After the conference was over and I read through the feedback forms from participants, one question seemed to recur - where do I start?
When I started teaching Art I did not want anything to do with technology. I felt being tech savvy was using a projector and showing a PowerPoint. I purposely stayed away from Digital Media in college because I had no plan to teach it. It was not until my second year of teaching that I decided to try a digital project using Microsoft Paint. I had students create portraits out of letters. I felt the project was a success because students enjoyed it and the results were visually interesting. I let go of the fear I had of how more tech must mean less Art and was shown they can go hand in hand.
If you are on the fence with using tech in your class, I would suggest starting out small. Pick a short project that infuses concepts you need to cover and give your students a chance to shine.
As we move to using student growth in teacher evaluations, this digital portfolio offers teachers a place to store and share student work as well as document growth. I also love how families can comment on student work and purchase items with their art on it that gives 20% of the funds back to the classroom.
If you have a large class load and you are unsure of how to get started with this, consider starting with one project, grade level, or class and then slowly building. You will see a positive uptick in student and parent involvement as a result of this online tool.
I know when I present on the environment I have created as a result of embracing and integrating technology, it can seem a little overwhelming. But this has been a process. I have built it over years of trial and error, adding a component here or there along the way. I know there are a lot of ways to get started, but I wanted to offer a few for those of you who are on the fence.
What are some ways you started using more technology in student learning? Where did you start and where do you see yourself going in the future? I am interested in hearing how you developed a plan for integration and what made you get started.