Saturday, November 23, 2013

iPads in the Art Room

I am extremely excited tonight. This morning I learned that a grant I wrote for six iPads was approved by the Education Foundation of Hudson. This fabulous foundation consists of Hudson alumni and accepts proposals up to $3,000 twice a year. They also funded document cameras for each of the elementary art classrooms a couple of years ago. I feel so fortunate to work in a district that not only supports teachers, but also the arts! 

Last summer I took the iPads in the Art Room class through The Art of Ed, and last week I viewed the Creating on iPads Master Class on Education Closet. Both are fabulous resources if you are looking to get started using iPads in your art room. I am glad that I took the AOE class first, as it begins very basic, with setting up the iPad and learning basic features before moving on to finding, sharing, and using apps for projects. I came away with a lot of great ideas, and still have to go through some of the other students' final projects. There were just so many great ideas I haven't gotten to them all. Tricia Fuglestad's presentation on EC was fabulous, but fast. I was glad I have background knowledge on iPads and the video was recorded so I could backtrack and pause when I needed to get everything completely understood. I showed a few fifth graders her portrait project and asked if they would like to do it. At first they declared there was no way they could possibly draw like that-then I showed them a quick demo of the process and they got very excited and asked if we could do it next! I already have a project planned, and have to get Sketchbook X on all the iPads (and hopefully obtain my new ones!) before we can start that project, but I am encouraged by their enthusiasm and am optimistic about the art they will create on their personal iPads after learning how to use the layers feature. With the addition of six iPads from the grant, I will now have eight iPads designated just for my art department, so look forward to more exploration of using iPads in the art room on One Crayola Short!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Phantasy Zebras

My second graders are about 2/3 of the way through this project. I will post the how-to drawing guide I used with them on Monday, as it's saved on a work drive that I don't have access to from home. (Here it is!) So far, they used the drawing tutorial to draw the head of a zebra after looking closely at photographs of zebras to notice details about their faces. We talked about the shape of their noses, how wide their head gets around their eyes, and that their heads get more narrow above their eyes. We looked at the shape of their ears, and even their Mohawks before starting our drawings. I love using drawing tutorials with a presentation remote for many reasons. First, selfishly, I don't have to draw it six times. More importantly, however are the benefits for the kids. I can be out with them, checking their progress and giving tips instead of being stuck near the board. Also, I had a kid absent and I was able to keep the rest of the class on task and give her the remote to work at her own pace. She not only caught up to the rest of the class (because she didn't have to wait on me at all), but her zebra looks stellar!

Once they were done drawing their zebras, I showed them how to distinguish between chisel tip, fine tip, and extra fine tip Sharpies. My sub called them "Daddy, Momma, and Baby, " which the kids had fun with. I even heard some role playing with markers. "I love you Momma, I'm going to use you on these stripes!" I gave them tips on when to use each size marker and how to color thoroughly without looking scribbly and set them to work. 

The next class period, we finished up the Sharpie and then used watercolors for the background. I asked them to go around the zebra head using rainbow order. We reviewed primary and secondary colors and talked about how when the colors go in rainbow order they mix to form the intermediate colors.

Next cycle, I will be borrowing iPads and having the students manipulate the image they drew and painted. They will use the Phantasy App, which changes the background of the image into something new. There are many images to choose from. Here are just a few examples using my sample zebra. 

Kindergarten on the iPads

I braved using the iPads with kindergartners to start the Percolator Gumball Machine project today. I feel so fortunate that my colleagues were willing to let me borrow their iPads for the day! I will be doing this again with kinders twice next week, and starting with second grade next week as well. If anyone has an easier way of doing all this, please let me know. Here's what I did. . . 

My colleagues started dropping their iPads off right away in the morning, even though I didn't need them until after lunch. I used that to my advantage, and logged into Dropbox on each of the iPads. I then downloaded one child's artwork (which I had already photographed and put into Dropbox after loading them to Artsonia) to each iPad. I put a Post-It note on each iPad to let me know which child's image was loaded. I even went into Percolator and loaded the child's artwork to the iPad. After my demo, all the kid had to do was turn it on and start manipulating the image. 

I had one more iPad than I needed for the kids (it's a small grade level), so I used that to project on the SmartBoard and show the students how to change the different parts of the image. I then set them to work and as they finished I showed them how to save it to their camera roll and keep working. Most kids had more than one image saved-one even had eleven!

When the kids left, I went into each iPad individually and uploaded the images to my Dropbox. I changed the name of the image to the artist's class code followed by their name so that when the computer reorganized the photos the whole class would be together. Next, I logged out of Dropbox on the iPad and deleted all my students' work because they are not my iPads. If anyone knows of a way to change the image file name on the iPad, I am all ears as that would have been a huge time saver today (and even more so next week, when I'm doing more than one grade level!).

When I had all the images transferred, I was able to download them in one large group and load them to Artsonia. I love putting iPad artwork on Artsonia. Not only is it impressive looking, but it's so easy with no editing needed!

These images are all from the same class. I am thrilled with the variety of results and debating about making photo collages like the one at the top of this post to load to each kid's Artsonia account. It would be a fun triptych, but lots of work.