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  1. Pingback: Art and Technology in the Classroom | Team Dallas Learning Lab Blog

  2. How great that an “art class” can be used to spark an intellectual discussion the way it is sometimes done in core classes; the sad part is that this is what should happen in all of them. I was especially drawn to the last question and the responses. It’s rather like the comparison and arguments that arose between painting and photography. Conceptions about what makes art have moved into the digital age with a giant leap.

  3. Your students’ stories remind me of the ones my teenage grandsons make up, filled with gore, potty humor, goofy situations, and generally bad behavior. These boys are straight A students yet this is what they find amusing. They don’t understand why I don’t share their enthusiasm for this stuff. Perhaps they do it for shock value, but whatever the reason, it will be lovely when they out grow it.
    Keep plugging away — giving parameters could serve as a challenge to think of something other than how to shock the teacher. Good luck.

    PS: “Peasant in a Blue Smock” is my favorite painting at the Kimball. We had an electrician in Italy who looked exactly like this; it was like having a bit of home whenever I saw him.

  4. I do not think you should give up on this activity at all!! This seems like a really great way to get students to think about the artwork they’re looking at, and they obviously enjoyed the social aspect of the activity. First you have to think about the types of video games, television shows, and movies that are advertised to teens these days. A large portion of these things depict the same kind of story lines that the students wrote about. Plus, they’re from a generation that is completely immersed in video games and other visual media for most of their free time. PG13 and R ratings don’t mean what they meant 15 or 20 years ago. These kids are growing up in an increasingly violent world where people are growing more and more apathetic every year. I know this is all very morose and fatalist-minded but it’s closer to the truth than fiction. They also have no idea that the things they see and vicariously live through can effect their consciousness as much as a “real” incident can. It can be tough to say that they can’t write what they imagine from the title, because a lot of artwork actually does reference some of those same topics… SO- if I were faced with this same situation I would probably spend the next class period talking to them about why they would write these kinds of stories (because I would really want to know what made them so write such morbid things). Ask them what prompted them and exactly what their thinking was when they read the titles. You might find that they were just being ridiculous because they knew their friends would see what they wrote and they were afraid to write what they really thought. Or maybe they’re just hardwired that way from all the visual input they receive daily. (I’ll hope it’s the first and not the later, because we might all be in trouble otherwise). I would even give a whole class period to that because I think talking through it and finding out whats really going on is a valuable learning experience not only for you but for them too- even if they were just being silly. Maybe they need to be told that the art classroom is a safe space to be expressive and take risks. And maybe I’m being idealistic or hopeful, but a big part of me thinks their stories were for show and they were being silly. Maybe if you talk to them about it that will help you assess the situation and also find out what boundaries you need to put in place for the next activity if needed. Good luck! I can’t wait to find out what you do next 🙂

  5. Given the propensity for violence in the classroom these days, as a teacher I would restrict writings of violence. What if one of your students went nuts, and the writings in your classroom became an issue? I don’t think you are a counselor, and should not bring up a discussion. You might want to go talk to the school counselor yourself about the writings, and get her or his thoughts. I don’t think violence in writing is an abnormal occurrence during teenage years, however I would restrict them from writing about violence in your classroom, and set them in a different direction, as you are the teacher, and can do this.

  6. I agree the stories are a little upsetting. If there were other “happy” stories that offset these, I would think that we were getting a fairly decent cross section of teenage Americans. But, it does not sound like that is the case. However, imagination being what it is, shouldn’t be limited. This does not mean that it cannot be channeled. Maybe on the next postcard assignment, remind the students that they did such a terrific job on the last assignment that this time it will be a little harder. Still have one minute to write the beginning, middle and end, but this time they must include one of the following phrases, such as “peace and love” or “loving family” or “awesome world”, etc. it might require a tiny bit more work on your part, but might steer the students into a more positive scenario. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how the next session goes.

  7. Yay- I feel honored that you quoted me in your post about the Artist of the Day videos!! I meant what I said, I really love AoD videos. Even when the kids don’t act as thought they liked the videos or show little interest in talking about them afterwards I know that they do. Every time I scan the room while the videos are playing I see them engaged and it makes me smile 🙂

  8. I love your use of Artist of the Day for our own classroom. I think its a great way for kids to see all the different ways that art is used and the many opportunities open for them in an artistic career. Many students aren’t able to get a wide variety of exposure to other artistic careers beyond what they have seen on TV or been taught in school. I love your Artist of the Day concept, its a great way to utilize technology in the classroom and to grasp students attention!

    • Sara – Thank you so much for posting a comment about the Artist of the Day! I love it so much – I get to watch it 6 times each day! I hope when you get a classroom of your own, you’ll remember about the AoD Videos! There are so many ways to use these videos in the classroom…

  9. Violeta Bedolla – Lara – The Artist of the Day is a wonderful way to quickly capture a student. I can say that out of my own experience because of the artist video we watched in class. As soon as the video started I was overwhelmed at the different routes the art piece was making as well as noticing how the video itself was a work of art. I am currently observing in a art classroom on Fridays. I will ask the art teacher if she gives me permission to make a presentation of an Artist of the Day video for the students to watch. This will be a great experience to watch in person!

    • That is such an exciting possibility! Which video would you watch, the “Box” video from Vimeo I showed in class, or will you find your own to show? I’m so happy that you took time to make a post and let me know your opinion about one of MY favorite teaching tools, Artist of the Day videos!

  10. I love your artist of the day section! Their full of inspiration for any artist. I think its wonderful exposure to the students about the possibilities of what art can be. Thank you for taking your time last week and talking to our class. You have inspired us to think about the potential in our own future class!