Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Excitement and Dirty Underside of Website Creation

This is the new website/blog for my art room. I started one at my old school, but the suggested WYSIWYG from my site's webmaster was way to clunky. Not her fault, it was the one that my district had obtained for teachers to create websites. It was somewhat functional as long as you wanted to keep things extremely simple, and not attempt to add any pictures. As you can guess, a website with no images is very boring. Since I use to design and build website in my past career I became very annoyed, and eventually abandon the attempt. While part of me yearns for to have the full design control of my site, I have to be realistic. I am an Art Educator. I know how busy I stay all day long at school, then you have after school meetings, district meetings, and then family time. I really need the best solution for fast updates, and easy management. I use WordPress for my personal art website, but I noticed that many (as in almost 90%) Art Educators are using Blogger. I explored many different options, WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Google Sites, and eventually landed on Blogger. And here is why. WordPress is great, I am extremely familiar with its operation. For my personal art website/portfolio, I own the domain name, pay for hosting and use WordPress for my site management software, layout, and design. It is fantastic, but I am excluded from every single automatic blogroll on other sites. I know because I have tried to get my personal site listed. That is annoying. Although my biggest reason for choosing Blogger is my school district is in the beginning stages of doing a massive switch to Google for Education.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ArtLab Focus


The way I approach teaching art to students is to focus on first on Art History. We will look at art that has been created through out time, studying individual artist, movements, or ancient civilizations. Students learn more about the different materials used, the emphasis of the work, the use of principles and elements of art, and the life of the artists. We also must realize that art does not just happen, but that art is a response to events, emotions, and sometimes unforeseen circumstances surrounding creative individuals.

In effort to understand the why, we have to bring other content areas of education. Students will study aspects of Math, Science, Language, and Social Studies to help fill in the blanks. With the introduction of Math and Science, I am hoping to bring more STEAM based lessons into my classroom. I am currently working on bringing in new technology into my art room. Hopefully soon students will be able to make both traditional art, along with digital art, opening up new exciting future possibilities.

6-Year Plan

I hope to move my program to in a direction that allows for easier integration of technology, creating parts of the curriculum to be more, if not all STEAM based. I will need additional industry standard technology devices, and software to allow students to start creating digital art, and to make connections to engineering. I also plan to continue the current study of art history, and traditional mediums such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics.

ArtLab Wish List

The art room always welcomes donations of your “junk”… if you happen to have any of these items to spare, drop them off on your way in, or in my mailbox at the office.

  • Newspapers (all year) for everything
  • Styrofoam trays (any size) for printing.
  • Metal Cookie
  • Legos
  • Building Blocks
  • Electronics (pagers, video game controllers, electric toothbrushes)
  • Old dish towels or rags
  • Paper grocery bags
  • Egg Cartons
  • Wine Corks
  • Plastic containers with lids
  • Magazines (kid appropriate)
  • Craft items (ribbon, buttons, beads, fabric, etc.)
  • Old blenders
  • Wood Scraps

A good rule of thumb… If you’re about to throw it out or give it away, ask “Could the art room use this?” Chances are, we probably can.

Thank you for all your past and future donations!