Monday, May 2, 2011

17 Things - Lite Edition Reflection

 ‘17 Things’ Lite Edition was an enlightening experience during which time I learned how to better utilize technology in the classroom. I was also introduced to sites that will be perfect to use in my personal life and artistic practice. Because I just graduated with a Masters of Fine Art in media a year ago, I feel very comfortable using the Internet as a teaching tool. However, the influx of technological tools are constant and infinite, so ’17 Things’ served an accessible and fun means to catch up with the latest and the greatest amidst the world wide web. And it is wide. The only challenge I experienced through this process was the aptitude of each tool, and I feel as though I only scratched the surface. I look forward to spending more time exploring these sites and taking advantage of the progressive and communicative features in my classroom and beyond.

I am a firm believer that staying current with technology makes me a better teacher, and in turn, I can better relate to my students. I really enjoy using class websites to better reach my students through a format they are already familiar with, including blogs, online art galleries, social networking… the Internet! That said, I do not think it is a vital part of teaching. I know there are many excellent teachers who do not use technology very often in the classroom. I am also an advocate of keeping ‘books alive’ so exclusively using the Internet to research and present subject content is a dangerous step in the wrong direction. More importantly, providing a variety of learning experiences will make for well rounded students. In fact, using various interfaces (on a screen or not) to share and process knowledge will be a well received trait in the working world and in everyday life for our young learners.

On a more personal level, one unexpected takeaway is that I was finally able to start up a Wiki for a family cookbook in honor of my grandmother, who was an AMAZING cook. I am confident in the longevity of wiki-spaces since this host site has been around for so long, and my family members will not be too intimated by its familiar and simple interface.
In one sentence, I would describe this learning experience as a fun and accessible means to stay in touch with the latest Internet teaching tools. In one word I think ’17 Things’ Lite Edition is PROGRESSIVE. Thank you for the opportunity, I look forward to exploring each resource further on my own time!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

animoto videos!

This tool is my favorite by far! Being a recent graduate of a Masters of Fine Art program at Columbia College Chicago in media arts, video art is near and dear to my heart. I would love to use these quick fix and visually compelling videos to promote my art portfolio, to document my upcoming wedding, to promote student artwork and exhibitions, and to communicate just what it is the RBHS Visual Art Department is about in a brief video format. These videos can be posted to other sites for exposure to the public and used in class to share information with my students. In turn, my student artists could present content about art history and contemporary art, their own body of work, and other topics to share with their classmates and in a presentation or on their own time. I can’t wait to work with Animoto on both a personal and professional level!

Educreate is a video (work in progress) made on Animoto featuring images from teaching and creating artwork...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

edmodo & social networking

Edmodo is a new resource to me as well! It was pretty easy to sign up and connect with others. I could see a benefit in using it to network because students can access it from within school computer labs and at home. However, as a Fine Arts Department, we recently created a 'fan page' on Facebook. I haven't used it extensively, but would probably do so before Edmodo. I realize you cannot have back and forth conversation with a 'fan page', but adding comments to the class blog or via Voicethread (love it) would serve the same purpose. As a host, both Facebook and Blogspot lend to a broader audience being a familiar name with high traffic. Voicethread is so novel in its format that I think students would enjoy it more than Edmodo.


This was my first experience with Voicethread and think it is an exciting new tool to use with my students. The tutorial that includes an image of Georges Seurat's painting explores how to use this tool in the context of art history and art education - both of which I could use in my classes. I frequently have critiques with my students, which is a time consuming activity when we are on a tight studio schedule to produce as many high quality works as possible in a given semester. This could be an alternative means to share thoughts about student work outside of class time. Of course using Voicethread to reflect on professional contemporary art and art history is another practical use of this interface. I can't wait to explore this site more and put it to work in my classroom.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

wikispaces & food

It was really gratifying to follow through on creating a wiki because I have been meaning to do just that for years to document and share my Oma's infamous Yugoslavian recipes. So, thanks to 17 Things, I finally followed through. Check out  to see a growing cook book of the Kampf family's Donauchwaben food culture. I also posted a family tree to archive through the years on this family hub. Now the trick is getting everyone else to contribute...  

In the context of the classroom, I could use a wiki to start and sustain a dialogue amongst my art students about art history, contemporary art, their own works in progress, and collaborative art works. My students frequently discuss these topics in a verbal, written, and worksheet-guided critique, but tackling this subject matter on their own time would allow for independent thinking within a less confrontational venue, more studio time in class, developing professional relationships with their peers, and learning how to utilize the internet for academic and artistic growth.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

weebly, yola, & blogspot

I have been using as a teaching tool in my classroom for years, most recently with and Blogs and websites serve as a means to store and access links and lessons from any computer with the internet. It also enables students to view these resources, examples, and lesson plans from their home computers. The silver lining is that the sequence of lessons that evolve on my websites become a visual organizer for each class curriculum.

Upon exploring Weebly and Yola, I am all the more familiar with different avenues to build websites for educational and artistic purposes. Through experience, I am far more comfortable with the technical capacities of Blogspot, but weebly looks to be a clean and user friendly host as well. I look forward to using the Weebly site I built,, with our student artists to work more independently to learn about and apply art compositional skills.

Friday, January 28, 2011

google docs & art

Why use this resource as an educational tool? Access presentation in Google Docs here to find out!