Monday, October 22, 2012

Technology in the classroom

A few great websites I have found:

sketch & Paint program

Pencil Madness:

Pixel Art:


This week I let the students work with different drawing apps on android tablets and iPod/iPhones. As well as a group painting project on the smartboard using the website program

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Great website with alot of information: Another blog I follow has a wonderful prezi presentaion to use in your art room check it out: She has other posts about art center ideas and much more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Reminder and an invite OCT. 20th at Harrisburg Unversity edcamp Harrisburg Learn about technology and education and it is FREE!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Some new technology items I have in my room this year is I finally got a smart board. I orginally had a regular white board I modified into a smart board using a wii remote. One program I love to use is: One Motion painting program to create a class mural for the beginning of the year.

Other items is my family upgraded iphones to iphone 4 so now I have more iphones to use during class and most apps still work on the iphone 3. Another item I have found I really like is the android touch screen netbook. It looks like a mini computer but the screen is touch screen so it is great multi tech tool. I got three for a test program to play with in my room through a mini grant and love them. I plan to get more since they only cost $100 I can pick up 4 of these compared to the ipad.

Though I really like ipads I steal my daughters since she can't take it to school and use it during the day. I have found that since the new ipad 3 came out you can get some good deals on the original version. I also think you will find some good deals on later in fall when the new ios6 comes because the 1st generation ipad will not upgrade. That is a plus but also I find the older ipad/iphone/ipod are still very functional in the art room. I am still using a few of the 1st generation ipods that doesn't even have the camera, yet they still work fine with many drawing apps.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

iphone and ipod covers that can handle the art room


School will be starting shortly and over the summer my husband and I have upgraded iphones to the iphone 4. Bought them through which is part of bestbuy so it comes from a reputable company. $259.00 iphone 4 with no scratches and works great.

Now I will just move my old phones to my class collection. But I decided I need some cover that can handle being dropped etc. I had a few close call last year and my son is constantly dropping mine as well. So I went on a hunt for a affordable rugged case. I started with Otterbox which is the high end case about $25 a case. Though I have seen them for about $10 for the iphone 3. My friend whose husband is a construction worker has one and has dropped it from 3 stories, ran it over with the truck. Only thing that did kill his phone was leaving it on the tread of a bulldozer, then it drove off with it still on the tread.

 OtterBox Impact Case for iPhone 3G/3GS - Black

I don’t think the kids can be as hard as a bulldozer on them, hopefully. So I asked around and the next best and very affordable is Body Armor cases. Like Otterbox has a semi-heavy

Body Armor for iPhone 4 / 4th Generation - Yellow & BlackVery affordable at $2.50 – $10 through amazon have tested it and though otterbox is probably better, this is the second best I have found. I bought a set of 8 for $24 and free shipping.

If you have ipods I found that if you have a hard skin case you can insert the ipod with case on into the iphone 3 size case, but you will need to purchase a full plastic cover separate for $0.72 because the cut out one that comes with the case doesn’t fit well with the ipod.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jolicloud and other cloud computer ideas

I have  collection of ancient laptops that my husband doesn’t like to get rid of, because they work. The oldest is a 13 -14 year old toshiba, the last pictures downloaded to it was when my daughter was 3 and she is finishing her freshman year in high school. So I have been looking at ways to use them for more than a book end. I have found several ideas. I have really been leaning toward linux and cloud systems
Features I love are that I can create my own apps that direct students to a specific webpage such as my artsonia gallery page or the school website.  I even set up each art gallery or art game to an app. I did a art web quest and had all the areas I wanted them to search all on one page they clicked from app researched, then moved onto the next app. Saved a lot of time and they went directly to where I wanted them to go. 

How it works in my room for log in:

 I have the web address app I want to use already ready on the first page so when they log on they can click the icon go right to the page and off they go. To do this I log in on my class account “Jolicloud me”, I have a simple log in and password they all use. For security after the lesson I change the password so they cannot go home get into the account and change things, but that is personal preference since I work with grades K-8, I like to lock out after school hours. Other teachers I know allow students to access from home. However, before the next lesson I change the password back to the one they use in class. Otherwise I would need to change the setting on each computer for log in. 

