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Apr 12

iPads in Art – the Next Step…

As a teacher of Art I believe that the ipad can “…extend and transform the traditional learning environment.”

My Year 11 class and I have been lucky enough to have the ipads available to us during our double lesson on Friday mornings over the last two weeks.  They have been causing quite a buzz in the department.

Technology is a powerful tool that can enhance creativity when utilised in the correct way.  Immediately all 12 were put to good use in a variety of ways.  A small selection of students for their mock exam preparation have been researching and developing Art along a theme “Signs and Symbols” and have latched onto “Street Art”. In the Art room I have brick wall effect wallpaper which students in the past have cut stencils and sprayed through onto the paper surface.  Stencils are hard to cut, no guarantee they will work and spray too heavily and they can disintegrate, place it in the wrong location and there is no way to remove it.  The students were instructed to use the ipads as a method of “preparation” and “experimentation”.  They took a photograph of the brick effect wallpaper and then proceded to cut and paste possible stencil formats on top in layers.  They experimented with composition and then colour ways all via photo forge and colour effects.  To do this physically would have taken all lesson.  With some students failure at this stage in creating Art can put them off engaging and sticking with the theme but thanks to the ipads students managed to work out where they should place stencils and what colours would look best prior to committing to their final piece.  Two of the students requested to book the ipads out overnight and continue with their planning work.  Efficient and inspiring.

Other students wanted to use the ipads to research other artists work.  A course requirement.  Art regularly send students to Discovery to use computers and print out images.  Having ipads in the Art room meant there was no need for students to leave the room as they had direct access to History of Art and contemporary imagery.  Students were recording their findings directly into their sketchbooks and were making informed connections with their work and the work of others through visual and written note taking.

I have since been looking at Apps that enhance Art Education and am interested in finding out more about Art Authority.  Pati Beachley, associate professor of Art and director of the Art Program at Seton Hill United states has been quoted as stating “The use of Art Authority on the new iPad will give our students enhanced learning advantages in the classroom as well as outside the classroom. Being able to instantly access visual information streamlines instructional technology in a fun, exploratory way,”.

As a practitioner that is keen to embrace technology to enhance Teaching and Learning I am keen to exploit the potential of Apple TV.  Our classes regularly engage in critiques of work.  Historically this involves up to 30 individuals gathering around a table to view “Live” work.  Apple TV would enable teacher or students to gather evidence of “Outstanding “ practice in the Art room which could then be played to the whole group for discussion.  Cutting out unnecessary movement and enhancing feedback to move work to the next Level. The work would appear enlarged for all to see.  I have previously stated the potential for the ipad to become a “Visualiser” brilliant for whole class demonstrations as no student needs to move to see.  Excellent for showcasing small scale technique as the live feed is played on a large screen.  Of course there will be a cost incurred by providing each Art room with Apple TV.  However as a department we would not be able to justify each teacher having a visualiser at the cost of £800 a piece.  The ipad has many more functions than the visualiser and is therefore value for money.

I look forward to further enhancing student creativity through the use of technology.