ICT is an important aspect of both schools I was teaching at in semesters one and two. The private school IT department had a more efficient system as they had a team of about 8 people. The public school in first semester had only two staff members. At the public school I was not hooked up to the network. The IT people always said “ you are at the top of our list”. So after about 4 or 5 attempts to get connected I gave up. We were also told we would have a $50 photo copying account, however that never happened either. In the public system the photocopiers were always breaking down so I did mine on my home printer. However, both networks at the two schools were highly sophisticated systems. You could look up the history of each child: all their social data, absenteeism, marks, detentions etc. Therefore gaining an inside view on how to engage with the student and find out what outside factors might be influencing them is effecting them in your class. The principle at the public school had designed his own networking system (he was a physics/maths teacher) with some other teacher designers in china as a research project.
In term three I assisted in making a year 5 animation project with an artist in residence . This was part of the Victorian Government initiative called “ Artists in Schools”. Students had to make 25 second animations based on the core values of the school. The school was facilitating a writing festival at which the animations were being premiered. The students worked in small teams of five students. They created their characters out of plasticine. The sets where a collaborative effort made in the art room. The groups had to organize themselves, make story boards, decide the different types of shots eg, long shot, close up and extreme close up etc . Before the animation was shot the students acted out their scenes . It was interesting to see the dynamics of the group and for them to work out their problems. After they had done the animation it was necessary to do the voice over. The animation was a fairly involved process and took the whole term. It was fascinating to see how animation can be incorporated into the curriculum and successfully teach the students about IT ,communication, team work, art, and English. This would fit into the Vels statement of “ICT supports knowledge-building among teams and enables team members to collaborate , inquire ,interact and integrate prior knowledge with new understanding.”
There are multimedia festivals run by the Victorian Government for school aged children such as Screen It . This is a competition run by ACMI to produce a 30sec -120 second animation based around the theme Respect. Students can also create an Live action film or Video Game. This involvement with different organisations is extremely important in the curriculum of the schools Also check out the largest ever animation produced using a Nokia mobile phone. Using clips such as these is an engaging way of inspiring students.
In class I introduced YouTube interviews with famous artist such as Pablo Picasso, Albert Tucker, Salvador Dali etc . However, it is important to follow up these interactions with a discussion or worksheets. For a year 7 dragon drawing exercise I had a short extract from ‘How to Train Your Dragon “. This introduction really engaged the students in the subjects. I had another video which I presented at half way each being only 2 minuets long. I also used power point presentations to present information and artist paintings. One of the assignment for the year 9s was to present a short three slide power point presentation. I think that they would have seen the necessary requirements from the models I presented.
National gallery websites have educational components attached to them such as The National Gallery of America eg kids. I used this website for one of my lessons. On this page you can create a painting similar to that of Henri Rousseau and other fun activities. With the Henri Reasseau topic the students spent a single lesson in the computer labs learning about the man and then creating a picture in his style using the tools on this website . This preliminary design was then use as a template for their own construction. To help students engage with their art world they could become a member of artist run blogs where they could communicate with the community about their art . Another great website to expose students to the contemporary world of art is Saatchi
As an art teacher I think the nature of schooling is dramatically changing with the integration of ICT and multimedia devices. Take I pods for example. They are seen as a scourge by most teachers, however they can be used to advantage. The year 11 teacher at my school would let some students listen to them during class down the back because it kept them quiet. However in art class interviews or pod cast of experts talking abut artists or specific periods in art history could be downloaded for self learning with a more knowledgeable other (Vygotsky). If you go on to iTunes and click on the ItunesU tab there is a plethora of web audio and video recordings on artists, graphic design, art movements etc. . Its an amazing wealth of knowledge. There are also a plethora of apps which can be used for either the I phone or I pad such as Hipstamatic ,which many of my fellow TC use, to drawing and art history apps. Just imagine how the phone obsessed teenager would react if you said the drawing and painting units were going to be done on their I phone. I think the Art classes would be over flowing. Check out some of the examples here
Visual communications is highly dependent on ICT. There are several programs the students use to manipulate images and solve problems. In year 9 visual communications students begin to use basic Illustrator and Photoshop elements. The levels of complexity gradually increase in the design briefs. In year 12 they have to have advanced skills to develop a logo for a tee shirt ,plus a business card, and the marketing of products for a company. In Year ten the students can do an architecture unit . To solve the problem of drawing elevations. The students begin by creating a 3D model of their house design. They take a photograph of the front and side view and put it into a program which draws in the elevations for them.
The 3D printer is another piece of hardware which is going to revolutionize the classroom. Melbourne High School purchased one in July as well as Scotch College in Melbourne and Tasmania. However they come with a rather steep price tag. It is possible to buy them that haven’t been assembled at a fraction of the cost. But I would not trust my soldering skills. Students use 3D drawing and visualization software such as Google Sketch Up or Archicad. This printer will enable cross curriculum participation between domains such as technical drawing , industrial design and art. It is now possible to have a prototype of a design at the push of a button. The influences of this hardware in Studio Art are yet to be realized.