Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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December 16, 2013

Transforming Student Learning with Technology in Art

Over the past 15 years I’ve been finding ways to integrate technology into my instruction and art production with interactive white boards, projectors, document cameras, digital photos, videos, green screen, movie-making, animation, and drawing on iPads, as well as using web 2.0 and social networks to connect and share our learning with others.

Technology for Art Instruction and Production

Technology for Art Instruction and Production from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

The use of technology has resulted in demonstrated improvement in student art production, authentic connections with others online, and opportunities for my students to learn beyond what I was able to teach with traditional tools. What I failed to mention from the start is that I taught with only traditional tools the first 7 years of my career. My art room didn’t have internet access, computers, or anything digital when I was hired. My college training didn’t involve much technology beyond a copy machine (which I had to go to the campus Kinkos to use).  As I learn about any technology application, piece of hardware, or new media I always try to consider how its addition to my art program can bring an improvement or a new opportunity for my students.

With growing access to iPads in the art room, the possibilities for students are transformational. There are things I can teach to even the youngest of my elementary population that I never could have dreamed of teaching before. Practically speaking, pulling out the laptops in a 45 minute art class, introducing a complicated application like Photoshop, and plugging in graphic tablets so they could draw, didn’t result in much more than an experience. The interface took time to understand and the tablet took time to get used to because of the disconnect between hand and eye. All this changes for students when they draw on the iPad. Simple yet powerful apps open up very advanced concepts like working with layers, transparency, merging and transforming images, and so much more. I can teach things I never was able to dream of teaching now that my students have access to these multifunctional creation devices. Here is an example:

                            Spooky Landscape animated gif

I have done a project with 2nd graders where they create a Spooky Landscape. The objective is to show a ghost in the foreground, house in the middle ground, and the night sky in the background. They create a sense of depth with overlapping and relative size. This year, I was able to transform this lesson by eliminating the ghost drawing from the painting and having that students add it with iPads as they create semi-transparent ghost animations in the DOINK animation app over a digital image of their landscape paintings. This meant I could teach them about overlapping in a dynamic way as well as transparency and digital animation. We also created a collaborative original spooky soundtrack with the NODEBEAT app. It’s an untraditional visual music creation app that the students just touch. I lined them up at the end of class and had them all contribute 2 seconds of music to our piece. During the next art class, I asked a few students to talk about what made their landscape spooky so spooky while they magically stood before their animation using the green screen app from DOINK. See that short movie below. Here is a link to my Fugleblog post with all the resources and more about this project.

Really Spooky Landscape

Really Spooky Landscapes from Tricia Fuglestad on Vimeo.

I feel like I’m on a journey with technology. The more I explore, play, and research the more ideas I collect for my students. I try to house them all on my Creating on iPads page. Feel free to explore. Please share your ideas explorations with me and others so we can all grow. You can find me on Twitter @fuglefun

-Tricia Fuglestad


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