My Flex Day was spent attending the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA) annual Fall Conference in Knob Noster, MO. My goal in attending was to collaborate with art teachers on how to integrate IPad’s into the classroom, and effectively use the website Artsonia.com as a portfolio of students work. This would provide students the opportunity to reflect critically upon their body of work, seeing all works in the same format. While reflecting their overall collection and the processes involved, they would create an Artists’ Statement; a challenge for elementary grades.
At the conference I encountered major differences in opinion with regards to this particular integration of technology. Some love the IPads, some hate them, some knew nothing about them other than they were in their buildings, but far too expensive/dangerous to bring into an art setting. One workshop in particular, titled “Reassessing Assessment”, provided most of what I needed. Teaching students to be able to evaluate their own work, creating students that are self-aware and self-reflecting is the goal that can be especially valuable if they can apply it to other aspects of their lives as well. Waiting to introduce the IPad until students are a few weeks into working with them and comfortable with most of the functions was important. Having a procedure of coming in, placing the IPad in one place, not to be messed with until it is time, was important. The main idea was in order to use I pad’s successfully in an Art classroom was to have a rigid structure in their usage, provide norms and expectations that never vary. Teachers showed their own Artsonia accounts and explained how this would work and look. Many different formats were collected to show students options as far as how they should begin reflecting, how they could write about themselves as an artist, how they’ve grown, or about one particular artwork if they so choose.
Katrina Calhoon | Lewis Elementary | Art Teacher
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