SchoolArts Magazine

February 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Accessing Technology After providing examples of both conventional and unconventional approaches to landscapes, we needed to find a way for every student to access Google Earth. We had access to ten iPads for a class of about twenty-one students, which was not ideal (the iPads were on a cart shared by our entire district on a building rotation). To resolve the need for more devices, students were allowed to use their own tablets, smart local scenery. In order to ground this exploration, the history of landscapes throughout various historical move - ments was presented, with a focus on composition, per - spective, and style. After providing a brief but engaging history of landscape painting, we moved into some more unconventional representations of landscapes by artists such as Noriko Ambe, Maya Lin, and Marnie Karger, provoking students to think about material usage in new ways. A n increasing number of teachers are finding them - selves teaching in schools with a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policy, or with access to laptop or iPad carts. Some schools are even one-to-one, where every stu - dent has a school-issued device. Access to technology provides exciting options for the art classroom, but not all technology use has equal instructional value. In an article in Learning & Leading with Technology, authors Dempsey, Hofer, and Harris write, "It is through meaningfully selecting, combining, and sequenc - ing learning activities and comple- menting them with the savvy use of technological tools and resources that teachers can help students grow as artists." The following lesson—which involves using iPads and Google Earth as a catalyst for rethinking the tradi - tional landscape assignment—exem- plifies this idea. Setting the Stage Seeking to put a twist on traditional landscape painting, this lesson uses Google Earth to expand students' understanding of landscape beyond Wanderlust Leslie Gates, Amanda Devitt, and Jaime Linn Brown Encouraging students to connect their past or future to various locations provided them with a chance to share important ideas through their art. 26 SchoolArts Middle School Studio Lesson

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