I like this quote by 21things4teachers which describes the purpose of interactives, “Interactive websites are designed to enhance online learning opportunities and engage students in authentic learning processes.” I would argue that the word online could be omitted from that sentence. I have been in full support of using interactives within my classroom in order to provide extended learning opportunities for my students. This past year I had our Technology director, Matthew Cook, install a NGA kids app on all 3rd grade iPads, and the Artsonia App on 3rd-5th Grade iPads. One of the big issues that Art teachers (and I’m sure general Ed. Teachers as well) face is pacing. Students work at a range of different rates. Some students will finish literally days before another student with excellence. In the past I used to allow my students to do choice work, or to utilize drawing books toward improving drawing skills…Apps have now replaced both of these activities with the ability to focus in on extension to a particular unit of study. For example the App below allows students to create using technology (which also helps me to hit on Grade Level Content Standards and Benchmarks) and to extend learning within the Artistic Mediums of Collage work, painting, sculpture and with a focus on the Artists Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Jean Arp, Elizabeth Murray, Sol LeWitt, Arshile Gorky, Jim Lambie, and Paul Klee. The App also gives Art History connections and allows its users to watch videos of related Artists. My ultimate goal with this “Thing” is to locate Visual Arts appropriate resources that will not be viewed by my administrators as “games” or my students as “time wasters.”
Lessons with multimedia:
Once again Participate Learning allows it’s users to access Apps within certain genres that are available for free or for cost. My favorite free K-5 appropriate Visual Arts Specific App was MoMA Art Lab.
MoMA Art Lab App
Study/Practice Websites and Apps:
Seriously!??!?! I am beyond EXCITED about this App. This past school year my primary IDP goal was to develop and implement K-5 Visual Arts Assessments. Administering, grading, and recording data for over 500 students 2x per year was a nightmare! My reflection included a plan to revise said tools and a meeting with my building principal where we decided vocabulary specific tests to two Grade Levels vs. six might be a better approach. This versatile app allows you to utilize already developed tests with a variety of term sets, create your own, provides many options for studying concepts, allows you to administer tests, and record data. Students can choose to have the questions read to them while studying or even during the test. I love that the testing function allows students to “show what they know” through writing answers, matching, multiple choice questions, and true false questions. You can limit your tests to one question type or all. When developing your own tests you simply develop a “Set Title” and then fill in as many Terms and Definitions as you’d like. The App allows you to add an image (which might I add automatically generates based on the Term you set) to each Term/Definition pair for reaching your visual Learners. I can’t wait to use this App for progress in my IDP based on advise from my Principal to focus on Vocab this upcoming school year!!!