If you would like to see the range of technologies and assignments that I was a part of in my A Ed 322 class (Visual Culture and Educational Technologies), check out the link below!
5 New Technologies:
- Lino Canvas: Lino is completely new to me both as a student and as an educator. I have grown quite attached to it as an educational tool, as it is highly personalized and portable application. I believe that its largest benefit is the fact that the platform can be used as digital design board, where students and educators alike can use a visual tool to assemble ideas, resources, and images. Visual organization is a powerful pedagogical method, and Lino allows students to create the sort of organizational space that works for them. The fact that the application is house digitally on the internet is also a huge plus, as students can access it from nearly anywhere. I feel that Lino would best be used in conjunction with a sketchbook, as an additional place for students to tease out ideas before tackling them.
- Tinkercad: Tinkercad is a free online design program that allows users to edit or create digital 3D renderings of objects. Having used other professional grade modeling programs, this interface, complete with detailed and user-friendly tutorials, is far more applicable in a public school setting. The controls are spare so as not to confuse users, but also allow for great customization so as not to limit students. If I were ever to utilize 3D printing or animation design in my class, I would immediately turn to Tinkercad. The time saved in learning this program as opposed to another would be tremendous and could easily transfer to more working time for those in my class. Additionally, this program could serve as a great beginning tool for classes that might eventually progress to more difficult programs such as Autocad or Rhino.
- 3D Printing: Having never encountered a 3D printer prior to my college career, I was unfamiliar with the technology upon entering this course. I now fully comprehend its value as both a design and an art-making tool, though I have my doubts as to its implementation in the classroom, if only due to logistics. If I should be so lucky as to work in a school that possesses a 3D printer, I feel that the tool presents great opportunity for collaboration between the art class and the other disciplines. Vo-tech classes might collaborate with my students on design work involving prototypes to later be created by those in shop classes; science and math classes might collaborate with us to create visual 3D renderings of difficult theoretical concepts; history courses could work with my students to scan and preserve modern artifacts or to alter them to create new works of art.
- Wordle: As a word web design program, I think that Wordle is a useful piece of visual organization, especially when dealing with large chunks of text. I think that the customization text interface might prove as an interesting introduction to the implications of font or calligraphy in a visual model. Potentially, we as a class could dissect large bodies of text to weed out the main points of a story or news clip that might then be translated into a body of work circling around these points.
- Canva: Although I was introduced to this program by a fellow student and we did not officially use it in class, this is one of my favorite additions to my technological arsenal. Canva is an online poster-making program that allows users to quickly create professional level promotional materials such as business cards, website banners, and posters. Though some of the fonts/clip art provided requires the user to pay for their use, I feel that even the free materials would be useful in allowing students to design and create their own promotional items to advertise for student functions or art shows. The interface provides a user-friendly introduction to design work that might later be translated into Photoshop work.
5 Familiar Favorites:
- iMovie: I have used iMovie many times in the past, so I am intimately familiar with it as a tool. A movie editing software is critical in the modern art room. Cinema can no longer be dismissed as a “non-art” and it must be addressed in an up-to-date art course. If film is to be included, it is critical that students be acquainted with the most user-friendly and professional grade software that can be obtained: in this case, iMovie.
- Adobe Flash: As an art educator, one of the concerns that I am frequently presented with is the worry that individuals pursuing art as a career will never find work. A good majority of art-based careers lie in the fields of film and animation (another reason to include iMovie in the classroom). As such, a basic knowledge of Adobe Flash is a great springboard for students who might wish to pursue said careers. Above all, it is the job of any educator to be conveying utilitarian skills that can be applied outside of the classroom; this includes modern creation skills as well as creativity itself.
- WordPress: More and more frequently, students are being asked to forgo paper journals in favor of blogs. As far as blogs go, WordPress is both versatile and user-friendly, again a very customizable tool. A blog could be used in conjunction with a sketchbook, again as a planning tool or a place for reflection. WordPress can also be the basis for learning future networking skills; something that any professional artist must have in order to be a marketable employee.
- WIX: As with WordPress, WIX is a user-friendly platform that might be used by students to create a unique web presence in the form of an online gallery or portfolio. WIX is slightly more complicated to work with than WordPress and should probably be reserved for older more tech-savvy students. However the results are far more professional and are of a resume-worthy quality.
- YouTube: YouTube is a worthy tool not only as a means to connect with other artists or to research techniques, but also as a means of sharing student work with the public. In conjunction with networking, students should become accustomed to presenting their pieces as professionals. Additionally, YouTube is an excellent source of visual representations of concepts that might be better suited to visual learners.
Look around for a piece that features a human being. Is this person male or female? What visual clues helped you reach this decision? Think about where you might have learned that the clues you are seeing mean that a person is either male or female. Are the things you see or expect to see in a boy or girl always true? How might it affect someone if you were to assume that based on how they look or act, that they are exhibiting only male or female traits; what if a person shows a mixture of these traits?
This assemblage of work has been collected in order to highlight the presentation of gender expectations as presented in youth marketing campaigns; campaigns that are so ingrained in the consumer’s life that they have sunk to the level of the subconscious and carved out highly dichotomized gender roles, along with gender rules to govern said distinctions. How do we as viewers submit to these rules, wittingly or otherwise? Do you submit to or object to a specific gender role? Most importantly, how do we perpetuate such rules and roles in the lives of the next generation? As parents, siblings, educators, and role models, our action or inaction in regards to gender stereotyping through visual culture has a profound effect on the perceptions of young children. This exhibition features a collection of works that call attention to and alert viewers to the most typical and often overlooked means of creating gender conformity among young people.
