Teaching art at this elementary school has been extremely rewarding for me personally and professionally. The Fine Arts program is stronger than any I have ever seen. Teachers challenge students to perform well above grade level. Student artwork proves that high expectations from teachers produce talent not usually seen in fourth- and fifth-grade students.
Technology is integrated throughout our school. With art being the love of my life and technology providing a new artistic medium, I couldn't resist the challenge of bridging the two. With the support of our principal and our technology specialist, inspiration from the Computer Graphics teacher at Carver High School, and training in graphics software, we implemented an Advanced Computer Graphics class for our fifth grade students. The class is being co-taught by an art teacher and our technology specialist.
Students work in a state-of-the-art Graphic Arts/Multimedia lab furnished with Apple Mac-DV computers, digital cameras and scanners. Software being used by students includes Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Word and Power Point, as well as Adobe PhotoShop and MetaCreations Painter.
Lessons are inspired by student work from the Computer Graphics class at Carver High School and creative brainstorming with our technology and art specialists. A few of our lessons include: Energy Vocabulary Words, Self-Portrait Collage, and Room with a View.
Artists must consider the computer as a tool for children to explore creativity and expression. Using technology as another medium in art has been proven to stimulate students' imaginations, to build strong left and right brain connections, to strengthen hand-eye coordination, and to help better prepare students for the work force. Our responsibility as classroom teachers continues to be helping children develop skills so they can successfully step into the field of their choice.
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