Friday, September 21, 2012

Moose Heart Dissection

Once again we were fortunate enough to have a moose heart donated to the class for dissection. One might wonder, what does an iPad and a moose heart have in common but we were also able to accomplish the following:

1. Facetime broadcast with a 4th grade at a school in Fairbanks, 15 miles away.
2. Broadcast on the large screen at the front of the room using our Apple TV.
3. Provide a closer experience for those students traditionally watching up front.

Here's a few pictures ... Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Field Trip Photos

One of Mr. Mitchell's goals this year is to create an active interest in the world around them on the part of his students. iPads are an ideal tool for exploring and documenting that world. It's easy for the students to take photos, jot down or record observations, and use that information to think more critically about not only their environment but also on the process of observing and documenting that environment.

One of the objectives of the September 6 field trip to Chena Lakes was to see how students viewed and documented their experiences. Would they find interesting subject matter in an environment that was already familiar to most of them? Would they think about composition, color, and light when documenting that environment? Could they critically examine their work (on the bus ride home and back in class) and decide which observations were the most striking or appealing?

Here are some of the photos that the students picked from the hundreds that they captured that day. Click to enlarge.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Digital Complement Art

As you can see from Mr. Mitchell's previous post, the students have been using their iPads to explore digital art. But the lesson that Mr. Mitchell implemented was so much more than an art lesson. The students were participating in an engaging project that not only familiarized themselves with a tool that they will use throughout the year but that also worked to develop the kind of cooperative partnerships that will be necessary in a setting of 29 students sharing iPads in groups of two. Significantly, along with other lessons that Mr. Mitchell has developed in digital photography (including the rule of thirds, use of proper vocabulary, composition, cropping, etc.), the students are developing a sense of visual literacy that is increasingly important in the context of the information society.

What to look for in the video:
  •  Mr. Mitchell makes sure to introduce and reinforce vocabulary relevant to the project.
  • Students were given the direction to work out a plan so that both partners could complete the project. Virtually every group chose to work cooperatively rather than serially. You'll see many examples of peer coaching and collaboration.
  • The students did not simply copy Mr. Mitchell's example. They brought their own creativity to the project and learned from each others' work.
  • The students remained engaged and self-directed throughout the project, even when they were not in direct control of the iPad. Most chose to read when they were not working with their partner.
  • Even at this early point in the year, students seamlessly saved their work and emailed it to Mr. Mitchell as they completed it. Several students mailed multiple versions of their work as they made improvements or added ideas.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Art in the Digital World

Two weeks into the new year and the iPads are in action!

On Thursday this week we did a little bit of exploring using traditional art methods and supplies to create some watercolor paintings of birch trees.  After discussing terms like background and foreground, today we approached it using an iPad and the Drawing Box app.  Again students explored and create backgrounds and then using a series of "painting" tools, students erased, brushes, and drew birch trees.

Here a a few examples of today's "Digital Art Explorations".