Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why hide technology in the Locker??

I wrote this blog for my personal education blog but thought I would share it with you even though it’s not related with art education. Any one have any thoughts about cell phone, ipad, or home lap top/netbook use in the classroom. I am a strong advocate for bringing in smart  phones/ipads into the school. Schools don’t have the budget for this type of technology, specially private schools. I wish we could give and ipod or ipad to every student. However, students need to learn how to use these devices responsibly and stop sneak using them. If you have any thoughts let me know pros/cons or any good articles or local schools. I know from professional discussions with teachers from around the country that use technology from the home ipads/smartphones. That it has increased the technology by 50% and enhanced learning. The one thing I heard over and over was it’s easy to just have them remove the sim card and have them use WIFI on the school network as the biggest safety net. 
I have been following the trend of schools allowing and actually encouraging students to bring and use smart phones in school.  It is becoming common in the work field as a tool so why not allow middle school and high school students use this technology in the classroom. Heck, with education budget cuts this could actually become a free resource.  How many free or low cost educational apps are available on the iphone.  How many students have these devices in lockers, book bags or maybe at home. Why not instead of telling students to leave them at home, take them away when they have them out we as teachers teach them how to responsibly use them. They are not going away. 
I went two years ago to a workshop that  one teacher discussed was how the  inner city school teacher who “gasp” allowed students to use their smart phones. She set up rules:
1.  place them on airplane mode unless an app needs the 3g or wireless.
2. She could answer it if it rang and no texting while in class.
3.  IF Caught misusing the phone they would loose use of the phone in class for the week . No using it for research, games or  projects, like a normal classroom. They got the textbook, pencil and notebook. She had the students write on a large paper what misuse would be. (Oh an internet safety lesson)    Examples: no camera use unless for project.  She taught about professional uses of facebook and twitter.  A computer ethics course.
She also allowed students to text or e-mail home work.  During the year she documented an increase in test score and turned in homework.  As for misuse she had non students did not want to loss the privilege and respected the rules they created.
I researched a few article and successful schools that are allowing smart phone use 

Schools starting to allow use of digital devices

Some schools rethink ban of cell phones Best advice I have read
But the American Association of School Administrators itself argues the other side, promoting the use of cell phones in class as “genuine educational tools.”
“Handheld devices like cell phones, iPhones, BlackBerrys and iTouch are beginning to offer applications that enhance classroom learning by engaging kids to use tools they are constantly using anyway,” Daniel A. Domenech, the association’s executive director, wrote in an essay last fall.
Cell phones head to classThe students are expecting immediate answers and, if we don't always have a room full of computers and they do have answers right there in their pockets, it's sad for us to say, ‘I know it's there and you can't (use it),'” Faulkner said. “Some teachers were saying, ‘OK, you can look that up on your phone and I'll stand right here and watch you.'”

School Districts Lay Foundation for Mobile Devices over the past two years, Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Ga., has slowly allowed some of its 34,000 students to bring their own notebooks, iPhones or other computing tools to school and connect them to the district network.

This school Farsyth County School after reading numerous articles has to be the best use of available technology I have read about. If you allow students to link with WIFI not the cellular network you can monitor what they can and cannot use. That is what I use in my classroom. I have iphones and ipods using WIFI only and I know the students are only able to get to appropriate sites. Have the student remove the sim card and place it a container labeled with their name if your worried about them using the cellular network at the end of the day they can put the sim card back in. In my classroom they are old phones that does not have a sim card.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Check out the new scholastic art website


I received a notice about the new Scholastic art magazine website and I really like it. Check it out if you have a subscription it gives more information to enhance it. 

Printable Materials, power points, video clips and the quizzes have an interactive feature now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Internet Safety

Beginning of the year reminder Sister Geralyn has alot of information for us Diocesde teachers on this issue and many other subjects

Some I found during my research I like she may also have them on her wiki:

The website thinkuknow is out of UK but a great resource to teach about internet safety. Great for projectors or smart board about internet safety. They also have videos, games, printables, and for little kids songs. They have for all age groups PreK-highschool.

netsmartz variety of information for all age groups videos, various subjects, printables, downloadables, presentations and much more.

A little pen and paper good if you don't have internet or computer access in the art room and want a printable lesson for older kids. safe surfing

Cyberbullying has all the different types, great for a starter for a poster or creating a pamphlet about cyber bullying.

An overall information about saftey internet and other as a teacher resource. June safety month

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ipad/ iphone/ ipod art app

My favorite and I am going to need to borrow my teens ipad a few times a year for class demonstration is brushes. They do gave an iphone/ipod version as well and I am hoping to get students interested in using technology outside the classroom. 

