Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WebQuest on the brain...

When hearing the word "Quest," I think of a goal, a journey, direction, exploration and adventure. Thinking about it now, those are words I would include in my developing teaching philosophy. Browsing through previous student WebQuests I found that using "" was a useful website to create with. I checked out the site and saw many creative and cleanly designed templates that I could envision myself using! I also played around with a tool called "canva" that I could use a large variety of font, picture, background, and clip art options to create my own visuals that I could also feature on personal blogs, social media and for my WebQuest!

What do I want to teach? Through what tools? How will students navigate, participate, brainstorm and create? What mediums will they use if making hands on artwork? How do I work with time management in regards to having five, forty-two minute class sessions for students to complete the whole WebQuest? MANY QUESTIONS! MUCH BRAINSTORM TO HAPPEN!

I began to browse through the Judy Chicago Art Education Collection and found myself lost in thought. I could ramble on and on about my various thoughts, links I clicked on and slides I enjoyed seeing but I will try to keep this post as condensed as I can..... pff! Like that ever works!

Two of the "Teaching Projects" I really found myself connecting with were:

"At Home"            &            "Evoke/Invoke/Provoke"

In thinking of using these projects as resources and inspiration for my future WebQuest for the students, I began jotting down themes, ideas and overall concepts that could be pulled out, expanded upon and implemented in the WebQuest.

some ideas.... very general but food for thought in this early stage...


-Objects/Material things (in general, not just home)



purple themes are ones I feel stronger with but this may not remain true, open to ideas of others, advice and critique!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Social Media and Art Education

prezi presentation

learning, teaching, researching, investigating, expanding knowledge, exploring.
learning, teaching, researching, investigating, expanding knowledge, exploring.
Why not mix the two? To me, trying to explain “educational technology” would simply be integrating technology into educational experiences, lessons, procedures and experiments. When brainstorming definitions of the terms “education” and “technology,” I found I basically was creating the same definition for both. Both including ideas of teaching, learning, exploring, finding solutions, enhancing lives of both young and old in a variety of environments and subjects. And often times, both enjoyable, creative, fun or at times areas of passion for some.
In looking at our readings about social media and art education, it shows clearly how there are many benefits to blending technology and classroom lessons/activities. Social media is such a popular, growing, expanding and fantastic thing in our current day society. Networking, expanding relations and ideas, sharing, critiquing, exploring, viewing, giving feedback, “friend-ing,” “thumbs-up-ing,” “liking,” “commenting,” “re-blogging.” The list goes on and on! Of course social media may be looked at as your aunt sharing pictures and bragging about her recent cruise to the Bahamas on Facebook, but social media can also help provide future employees/employers, online art exhibits, virtual tours for learning, tutorial videos on YouTube and sharing important news. Many more people, especially people that may be less likely to share, are finding their voice through the Internet and social media tools.
Visual culture is best friends with technology. Print ads, commercials, television, films, photos, websites, blogs, video games, I could go on and on for days! Visual culture is also best friends with art education. We must admire the large variety of images that swirl around ourselves and our students, day in and day out. No longer black and white newspapers but computer graphics, moving billboards, and websites we can conveniently pull up on our cell phone screens at any moment. We must also educate them about visual culture. The pros, the cons, interpreting it all and the impact it collectively makes. Showing examples of visual culture in the classroom would take technology! A large amount of visual culture is created or distributed through technology! It all is quite full circle really!

Today was full of great presentations by the class! I was aware with some of the applications/interfaces such as tumblr and etsy but also learned of many new ones! I really enjoyed the “Art Assignment” Youtube video that Madi shared. The couple in the video was charming and funny but I really enjoyed the concept behind opening up art assignments and ideas to the whole Youtube community and allowing everyone to participate. When they showed a large selection of submissions they received, you truly understood the social media/networking aspect the videos have to them. As an artist I was also quite fascinated with the art making apps that John shared, such as “Sketches.” Many artists young and old, new and experienced and broadening their horizons and adding many technological tools to their art tool kits! I would easily share apps like this and many more with future students as one of many options/mediums to explore. And finally, another option that stood out during presentations was “guerrilla-innovation.” presented by Mary Cate. This website is very visually pleasing with a constant stream of images, catchy titles and all sorts of videos, websites, products and people involved. The website really helps people to see how constant invention, exploration and sharing is in the art world to this day. I could get lost in this site for hours! A website I plan to keep under my favorites bar on my laptop and one I would share with fellow students or possibly future students. Today really continued the learning from the readings and appendixes I explored over the weekend, into my Prezi  presentation and finishing with a quick video chat with Robert Sweeny!
"Social media are no more and no less than the sum of the interactions they facilitate." (Robert Sweeny)

Monday, September 8, 2014


     [interface meets teaching philosophy] 

