Art Students’ Blog Coming Soon!

Is it normal to be insanely excited and absolutely terrified at the same time? Perhaps when riding a roller coaster, yes, but as a teacher? Actually, now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking that there are probably many teaching stories that fit that description.

I’m excited, and yet terrified, because the introduction of blogging into my art program is about to begin.

My excitement is due to the fact that I can’t wait to get started with the art blog. I envision photos of fantastic student artwork, thoughtful artist statements that offer explanations to those who visit the blog and comments which are both insightful and encouraging to those I work with each day. I hope for new motivation and more excitement for my students. I want to use technology as a tool to inspire and create new learning at my school. I want my students to become more knowledgeable when responding to the artwork of their peers and I want them to grow as artists from the comment dialogue I hope blossoms on the site.

And yet, at the same time, I’m terrified, probably due to those high expectations mentioned above(sometimes, perhaps, I may be a bit of an overachiever – understatement of the month if you know me at all…). Those persistent ‘what-ifs’ keep floating into my mind. What if the students don’t enjoy using the blog as part of their art course? What if I can’t get enough time in the lab? What if I have technical difficulties? What if the comments are not helpful, but hurtful? What if I can’t manage all the comments and co-comments and postings I’m ultimately responsible for as the teacher in charge of the project? What if, what if, what if…

I guess the logical approach is to do my best to be optimistic, but with a realistic perspective. I have a great support network if I need help, I have lots of recent personal blogging experiences to draw from, and I have the best group of students possible for introducing blogging to the art department at my school.

Wish us luck…!

Imagery is Screeeeeeaming by scene*s on

So Many Web 2.0 Choices…

One of my professional learning goals for the first semester this year was to learn about blogging and other Web 2.0 tools that I could use with my art students. More specifically, I want to enhance their learning associated with perceiving and responding to their own and others’ artwork.

My goal for second semester is to implement the technology to start transforming the learning in the classroom. The problem is, there are so many Web 2.0 tools, I can’t decide which technology to use! So, I decided to use technology to decide on technology. Here’s my first Wordle created from this post:

I could create a blog using Edublogs. I’d probably format it similiar to Huzzah, Technology in our classroom, and Clarence Fisher’s Thinwalls blog. These blogs are designed so that each student has their own space to work within and call their own. I believe that this student ownership over the space would lead to increased student motivation and, in turn, more engagement and enhanced learning.

I could, however, use a classroom Flickr account for the same purpose. Students could upload photos and photos of art projects and use the comments section as the space for artist statements and responses. If I decide to go the blog route, a Flickr account could be part of the blog space, too. I’d like to experiment with different ways of using Flickr as a tool regardless.

Many people I’ve discussed the project with have recommended Voicethread. Of the three, this is the only tool I haven’t used and the one that I know the least about. It looks like you upload a photo, then people leave an audio comment about the image. It sounds like a good match for visual arts. Once again, if I decide on the blog, then I could embed a Voicethread into a posting.

I have to decide…soon. Any ideas? One person (thanks Marianne!) suggested that I let the students decide. I like that option. I think it’s important that students take part in the decision making in the classroom.

What do you think – blog, Flickr, Voicethread or a combination of all three? I’d love any insight you have or helpful tips you can offer. Which Web 2.0 tool would you use?


Art Teacher Seeking Art Blog

I’m searching for something that I can’t find. The longer I look online, the more determined I am to find it, but the more frustrated I get because, despite my searching, I can’t find it anywhere. I find things similiar, but never exactly what I want. Yes, I’m very particular, not only about this, but about most things in my life.

What I want to find is a blog that exemplifies an idea in my head. Maybe I can’t find it because it only exists in my head. The idea is this – in the next few months, I am going to create a classroom blog to use with my art and photography students. My purpose for starting the blog is to use technology to enhance the student learning associated with perceiving and responding to their own and others’ artwork.

My idea involves posting photos of finished pieces, both artwork and photography. Students will be asked to post artist statements and comments to critique others work. I’m hoping they will learn how to respond in a respectful and knowledgeable way and that they will learn from the critiques to grow as artists. The blog will be a great way to utilize assessment for learning (also see Dylan Wiliam) and it provides an opportunity to advocate for the arts (I’m a district rep for the BCATA). The classroom blog could also increase community awareness of the great work being done by the students.

Has anybody heard of a blog that could serve as an example for this idea in my head? If you have, I’d love to hear about it…