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.

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