 For my technological interface, I chose the interactive projection screens to use in my envisioned classroom. The use of these interactive projections on both walls and floors would allow for a collaborative experience for the students. All working together, experiencing the same visuals and movements at the same time, they will witness  each other react and continue to create. In my vision of my class, all students are intrigued, fully present and inspired to participate as well as push their personal boundaries. Especially for students who are fearful, insecure or unsure of creating art, I hope to make them feel both comfortable and in the end proud. I want students to feel as though the class is a team, myself included, and we will take on all concepts, tasks, and obstacles together. The interactive projections allow for technology to enter and flourish in the room but can still be based off of or feature people, places and things throughout history until present day. We may learn about Van Gogh like students did in the 70's, but perhaps we will learn about him and I will showcase his artwork on large screens rather than small textbook images on the pages. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Locating Self as Teacher


      When told to lay back with eyes shut, envisioning my future art classroom, I had a mix of visuals. 

I walked into a school building in the morning with my coffee mug in one hand, car keys and a folder of various lesson plans, research, and images for myself in the other. I walk into the building and am greeted by fellow coworkers. I’m not sure if it is a public school, charter school or what, but it has a school environment with many, many students of a variety of ages. They all seem to be from about K-5. I walk into my room; which is surprisingly very large and flip on the lights. There are dim, relaxed yellow lights coming from various lamps, light fixtures and Christmas lights strung from the ceiling.  The walls are painted various colors such as olive green, mustard, cream, teal, mint, all sorts. Some walls have polka dots, pinstripes, mini murals, and a whole wall is painted with chalkboard paint. The floor is a beautiful wood floor that looks aged and covered in paint specks and spills. On the walls there are several inspiration boards full of collages, images, magazine pages, and posters. They are a mix of artists and famous paintings from art history, vintage band posters, new and old photographs of plants, places and animals. A recreation of a contemporary art installation stands tall in another corner. A mini hallway then leads you into another room that is a gallery strictly for student artwork. It has bright lighting, cement floors and plain white walls like most galleries that allow only the artwork to shine. In the gallery, I constantly hang student artwork, allow students to practice KIND critiques and sharing sessions, and every two weeks, I have a gallery showing for all students, parents and any additional family and friends that would like to attend. I want my students to feel accomplished, proud and excited about all of the work that make in and out of my classroom. There are a collection of tables, chairs and stools I have collected from various thrift stores and yard sales that both create a funky, rustic atmosphere, but also allow for messes to be made and no punishment or reprimanding to follow. There is always music playing either softly in the background or louder during work time. There is a fridge, microwave, and shelves full of snacks, drinks and meals in case any child is hungry or does not have sufficient meals at home. I need my students to have good energy and no empty stomachs! This is all in a corner that resembles somewhat of a small kitchen. Along another wall there is a row of sinks and counter space at the appropriate level for children of younger ages. The sinks are splattered with paints, inks, and all sorts of materials but they do the job for washing brushes, various materials and hands. There are big windows along this wall that allow in plenty of sunlight through the forest trees that line the building. We often look outside and admire the different seasons, which brings inspiration for many artworks. My desk is large and painted; originally thrifted as well. My name is painted on it for students that may need a reminder, not for sense of ownership. I want my students to feel that I am not purely authority. I am here to help with creativity, exploration, expression and discovery.


     When directed to think about technology being in my room I stumbled. Of course I pictured a laptop or two being in the classroom for some research or printing off images for assignments, but I wasn't sure how else to include it. Perhaps I was merely going off of classrooms I had been taught in or even recent classrooms I had helped teach in. But no! This is my future vision! I should push further somehow. After looking through some sources and researching through the class, I came across these amazing interactive projection screens by Luminvison. These projections were being shown on walls, floors, halls, you name it! Hotels, shopping malls, why not my classroom? So I began to daydream how I could use these interactive projection floors as ways to engage my students, let them experiment with body movement, technological connections, their senses, ideas of space; the ideas and concepts kept coming! I could surely use this tool with any subject, artist or unit. 


     Next was creating an animation using Flash and uploading to Youtube. I enjoyed doodling with little paintbrushes on the screen but also found many frustrations when I couldn't figure things out, things wouldn't resize, things were deleted, etc. I uploaded my brief animation to Youtube which made it quite fuzzy and seemed to discredit the hard work I had felt I put in. I stepped back a moment and realized, maybe technology based activities or art making isn't "my thing" but fellow students around me were creating amazing animations! Their eyes seemed to light up as they looked onto the screen quickly moving their cursors around and clicking. As a teacher I must think of my students and what is best for them, and what engages them. I should provide them with a large variety of mediums and processes and allow them to find what they truly enjoy. If my students are engaged and excited, they will feel more excited, inspired and motivated. So from this, I learned to stop thinking about what I like or want in my classroom but also what my students may want and like. 

brief animation

[five areas]

      Five areas, ideas or concepts I want my students to learn from me. These five areas would have to be very important to me and would truly only work if I believed in them and lived by them myself. How do I condense all of my beliefs, opinions and ideas I want to share with all of my future students? I'm not so sure but I will try! 

