Life is good in the art room. My elementary artists have not only spent September and early October teasing me about my 90 year old posture (thanks to back trouble) but they have also been learning about Pop Art, commercialism, mass production and famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstien and Claes Oldenburg.
Previously, I’ve written about my struggle to include technology in teaching and learning because of the lack of access from my classroom. I am fortunate to write that I now have one computer with Internet access. I do not however, have a student computer station so I continue to struggle with the best way to use the only computer.
So far I have been able to accomplish the following:
- Locate an awesome Andy Warhol game online (thanks to a fellow art teacher in the district!)
- Show artwork from our selected famous Pop Artists online
- Play digital videos of artwork via one of our school's LCD projectors
Instead of using transparencies of artwork on an overhead, I’ve put together a few short slide shows and set them to music from Garage Band. Simple and basic right? The kids dig it... They love the addition of music and the only sounds heard during the playing of a video/slide show are similar to those heard at fireworks – “ooh,” “ahh,” “wow”… “a cherry on a spooooon!”
Because I have only one computer, see my students once every seven days and have a glorious 40 minutes in which to ensure not only teaching but also learning and productivity take place, I have used technology mostly for whole group instruction. I have found that some students respond even better to web based versions of art as opposed to demos of transparencies on the overhead projector. My upper elementary students want to know where they can access the same information and they like to see that the artwork is accessible to them from home or in our school computer lab.
A few weeks ago, my class located Claes Oldenburg’s Clothespin on www.all-art.org and then in Philadelphia using Google Maps and Street View. I was able to record the “trip” using Jing and I talked the students through finding the address, locating the area on the map and then zooming in for a closer look. The entire field trip took about 5 minutes and we never left the artroom. We were able to see the size of the Clothespin in comparison to its surroundings. We also looked at regular clothespin and had an excellent higher level conversation about why one item might be called art while the other is not. My students loved the experience and left class begging to visit another of Oldenburg’s sculptures.
Here is the record of our trip – it was even more exciting than what it seems here (you will miss out on the audio... with my narration and the chorus of questions & comments from my students ☺