Monday, November 28, 2011

Sketchbooks REdux

We are wrapping up clay in fifth grade and I had students make their own sketchbooks out of cereal boxes (great tutorials on Instructables or ScribD) while we waited for the clay to dry and get bisque-fired. Now we are glazing, and for some reason, these larger sketchbooks resonated with the students and they are into them. So, I'm adjusting my calendar and devoting a few weeks to pure SKETCHBOOKING (best resource yet here). Why did smaller sketchbooks in years past fizzle? Somehow, I think the size matters. Also, next year, I need to get a powerful stapler, because it took all of Thanksgiving break for my wrist to recuperate from helping staple, and we lost four metal staplers in the process. What else is new? The wallet project is humming along nicely as part of my drive to reinforce "Design Thinking". Lots of interesting ideas, plus having students bring in a few items for their wallets has a fun factor for everyone in the class. I think the prototyping stage really helped scaffold the unit, and student wallets needed to relate to their favorite prototype they developed (out of two). I thought we would have to keep an ongoing tutorial about folds, etc., but never needed to because students came up with great folding ideas on their own! I'm including this crazy-cool video Jeanne Bjork made using a turntable and an LED flasher. "Time interval from turning LED on and off is about 0.04s(40ms)", which I am struggling to understand, but now I've got to try it!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Technology, Teachnology

I've been busy on post-grad work, but also am in the first stages of a possible tech grant-writing team, so the topic on integrating technology is on my mind. A conversation came up about the balance of studio technique with technology on Tricia Fuglestad's lovely blog. Marc Prensky's Technology Adoption Model came up, where he claims teachers go through four steps in adopting a technological innovation in the classroom: 1. Dabbling 2. Doing old things in old ways 3. Doing old things in new ways 4. Doing new things in new ways I do think using Smartboards, iPads, cloud apps, are solidly in #3. I'm aiming for #4. Is it "reverse instruction"? Is it a hybrid of UbD/21st c/"A Whole New Mind" (Daniel Pink)? One thing I know for sure, the larger your professional palette, the more students are engaged. Random thought while driving to pick up one of my kids from a robotics team activity: "Maybe have students film their own art instruction insights." I think that's the next step, possibly addressing Prensky's step #4. You know, Steve Jobs took typography classes in college for fun (old school stuff) and that led to having font choices when we type Docs, so where would we be without his appreciation of fonts? I remember having to render fonts from memory as the graphics professor walked around the studio with menacing comments, now, my students can see typefaces dance in YouTube videos! To me, a much richer experience. In graphics, I suffered to make perfect spirals with black Plaka on carefully gessoed museum board (no brush marks or the curve could "bleed" which the professor could see when they put their magnifying glass on it). Projects were "A" or "F", and redone until they were an "A". Still, I gained a steady "hand" from the experience, but also a loathing of typography rendering. All a moot point now, and years later, we have elementary students making stop-motion animations, thanks to the balance of tech/studio, or rather, "teachnology."

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

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The journey of process intrigues me and I am always changing it up.

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