1) creativity. Not to go too generic or cheesy but let's be honest. A creative child often becomes a creative adult, and a creative adult in my opinion, lives a fuller, more successful life. To be creative, you must have an open mind, you must look both around you and inside yourself. You are excellent at problem solving, being expressive in unique ways, and you produce original work. Students should always be creative but especially in the art room. They should feel free to express inner thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a supportive, inspiring environment. I hope to push them all to think "outside of the box" and push past their own personal boundaries in the art world. 

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.  Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships,or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods,interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination. 

2) confidence. To be confident, you believe in yourself. You believe that you have many great qualities, and you create many great things. You hold your head high, you recognize you are unique and valuable. You are not constantly doubting yourself nor are you putting yourself down. With confidence comes healthy pride in self. I hope to not only be an example of confidence but have students learn to be confident themselves. Not only as artists so that they are proud of their works and not doubting themselves in the process, but are confident when it comes time to share and show off their work. I want them to also be confident when sharing ideas or even daily interactions with one another. Insecurities are never a fun thing, especially for young students who are trying to find their voice.

Confidence: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something.
full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one's own abilities,correctness, successfulness, etc.; self-confident; bold.

3)collaboration. Bringing together ideas, working together, creating together, integrating ideas. Being able to hear out other people, make a main/common goal, help others, let others help you, take criticism, new ideas and change well.  Combining and coming together. I hope my students often collaborate on artworks, projects and brainstorming together. There is something magical about sharing ideas, coming together and working as one without competition, judgement or ranking of ideas.

Collaboration: to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.  
To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort. Work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something:

4) wonder. To be curious, intrigued, to want to know more, do more. Being amused, amazed, excited and thrilled. I would want my students to be curious, to be in awe of a work or artist, and to ponder or search further. 

Wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable. rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one's experience. to think or speculate curiously.

5) determination. Wanting to achieve, push forward, push through and move on. To accomplish something, to challenge yourself and to desire succeeding your goals. Not throwing in the towel when things get tough, and not giving up on yourself. 

Determination: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult. having a strong feeling that you are going to do something and that you will not allow anyone or anything to stop you, not weak or uncertain.


     Who, where and what has helped form and mold me into who I am and want to be as a future art educator? Different memories, experiences, interactions with certain people, feelings; they have all had an impact in creating my beliefs about both the arts and education. I will call these "landmarks."

    My first landmark would be my grandmother. She has always been a significant part of my life, not just for hugs and baked goods but as an art guide. Growing up she was always creating and learning about art. She got a degree in Art Education then soon after graduating started her own art based daycare called "Art & Play." She then taught in both public middle and high schools as well as continuing to be her own artist. Especially once she retired, she has had many gallery showings as well as sales of her pastel drawings and watercolor paintings. I grew up walking through and playing her studios that were covered in white sheets and colorful works leaned up against the walls. She often encouraged me to have a sketchbook and took me out in fields and forests that she painted. 

   A second landmark would be the collection of my past art teachers since kindergarden. Being in the State College Area School District, I have had excellent education as well resources.

 Gloria Scaltz started my art education experience in kindergarden and take care of me till fifth grade. Gloria was always loud, humorous, slightly sarcastic but a heart of gold. She became a dear friend that I still speak with to this day. She  was always so motivating and put one of my crayon drawings in to a show in the HUB and sent it to be in a show in Boston. She was the first person to make me feel like an artist. I want to be able to give that feeling to many of students.

Robert Placky was my high school art teacher. I speak with him to do this day as well, and find myself emailing him with questions or popping into his room for some guidance here and there. His door is always open. That's what I loved in my ninth through twelfth grade days. I felt a bit like an oddball in my high school, but I could always go to his art room to doodle, paint, chat or even have my lunch and feel so perfectly at home. His funky style, quirky analogies and deep knowledge of art and self inspired me beyond belief. He seems to be a legend around here. People from all sorts of generations, backgrounds and personalities have a connection to him. He constantly kept pushing me to find who I was as both an artist and young adult, and it was exactly what I needed. He would get me fired up, determined as well as confident in who I am and what I do. I want  my room to be a home away from home to students, and I want to make them feel as supported as he does. He still tells me he is my "safety net" when I need.