NY artist
Other apps I have installed:
moma museum app free
Museum Quest which I used this summer with my kids $2.99
imuseum videos of museums $1.99
Musee’du Louvre Free and one of my favorite though videos are in French they still have a lot of good stuff.
classic art jigsaw app $.99
art guide app has apps for various cities and events most are free some are $.99

How to get old iphones and ipods one let parents know you are looking for them. I like to get broken ones and fix them. The iphone 5 is coming and people are going to be upgrading phones.
Yes, I have been accumulating old iphones and ipods. I found a place ifixyouri which does reasonable priced and quick fixing for old iphones and ipods that are more than just a quick screen replacement. I had one art teacher on another blog site I read, that got a few iphone 3g for her class. She had a home button repaired for $45. She got it from someone that this is the 3rd iphone on their ATT plan had a 3gs their child uses as a ipod, an ipod and just got the iphone 4 upgrade. They didn’t want or need a broken iphone and it wasn’t worth it for them to try to sell a broken phone.  One way to get a collection for a classroom, she has about 10 she got this way and spent around $200 fixing them.
Though I have attempted to fix a few screens myself, I have found the 4th generation ipod very hard to fix yourself. I dropped mine and shattered the screen, The screen and digitizer are connected and you need to take the whole ipod apart to just replace the screen. I did all of that and then only had a white screen turn on. So, I sent it to the fix it place mentioned above and waiting to see the prognosis of my poor ipod. 
You can get broken screen iphone 3g for under $100 sometimes for about $50  or less on craigslist. The ipods you can find because kids drop them a lot and then instead of replacing the screen, because the older ones don’t have cameras, usually sell them to buy the new 4th generation. A new screen kit for the older model are around $8-$10 online and are easy to pull apart, glue and re-plug.  Now that the iphone 4 is out and iphone 5 is coming soon the 3G iphone will become even cheaper. It can be used just like an ipod without a contract you can’t use it as a phone, however you can still use it on a wifi network. If you don’t have wifi at school or home go have a nice coffee at Panera and download your apps. Many are free. I just bought my daughter a brand new 3G for a steal on e-bay to replace her ipod and cell phone with it. One device instead of two.
I have decided to try and add this to my art arsenal this year. I am hoping that between school parents, church, craigslist and e-bay. I can get a few of the older broken models donated so I can refurbish them and use them in class.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Online art ed class

I Had to pass on information about online art education credit classes, I believe at least one person had questions last year about art education classes. I have not tried any of these classes and I have not checked to see if PA act 48 acepts it. However it is a credit course so it should? If anyone knows more about act 48 let us know, but here is the information it costs about $100 to $250 for a class:
Cost Chart

Let us know if anyone takes a course and likes it! Here is the e-mail information I recieved below.

I wanted to send you a personal invitation to the perfect 'back to school' AOE class. Right now you're probably saying "A class? Right now? I'm just getting back to school!" Well, yes, that's the point. As we get back in the classroom, start getting organized, and the demand on our time increases, this class is designed to help you de-clutter your room, your mind, and your teaching. It's the perfect way to start the year.
Being a 'Clutter Free Teacher' is far more than just having a tidy work space, it's a thought process, it's a methodology, a powerful approach to help you rediscover why you got into education, to rejuvinate, and start the year out right. You'll be able put the strategies we cover into immediate action in your own classroom.
As always, we've organized the class to be as flexible as possible to fit your busy schedule. Class starts September 1st, it's available as always for Graduate credit through Madonna University - but this is also a class that you should take just for yourself, whether you need credit or not. It might just be the thing that turns your ho-hum year... into a great one!
I'd love it if you'd join us for the class, I'm really excited about it. To sign-up, just click the button below and follow the easy instructions before August 25th.  If you need any help at all or just want more information, feel free to reply to this email or contact me at
Jessica Balsley


 Up Comming class

De-clutter your space. Your mind. Your teaching.
Your Space – As art teachers, we have a lot of ‘stuff’ in our physical space to manage.  Through this class, you will learn and carry out processes to live more simply in your classroom, to get more done, to stay organized and maintain your sanity.
Your Mind – With the state of education today, cuts in the arts and increasing time-demands leads to increased teacher burnout and stress.  This class will provide a place to let art teachers rejuvenate their minds, reflect and refresh the values that got them into teaching art in the first place.
Your Teaching – Finally, some of us hang on to lessons that do not serve our students.  Learn to let go of what is not working and embrace new best practices that work smarter, not harder.
We won’t just talk about theory, you will take action and explore strategies you can use tomorrow in your classrooms to reinvigorate your passion for teaching and de-clutter what is not working for you.