podcast is great for professional growth because I feel like I’m able to learn about up-and-coming art that inspires connections to students’ personal life experiences. In addition, I can’t wait to incorporate this tool into my classroom!

under: EDIM 508

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