    I could continue on and on about experiences, people and places that have shaped me into who I am as an artist, human, student and future educator, but perhaps I will close this list with just one more. My final landmark would be when I installed a sculpture with the help of my professor here at Penn State, Brook Simmons, and my fellow intro to sculpture classmates. The task was to make a sculpture in the wood shop that when then be installed in the public and would disrupt the everyday life, people or setting. Brook had always encouraged us to be daring so I decided to push myself and do something slightly controversial. I personally disagree highly with both the words and feelings the infamous "Willard Preacher" projects here on campus everyday, so I decided my sculpture would disrupt him and his preaches of sorts. One of his main concerns being sex before marriage, I decided to make a life size silhouette of two people engaged in sexual intercourse. I painted it black, made a post to stick it in the grass and marched down with my professor and class to install it in a patch of grass directly across from the preacher. So that we did! I wanted to make him feel as uncomfortable as he makes me and many others as he yells, barks and slurs things as students walk by. Large crowds of students, faculty and anyone walking through the mall of the university gathered, laughed, pointed, admired and took pictures. I was thrilled by the response! It got a ton of publicity in the newspapers, social medias and blogs across town. The feeling was fantastic. Both the support and cheering on of my professor as well as feeling I had truly pushed my boundaries was extremely beneficial for me as an artist. I wish to push, motivate and have students become daring, alive and proud like Brook had helped me feel.


Monday, September 1, 2014

2020 Vision

     The reading by Anderson & Balsamo about the “2020 Vision” delves into ideas of technology advances, differences between technology ideals and experiences between generations, and how it all can and does affect a classroom. The 2020 vision takes you to a time of a teacher sitting behind a screen viewing his/her students floating about on the screen.  Immediately the relationship between the students and teacher is very different than how I experienced throughout both my K-12 and university days. I grew up walking quietly and nervously into my classrooms on the first days of school, anxious to please my teachers and eager to follow the rules. I always thought of the teachers as authority and those to be respected, even during my angsty teenage days. In the 2020 vision, the teacher immediately must prove why the students should remain, learn and participate. “My IM-patch starts to heat up; one of them has already hacked my earring. I take a deep breath and think, “Let the Games Begin!” (Anderson & Balsamo). The assessment grid, various technologies, advanced games and exercises as well as bots are introduced and the students are now engaged. Ironically, there is a an opportunity called the “Make Space Practicum” which includes reality based course work; student and teacher meeting and working face to face like classes are today! When I read this, it made me realize how lucky I truly am as student to have my professors right there in front of me, entertaining my senses but also there to ask questions, discuss with, and connect on a higher human degree.

    When I reclined with my eyes shut and imagined my ideal teaching space, I envisioned myself in a K-5 school of sorts.  The classroom had old wooden floors with paint splattered on them, old tables and desks from thrift stores, chalkboard walls and kids’ artwork hanging from all of the walls. Quite the opposite of a high tech cyber-school that includes a sleek, clean computer screen, and precisely typed words. Something however I would like to tie over from the reading would be the learning experience from USC’s Institute for Multimedia Literacy. “…the IML draws deeply on tradition of visual expression, narrative and sound, which are often underrepresented in conventional academic production”(Anderson & Balsamo).I would love to integrate a large variety of different mediums into my classroom, whether it is paints and clays or videos and installations with audio or video.  “Retooling our sense of students not as younger versions of ourselves, but as members of a generation with its own unique disposition, provides a starting point for the creation of pedagogical protocols that acknowledge and embrace their essential mutability”(Anderson & Balsamo). I think it will be for myself as an educator to continue to learn new processes, techniques, softwares and possible resources for art making so that I can share them accurately with my students. 

    An advanced tool that I find connects art, senses, perception and technology all in one would be the interactive projections by Luminvison. These projections can be a variety of visuals, games and even advertisements. I would try to not include in my classroom any advertisements, but the sheer entertainment and exercises of sense of vision, body movement and space would be excellent for students! The projections make students explore the very complex connection of human body to the projection through advanced means of technology. I could easily see myself using projections that provide various visuals that correlate directly with lesson plans for the different units for each grade. Whether it is nature, animals, art concepts such as color theory, pattern or perhaps even familiar characters and settings from pop culture. For young students especially, I know this technology would truly grasp their attention and help me to connect major dots and have fun as explore and learn about various concepts. Students could also feel free to work with, adjust and manipulate the software themselves to feel more sense of creation and not simply experience or play. Games could also be a reward after a good day full of hard work from the students! 

  I would much rather have a software like these interactive projections rather than a row of computer against the wall that students are only allowed to use at certain times, for certain reasons and have a rather controlled experience. I never thought much before of making a conscious effort of bringing more technological softwares and tools into my art room but I am beginning to see that it will only enhance my class and the students' experiences, not take away from or make confusing. 

Has anyone ever seen or experienced an interactive floor or wall projection like those from the Luminvision website? Any thoughts on having this sort of software in a classroom?