Sunday, June 9, 2013

Welcome to my new blog...

Right now, I'm a tired art teacher just beginning summer break, which means I've packed up the classroom, turned in paperwork and keys, and spent a few days doing a lot of gardening and a little of nothing at all. Like most teachers, my summer fills up quickly and before I know it, it's August again and I'm unpacking the cabinets and setting out the pastels and paints for another school year.

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Fifth grade paper sculpture
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Fourth Grade story quilts
This past year has been a year filled with new experiences for me. I've never been one to dive into new technology and get excited about all the new gadgets and gizmos that beep and blink. I use what I fondly refer to as my "dumb phone", although it does have a slide out keypad for texting, and my desktop computer here at home is at least five years old. That all changed when I was one of the first group of teachers in my building who were given an iPad2 back in December, 2011.

The first six months were a combination of fascination and resistance for me. I just wasn't sure there was a place for this new technology in my world of paper, paint, pastels, and glue. How wrong I was! I now have nine iPads for the art room and I'm going to be lobbying for a full classroom set as soon as possible. I've learned that this technology can enhance, but will never replace, the traditional art media that I use in my classroom.

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Yay! Monster app for iPad - First Grade Art

Every summer, in between vacations and relaxation with family and friends, I try to learn one new technique that I can bring to my students. This summer, it will be technology. My iPad is loaded with apps for drawing, photography, and story-telling, but I know there is a lot more out there that is waiting to be discovered.

Does your school use iPads in the classroom? If so, what apps have you used that might be used to enhance an art curriculum for the elementary or middle school grades? I am especially interested in cross-curricular connections because I like to team up with the grade level classroom teachers whenever possible. Thanks so much for any tips you have to offer!

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