Friday, November 9, 2012

Embracing Cellphones in the Visual Arts Class

A breakthrough for teacher and students was reached in Visual Arts classes as they used cellphones to digitize work to be posted on individual ePortfolios. Students are now developing electronic portfolios created on Google Sites to display artwork, share research and reflect on learning. Student independence in digitization was therefore a natural step towards ownership of ePortfolios, as it was all previously done by the teacher.

The idea of using cellphones occurred first because we know most students carry them all the time, so it is becoming an ubiquitous tool. The cellphones are also developing very powerful cameras, so it is definitely a smart choice for quality and independence. There has been a great debate though, about banning or embracing cellphones in schools, as discussed in the article Taming the Chaos by Dough Johnson. At Graded, “cellular phones may be used as educational tools with the permission of a classroom teacher” , as indicated at the Student Handbook. This use of cellphones for learning aligns with research about the impact of  mobile devices in education that has been identified in The Horizon Report 2011 and has been restated at the 2012 Report through a focus on mobile Apps.

The video below shows students using different types of cellphones and iPads to record their artwork. Two digital cameras were also available in the classroom to be shared with anyone who did not have a camera device. This work was a collaboration between Ms. Jennifer Carpenter, the Visual Arts teacher, and Ms. Meneghini, the HS Academic Technology Coordinator. We are now looking forward to their ePortfolio updates!

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