Warning: Your Child May Be Involved in Art

13 12 2011

Love this find that Dan Pink posted on his blog from an ad campaign for College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Very funny. Intervention required?








What is good art and what does design mean?

11 03 2011

I first stumbled across Scott Ligon via The Carrot Revolution blog and decided to purchase the book Digital Art Revolution: Creating Fine Art with Photoshop. It’s a rather good read and one I’d like to use in class. But, I also like these videos he has posted on YouTube with some good advice for students, and since I had parent-teacher conferences tonight, I wish I showed them to parents as well.

How to Engage Your Children in Art

31 12 2009

From The Art Institute of Chicago:

Learn tips and techniques that help young visitors make the most of their museum visit and enriches their encounters with art, both in the museum and at home!

(I’ve also placed this video under the “Arts, Learning & Talks” tab at the top of this site as well as on my Art wiki, that also has other museum links.)

Curiosities & Roadside Attractions

23 10 2009

10 Killer Content Sources for Your iPod Learning Mix (via Mission To Learn)

Improve Your Browsing Sessions with SuggestRSS (via WebAppStorm)

More Challenges with Wikis: 4 ways to move students from passive to active (via The Journal)

Have a look at Matthew Needleman’s Video In The Classroom (Digital Storytelling in the Elementary Grades and Beyond) site to view student films, film techniques, tutorials, tips and rubrics.

A Missing Piece in the Economic Stimulus: Hobbling Arts Hobbles Innovation - an excellent article on why art education matters and how it leads to innovations in other areas. (from Psychology Today via Journeys in Art)

The 3 Best Sites To Read Manga Online (via Daniel Pink on Twitter)

Curiosities & Roadside Attractions

7 10 2009

I have added a few videos under my ICT Theories and Info tab above recently that you may find interesting. One has taken inspiration from the CommonCraft team and created a video on Digital Storytelling in Plain English. Another is from Alan November (Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom) and finally, the lengthy Teaching Search in the Classroom from Google.

Other interesting reads from the web:

Michelle Obama tells International audience why the Arts Matter (from Los Angeles Times)

Schools Adopt Art as Building Block of Education (from The New York Times)

From Text on Paper to Media Collage – Art becomes the next R (from Jason Ohler via The Committed Sardine)

What’s new? 21st Century Skills (by Jamie McKenzie)

Media literacy skills have been important for decades as the news media transitioned into entertainment and a few international corporations consolidated control over information. While media literacy was important in the 1960s, it was sorely neglected. It may be even more crucial today but remains unattended by many school programs.

Digital Images for Education is “an unrivalled online image library, comprising over 500 hours of film and 56,000 photos, will be available free of charge for at least 25 years to UK higher and further education institutions from Summer 2010.”

Art Advocacy

24 09 2009

choose artI am pleased to be included in Craig Roland’s Ten Art Advocacy Videos (as well as being a featured video on The Teaching Palette). I collaborate with both blogs through my PLN.

My little video was created as a course project I took two summers ago. We had to create an artist statement for the work done in the (art ed) course. Instead of writing a paper, I created the video using Skitch, SnapzPro and iMovie. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone and also use it as a teaching philosophy tool for any future job possibilities. I have seen most of the videos Craig has included and encourage others too as well.

It’s still a sensitive topic for me when I advocate about class time for art. At various international schools in Japan, Math, Science and Language Arts usually get daily lessons for the whole year, but art usually does not. I burn through a semester’s curriculum in 5 weeks. (I better explicitly state that these are my opinions and are no way intended to be an insult to my school, admin or other schools and subjects for that matter too.)

We rotate our arts; 5 weeks visual art, 5 weeks voice, 5 weeks drama and then click repeat for semester two. Music gets it’s own slot. Is there academic hierarchy within the arts department itself? I doubt it is intentional. 5 weeks in each semester are held and then a 1-2 week cycle again at the end of the year. They receive art for two 80 minute slots a week. This basically equals to 30~32 hours a year. Not much.

I think it’s great that our grades 6~8 get exposed to all arts, but again, I find the 5 weeks a real struggle. I usually break the units down like this:

  • week 1-introduction of the topic
  • week 2-students plan their project
  • week 3 and 4-students create their project
  • week 5-presentation and evaluation of work

This doesn’t give a lot of time to experiment and create art. Usually there is only 1 finished piece. Topics are introduced, and then bang, start your project. The students do however enjoy the class and surprisingly take home some new skills and techniques. I guess I should stop whinging. Some teacher friends I have back in Canada, usually don’t have art specialists up to grade 8. Their art lessons are usually  part of the “draw a picture for your cover” routine. Anyway, what’s my point?

I would really like to see the day when the other ‘worthy’ subjects had to argue for their course. I mean come on, really! We go to museums, we visit galleries, we dance, we create displays, we take pictures, we decorate our homes, we usually all wish we could draw, play or perform better and some colour theory would even help coordinate our clothes better too! I could go on and on….and on…and…on. I love to ask, “Would you prefer your child studying art at university or (insert any other subject here) and why?” Parents get worried when their child wishes to pursue art at a higher level. All kids draw. Haven’t you noticed? I taught kindergarten for several years. A student never complained about drawing or painting. Why have we taken it away from them?

I do have something to look forward to. We just had 2 days worth of introduction work to the MYP which we will be implementing over a 5 year period beginning next year. I asked a few questions. I am looking forward to (hopefully) receiving the minimum 50 hours of visual art. If you have some strong opinionated views, feel free to contact me to offer guidance, support, advice, counseling or anger management.

; )