 I really like Jolicloud I recommend watching and playing around with this program. It can be loaded as a dual loading system so you choose which to open windows or Jolicloud or you can have your computer only Jolicloud. As for art if you have old computers or slower running android (those generic cheap tablets) this seems to run much better. Playing with a $59 pandigital tablet I will let you know how that works. 

Another option is:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Teaching About Issues: Environmental, Social, and Economic


My culmination lesson: Working with environmental art sculptures, social issues, and then bringing in the works of mercy from the religion classes. I wanted to send out my 8th graders with a broader look of issues pertaining to life and how artists work with issues.

If you get the Scholastic Art Magazine the April/May Issue is a great starting point if you have never done this type of lesson.

The end of the school year for 8th grade I have been adding media and new artists to this lesson. So far this has been my best year with a very engaged class.

Artists I use in this lesson

1. Andy Goldsworthy: Environmental art

2. Maya Lin: Environmental art

3. Vik Muniz: Documentary Wasteland

4. Shigeru Ban: Sustainable architecture

5. Ai Weiwei: Political and social awareness

Environmental looking at the artist Andy Goldsworthy

The good in the environment

video about artist installation piece in California based on earthquakes.


  1. Why did this artist create this art piece?
  2. What issue was he informing his audience about?
  3. Looking at his other works what is he interested in?

Great Power Point through TES a UK Teaching resource website


Creating an environmental sculpture: In 5th grade I teach about Andy Goldsworthy we review this in 8th grade by looking at the slide show of 5th grades class sculptures.

Students Look at the sculptures 5th grade created. what found materials did they use? Any materials that caught your attention? Did they showcase the environment around our school?

My Slide show from 5th grade:

Next we go outside which goes with Earth Day and find all the the trash in our environment to create a sculpture in groups.

Artist: Maya Lin How people impact the environment

Studio of Maya Lin

We watch a part of the Documentary about her art


What is the difference between Goldsworthy and Lin?

Artist Vik Muniz: The Largest dump in the world in one of the most poorest areas. Humans impact on the environment

The students watch the trailer for the documentary Wasteland as a large group. I highly recommend the video I watched it awhile back and is available through itunes. Students then watch it as a small groups on the ipad in 10 minute segments.  Then have a group discussion about the video and watch the ending as a group. I am still closely reviewing the video again in small 10 minute segments getting discussion questions ready, but so far very good. If I find anything questionable I can skip that 10 minute segment.  

1. Wasteland trailer everyone watches before

2. Small groups watch documentary in sections of 10 minutes and rotate

3. Group discussions about what they learned

4. Economist Interview with artist: WASTELAND

5. We all discuss what we have learned

* other 2 groups are discussing and/or reading Scholastic art Magazine April/May issue 2011

Shigeru Ban: Sustainable architecture

So far we went from clean environments in nature as art,  to an artists that focuses on how people change their environment. To an artist that focuses on how people are affected by environment, Now we are looking at the artist architect Shigeru Ban which focus on reusing and recycling to create beautiful structures to revitalize the environment. 

Student then using rolled newspaper split into groups and create a structure from paper rolled tubes and other recycled materials.

Ai Weiwei: Creating a natural “fake” environment as a message to the viewer

If you have a Scholastic Art Magazine they have a wonderful online video if not or with that video

Great video of experiencing the Sunflower Seed Sunflower Seed Exhibit


What was your favorite artists?

What was the most important message you took from these artists?

What did you learn about that was new?

Now reflect and pick a topic form the corporal or Spiritual works of mercy and create a miniature piece based on showcasing that message.

Using a 3 by 5 index card create a drawing, painting, collage on the blank side. One the side with lines write your artist statement. If you wish to do a sculpture you may use model magic.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tablets nook, fire, and generic tablets? HOW can I use them in the classroom?

