SchoolArts Magazine

October 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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Page 16 of 58

M A N A G I N G T H E A R T R O O M The Art Portal CONTINUED ON PAGE 45. I magine if you went to the National Art Education Association Con- vention and only one person knew all of the important information. Imagine this one person stepping up to the podium. "I'm going to tell you everything you need to know," he says. "I'll start by reviewing the hun- dreds of presentations you can choose from, let you know the Wi-fi pass- word, and wrap up with the locations of the bathrooms." Then he steps off the stage. Confused, you search your confer- ence bag for the catalog, but the bag is empty. It's a ridiculous scenario—one that would never take place at such a large event, but doesn't this happen every day in our classrooms? Knowledge Management Every organization, no matter its size or status, has information in need of distribution. Unlike our imaginary conference, the real organizers will place all the information in a book, online, or even in an app. The concept is called "knowledge management." Taking the notion of knowledge man- agement into consideration, the art department at Apex High School set out to design a method for distribut- ing basic information that every art student needed. From this idea, the Art of Apex Portal was born. Our first step was deciding exactly what knowledge students needed. We developed three sections: inspiration, technical tutorials, and self-assessment. Finding Inspiration to Create Having access to how other artists handle subject matter is a given. It's not unusual for teachers to present art examples at the beginning of a lesson, but it can still be beneficial for a stu- dent to review those examples mid- project. The "What Should I Create?" page was designed to contain links to all the project examples we present in class and then some. Divided into sec- tions by elements, principles, media, and movements, it gives students the ability to view and select examples whenever necessary. Video Tutorials There is a benefit to watching a demo several times, especially if time has passed between viewings. To fill this need, the Apex Art teachers filmed more than fifty video tutorials cov- ering everything from setting up acrylic paints to creating space scenes using Adobe Photoshop. Each video was filmed with a specific objective in mind and kept to less than four minutes in length. Our concept when creating each video was to get right to the point so students could watch what they needed without having to sort through extraneous information. Self Assessments At Apex, we expect our students to reflect on their work privately and publicly as written components on their blogs. As a guide, the "What Do I Think?" section provides students with eight characteristics of suc- cessful artists. Each of these artistic behaviors contains a rubric to help students identify their current level and guide their growth. Students use these artistic behaviors as prompts when writing their blog posts. Ian Sands Ever organization, no matter its size or status, has information in need of distribution. 12 OCTOBER 2015 SchoolArts

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