Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Experts and Virtual Field Trips

This week students in my class are working to creative an advertisement about an art museum of their choice. We talk about design elements and how to create an effective layout. I really wanted to bring this lesson to life for them so I used a very special video and a web tool to create more interesting virtual environment. 
Interview with an Expert: The notion of bringing in an expert to your classroom to act as a guest teacher or speaker on a specific topic is not new. However, this is something I haven't physically been able to do in my class. Because I am talking to them about graphic design I thought it would be neat to "bring" a graphic designer in to speak with them. While it is easy to find a video online where a graphic designer talks about what they do (this is what I used to show), I wanted something more personal. So, I created a video just for them with the help of my mom (a graphic designer). Students responded very positively. In their notes for the day, they all seemed to recall information the expert had shared with them in higher frequency than the information I lectured about.
Virtual Field Trip: At the beginning of my class, I asked how many of my students had ever been to an art museum. Many of them hadn't or if they had it was a long time ago. I wanted to start the lesson with something neat and also help remind or show students what visiting an art museum might be like. Thanks to Google Art Project this is possible. Students were able to virtually explore the MOMA and share their reactions. They were excited and had so much to say about what they saw! This tool has many great applications in the art classroom so I encourage you to check out all that it has to offer.
New ideas are what keep my classroom exciting for students and this lesson was really fun to teach. I hope these ideas help spice up your classroom (virtual or not) as well!

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