Em and I are partnering for the webquest assignment. After discussing our previous attempts to incorporate fanart and visual literacy components into the classroom, we concluded that these subjects would be easily partnered within a single webquest.
Our overarching theme for this assignment is to be a combination of superheroes and supervillains; we assume that the students will have at least a passing familiarity with this subject due to its recent rise in popular media. We have yet to perfect the sequence of our lesson but we plan to incorporate the following concepts:
- Students will research visual tropes to serve as clues to both identifying, creating, and outfitting either a superhero or a supervillain of their own devising
- Researching the history of the comic book and the use of color/line to depict an intended meaning
- Participate in an exercise in creating their own comic storyline
- Researching and demonstrating an understanding of standard character design elements
- Demonstrating an ability to visually convey elements of their character’s backstory
- Researching and comprehending the basic steps and processes that a professional character designer would typically use
- The webquest will culminate in the students response to a particular series of design outlines and working within these professional limits to design their own super-person and a corresponding signet for that hero, later to be 3D printed as a prop replica or animation machete (the 3D printed object will be one of following objects centered around their signet design- either a signet ring, a shield with a crest, or a hood ornament for their character’s vehicle)
By the end of our webquest, we expect students to comprehend visual elements of storytelling and concept conveyance as well as how to draw from preexisting pop culture to inspire or dictate an artistic endeavor.
As a future art educator there are many things that I hope to impart to my students. However, if I were to strip my teaching style and personal pedagogical goals to their bare minimum, I find that there are five core concepts that I not only wish to communicate to my students, but also already include in my current teaching endeavors. My key concepts (Perseverance, Innovation, Vision, Appreciation/Value, and Collaboration) center around the ultimate goal of developing both art and life skills through the tasks that I approach within my classes. I am of the opinion that art and life are not able to be separated from one another, and that students can use one to learn about, experience, and express the other. I relate my concepts and the personal experiences that have shaped said concepts below:
- Perseverance – Above all, I want my students to see perseverance as the first choice of action. Too often teachers encourage students to tackle “something easier” in order to easily fit within the grading confines of an assignment. I have experienced this sort of benevolent underestimation within my collegiate experience as multiple professors have approached me during the planning stage of a project and told me that I might simplify or redo my designs in order to meet time restrictions or to specifically cater to the concept of earning an “A” rather than my particular artistic vision. In a specific instance I had a ceramics professor tell me to scrap a nearly completed piece rather than continue to work with the form so that I could “do something easier and earn the best grade for the least amount of work.” I want my students to confront problems and to understand that sometimes the experience of continuing with a difficult piece is more valuable than following the path of least resistance. I hope to foster this by creating grading systems that give weight to the process of working as opposed to the finished product.
- Innovation – Bouncing off of the concept of Perseverance, I want to create a pedagogical environment that both encourages and celebrates innovative approaches to making and interpretation. The art class that I personally feel that I gained the most from was a sculpture course in which my instructor limited us only with the materials we were to use and then encouraged us to stretch the limits of that medium. I was sometimes put into tough situations (such as building large structures out of paper products without any form of adhesive or skeletal structure) that I was then encouraged to subvert and “cheat” my way through by stretching the parameters of my assignment without breaking said parameters. I discovered more under these circumstances than I ever did in a traditional setting.
- Vision – In my very first college semester, my drawing professor gave us strict opening instructions; “do not set pen to paper without knowing where that line will take you.” With the permanency of ink and my teacher’s words ringing in my brain, I spent the entirety of the course planning within the confines of my own mind. While I don’t wish to implement such a strict theory of forethought in my class (I often value spontaneity as an artistic process or tool), I do wish to instill my students with a concept of thinking ahead. I want them to focus on the concept of thinking about a piece prior to starting each stage, or as they work through. Reevaluating a vision or goal is helpful not only in art but in all processes of design, manufacture, creation or even just generic decision making.
- Appreciation/Value – As the daughter of two craftspeople (a seamstress and a carpenter) I have grown up with an appreciation of the material and the human effort, time, and soul that pour into every man-made object, be it the result of manufacture or artistic endeavor. Though I feel that this particular concept holds more value on a personal level than on an art pedagogy level, it is important to me that I incorporate this sense of appreciation and value for work well done (or even just work done, or time spent) into my lessons. Having come from this background of making and having grown into a maker myself, I can personally attest that having a greater appreciation of craftsmanship/effort translates into a deeper reading of works as well as what I consider to be a deeper involvement in the making process as students develop a series of experiences that then place a higher value on what adds up into a completed object or piece.
- Collaboration – As an artist, I personally enjoy working alone. I use the art making process as a thinking process in and of itself and rely a great deal on introspection to fuel my creativity. Through all of high school, my teachers allowed me to work within my comfort zone of solitude because I was producing high quality work in a method that suited me. To this day, I still prefer to use the actual making process as a personal time; I like creating in an environment that allows me to make the ultimate decisions and be involved in an intimacy between the piece, myself, and my concepts. That being said, I have found that presenting my initial ideas to a critique group or peers prior to embarking on the piece often sparks avenues of making or new ideas that I would not have lighted upon without this peer interaction. While I cannot appreciate collaboration in the art-making process itself, I can value it as a means to fully recognizing the best version of my piece that I can create. I hope to introduce my learners to varying levels and degrees of collaboration so that they can find the most effective way of interacting it into their making style; collaboration is a resource that most students are not taught to utilize.