Using Technology to Drive Instruction in Art Class

I’m kinda in love with Technology.

I remember seeing the scene wherein Kip serenades Lafawnda at their wedding and thinking, “Lawd. I don’t wanna, but I sure do relate to Kip!”

It seems as if I’m always on the lookout for ways to utilize technology inside my classroom.  My students are digital natives, and they interact in a digital world; they LOVE when we use technology. Buuutt, I’ve also noticed a huge drop in self-efficacy when we work on digital assignments. I hear a lot of “will you help me?” which translates to, “will you do this for me?” Ugh.

I’ve been using my classroom blog/website (made using Weebly) more and more to drive instruction (  I still spend time delivering the information and modeling the digital project. But, I also post all of the visuals, videos, presentations, and directions on the blog.  It is great because students whom need review and/or have been absent have instant access to the original content I share (especially if I use Screencast-o-Matic to record the demonstration). The students seem to really like it, and I love not having to depend upon printed out directions (I still do print out directions when they are more intense as it can be hard to toggle between screens!). It helps develop self-efficacy, because the students have a central place to gain information. It also is a wonderful way to extend learning. For instance, during our unit on graffiti the students wanted to learn more about Banksy. So, I uploaded a presentation to the blog for them to peruse before/after their work session (and they actually looked at it!!). Some of my students are so enterprising that they print off the directions from the class blog on their own time and bring them to class.  WHAT IS THIS AWESOME MADNESS?!

My 8th grade honor students are earning a high school Art credit, and (you can get to their page on the “VA Comp” link on my class blog), are required to make and keep a portfolio per the class standards. In order to fulfill this standard (and avoid a year’s worth of art rolling around the classroom), they are keeping digital portfolio websites. I like this option because they can continue to develop this website into high school Art classes. Weebly allows teachers to “control” 40 student websites. So, while my students are totally responsible for the creation of their own sites, I’m able to manage the content (and delete as necessary).  I’m really proud of this accomplishment. It was tough at first, but it is great practice! Honestly, I see my future self relying upon this amazing resource more and more.

How do you use technology to drive your instruction?