Sunday, July 22, 2012

Curriculum Map for 2012-13

Before you know it, it will be upon us, the 2012-13 school year. As always, I curriculum map my year (year 11 at my current school), and this is my second year of organizing around "big ideas". See my 2012-13 map below.
I also designed the "Thinking Outside the Box" icon in Illustrator as a badge for my Edmodo site. The 5 E's are something I researched for my grad level Design Thinking class I teach. They are the organizing principles behind curriculum that promotes not just thinking like a designer, but also problem-based learning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Some iPad App Reviews

Alright, I've been working with the iPad this summer, and doing a few app reviews. Let's start with what it already came with: -Videos: I'd rather not clog up the memory with them. I've used up 10.9 GB, have 13.9 left, but barely used any high-memory things like photos yet. -Game Center: Not for me, but my son tried a few and prefers his xBox by far -Newsstand: Used my Smithsonian membership to download the magazine for free, basically, it's a wash between hard copy and online. -iBooks: Used my own app store card to download an art reference book, liked having it portable for use, could see much to recommend this for classrooms. Found tons of free books at Project Gutenberg, too. -Camera and Photobooth: both easy to use and fun. Surprisingly good results on test shots like my black dog in poor lighting, interior night shot, depth of field tests (still life and garden). If you get the right filter apps, can really go to town. Nothing replaces the optics on great camera, though, but I was pleased with things an iPad camera could do. -Notes: nice for meetings, can email to yourself and put in Dropbox or print out readily for archiving. -I have not used Messages, Reminders, Maps, YouTube, or iTunes.
Okay, here's the apps I downloaded (some free, others I bought for myself): -Edmodo: Love it. -Scan: Also great. -Dropbox: Love that I can find stuff and put into Dropbox, then get it later from any of my computers that have Dropbox on them. -PrintnShare Pro: I had uneven results in printing from the iPad using our home wireless printer, some stuff worked, but so far, no luck with PDF's. -iPF: figured out a lot by checking this iPad forum. Reminds me of MacHelp in ease of use. -social apps (all good and very easy to use): Skype, Twitterific, Google+, Facebook, Twitter (I prefer Twitterific over Twitter app), Blogpress & Blog Docs (both equally good at doing a blog posting from iPad, easier than going to your regular blog in browser). -search: default is Safari, but I added the Google app anyway. -photo/video apps: iMovie/StopMotion/iMotion HD are all great and easy to use; BeFunky was my substitute for Instagram and I love it, PS Express is darn close to Photoshop for filters and tweaking, just can't get into deeper stuff like "curves" and "masks"; PhotoPad o.k. but more for social media piks using any "smart" phone or tablet platform, has weird customization feature called "ZAGGskin". -document apps: Notability, Inkflow, Nebulous Lite, and Evernote all have nice features for taking notes/sketches and easy to put in Dropbox or email; Google Docs Editor & Blog Docs give you html and some more advanced options; my favorite is Inkflow for easy draw/sketching/notes. I do not like getting prompts from the "lite" apps to upgrade (read: pay) for the full app. -Datatracker:full on teacher app for assessing, ran my own rubric through and tested at home, seems really good, but wondering about implementation during busy art room day. -Sketchbook: Similar to a watered-down ArtRage, if you like drawing with your fingers. -artCircles: this is one cool tool for learning/teaching art history; love the contemporary stuff the "curators" (who are real people across all disciplines) come up with; now, I just need to figure out how to sync with my Smartboard at school. -Prezi Viewer, Animoto: both work well, close to regular online experience, but I did notice that some blog posts with embedded Animotos did not work on the iPad, don't really know why. - Harmonious: heard a lot about this online, but I'm pretty close to pitching it. Seems pretty limiting for finger drawing. -Side by Side: dual page searches, then you can save files as Pdfs, etc., send to your other apps like Dropbox or Evernote. Once I found this freebie, it was easy to save PDF's, which on a computer would involve "control" & "right click", or "command" & "c", which obviously, cannot be done on tablets. Lastly, using the iPad (2) pretty heavily during the day meant needing to recharge that night. Charges pretty fast (3-4 hours), but the larger battery for the iPad3 requires an overnight charge. The iPad2 has "25 watt hours", the iPad3 has "42.5 watt hours"--so there's the trade-off (other than price). Something to consider if you are going to use with students.

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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