something I have been playing around with is the use of the reasonable prices tablets. I have two computer for the students to use in my room. I am thinking about replacing them with lower end tablets. WHY? I have been looking at what I use them for and this year my students have used them for web surfing for info about artists for reports, images for ideas, and using artsonia for writing artist statements and we play music on it. That’s it and it is a lot of wasted space. It would be easier to have them in the basket on my desk for use with the old iphones. instead of students running over to the computer then coming back to their desks.
My husband picked up a cheap nook color the 1st version not the new tablet but he loaded gingerbread ( rooted it) on it to use it like a tablet. IF you have an older version ask your local B&N they do have workshops on how to do this. He doesn’t use it since he now has a tablet which he better hide because I may steal it for my classroom. So now the nook is used by my son as a e-reader for the read aloud books. Which I highly recommend if you have toddlers/prek kids even in the classroom for any age group. My little one is learning his words and loves the thing. The nook is very durable as well after his use I can highly recommend it for in the classroom. it has went through a lot with a 5 year old and has survived.  I do not have first hand knowledge of the kindle fire but I assume it is similar. I like this article kindle vs. nook vs. ipad for more information about what they do and don’t do.
OTHER TABLETS: OK an update I have tested out a few of the newer generic tablets and have really like the google andriod 2.2 version ones. So I am not as against these as I was from my test of the products 2 years ago the genrics have come a long way. Though I still would go through Amazon so you could easy return items.
I did buy a cheap tablet from amazon those $89 things I highly do not recommend them, if you do want to test out a cheap tablet  buy it from a sold by amazon distributor so if it is awful like the one I got you can send it right back without any hassle. Though one of my 3rd grade parents bought a Colby Kyros from amazon and loves it for her kids. If anyone has any recommendations,  flops, or other let me know.
Kids and tablets article
When parents and administrators and even other teachers  think of Kindles, Nooks, Tablets, and iPads/iphones in the classrooms, they think it’s a bad thing. Top comment I get is and that it will abuse the privilege if they were given a chance to use the technology in classrooms. But do they recognize the benefits of using this technology in classrooms. 1. Advantages to buying books on a Kindle, Nook, Tablet, and iPad are they are cheaper and technology seems to be the future. 2. It depends on what class Math, English, etc. would benefit but it may be harder to get it due to curriculum they already have text books bought.  ART has much more flexibility to get it started if it hasn’t already been introduced into your school. Give yourself a reason to be an important part of the school. Don’t be afraid to ask the community for donations of old devices.
*The word is out that I take old cell phones, parents and community members don’t mind giving it to the school to use, when they probably would have held onto it instead of putting in the recycle bin at staples.
-ipad/iphone has wonderful apps that art educator can use
-Tablets: big thing “iproducts” do not support some websites that art educators use sometimes. It is nice to have  another type of device as a tool in the classroom.
Great Art things with nook tablet or nook color rooted or not:
nook books since that is what I have access to also I can get donations of gift cards the parents know instead of the mug for Christmas I rather have them use the gift card program at school for itunes and barnes and noble cards that I use for the classroom.
Learning from the Masters--The Art of Tessellations with MC Escher 5.99 and this author has many other chapters available.
How To Draw In Six Easy Steps Collection 2 How to draw and paint book this author has many different one available this one is 9.99 others that are as low as $0.99. great for kids to take back to the desk to work with and one device can have 100’s of books instead of a whole book self.
other books:
American Folk Art for Kids: With 21 ActivitiesVan Gogh and the Post-Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 ActivitiesEmbracing Child Art: Projects for Grown-ups to Keep and Treasure


Drawing PadDrawdle - Color & Draw Puzzle GameMirror
drawing pad $1.99       drawdle $1.99              mirror free
Etch A SketchJumpStart Preschool Magic of Learning 1Shape Builder - the Preschool Learning Puzzle GameAmerican History Books Free
$0.99                    $ 2.99               shape puzzle$1.99   American History free


Thursday, March 1, 2012

NAEA convention technology side today


At the NAEA Convention just informed everyone they are releasing a new version of the iphone app for teachers and parents in about 2-3 weeks. I had a chance to play around with the app. I really like the new updated version can’t wait.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Next week NAEA convention in NYC

Next week I will be at the NAEA convention for art teachers so keep a look out on both blogs tech and classroom. I will post what new ideas and stuff I find

NAEA Convention

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Congratulations 4 of my students that have art displayed starting next week in NYC!!


I noticed a few other Pennsylvania schools any others from our diocese?

big screen plaza in New York City on Friday March 2nd and 3rd from 5-8 PM for the start of Youth Art Month and the National Art Education convention.


Also 3 of my other  students slideshow at the Big Screen Plaza during the month of March see times on if you don’t make it to NYC here is the video:if you fast forward to abut 5:30 on the video you will see out students

Tuesday, February 7, 2012