My philosophy of instructional technology Technology levels the playing field, and increases access to information and instruction for all students. Technology, when used appropriately, can deepen understanding and create connections throughout learning. It can be the medium for cross-discipline learning. Technology can create communities, with students, teachers, and parents sharing in the learning. However, technology in the classroom is only as good as the teacher who implements it. Teachers must make sure that technology is relevant to the task at hand.
My goal as a teacher is to help students achieve competency in the usage of art materials, knowledge of art history, and a higher level of self-expression through art-making. Above all, I hope to inspire a love for art, and the ability to think critically about art and its role in our lives and society.
The methods I use include guided discussion art criticism, group projects for larger scale pieces (like murals), experimental use of materials in art making, and field trips to local museums and galleries. I encourage students to incorporate the innovative use of technology where appropriate in their artmaking. Apps for android and iPhones, Adobe Creative Suite, and many other programs can be used to make art. I plan to use the SAMR model (Spencer, 2015) to make sure that students are augmenting, modifying and redefining art making through technology.
I assess student understanding by providing a criterion-referenced grading rubric when I give the assignment, and checking in with the student as they work on a project to help guide them. Student journal entries show understanding and artistic growth, as well as many smaller art projects in addition to several more complex projects. Students learn to talk about their art and process and are evaluated on how they improve that skill over time.
I plan to use technology to create online sketchbooks for the students, incorporating many different mediums in one place. For example, Google Sites, SeeSaw, Pathbrite, and Padlet all give students an opportunity to create a portfolio of their work, and provide important evidence of the thought process behind it.
This provides an efficient way to assess student learning and critical thinking in one location, incorporating multiple forms of media. Technology provides assessment in real time, so that students can work to improve while learning. “Assessments delivered using technology also can provide a more complete and nuanced picture of student needs, interests, and abilities than can traditional assessments, allowing educators to personalize learning.” (“Assessment Section 4: Measuring for Learning”, 2017)
Teaching is important to me because having a knowledgeable, supportive, kind, funny, and patient adult in adolescents’ lives can be pivotal. Many adolescents struggle at home and at school. I hope that art class becomes a place where they can be themselves, let down their guard, and express any feelings that might be overwhelming them. I hope to work with colleagues who feel the same way as I do about adolescents, and that we provide each other with a support network. I hope to work in a district that keeps up to date with the latest technology and provides training and support to staff and students.
It is more important than ever to teach students about digital citizenship. Students should be reminded how to behave responsibly online. They should be aware that there is permanence to their online actions. I will show them videos from like websites, like Common Sense Education, which cover important topics like internet safety, cyberbullying, privacy and security, relationships and communication (Digital Citizenship Video, Common Sense Media, 2017). I plan to make use of the varied resources online for my students. Even when technology is not a part of a lesson, the ideas behind digital citizenship are valuable. Students should work to develop a code of conduct in the classroom that includes their online presence.
As for my personal online presence, I have spent the past couple of years making sure my privacy is protected and my online presence is professional. As Jones (2017) says, “On social media, it’s good to overshare the professional; under share the personal; and NEVER share the private.” I will set a good example for my students and talk to them about how what we share creates a portrait of ourselves and we need to take care of that portrait.
A large part of professional life is continued development. I plan to continue to take classes in ceramics and painting throughout my life. I plan to keep up to date on the latest technology, and will pass along my learning to my students. I will look for opportunities to bring technology into the classroom. I will attend the NAEA conferences and local WAEA meeting when possible.