Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tablets as an Option for Art Making

I am getting very excited about next semester starting next week and I am preparing my semester 2 classroom with new technology on my mind! Big surprise right? I have been working with my team this semester to create tablet options for all of my Art 1 projects. Previously, all projects were required to be done on paper through traditional techniques. However, I have found that students really enjoy the option of creating a different way and it also benefits students who do not have art supplies or are having problems with their scanner. Also, having a digital option prepares them for all kinds of careers and it helps meet UDL guidelines. So, I have finally done it!
Each lesson in Art 1 offers two options for the assigned projects: a traditional option and a tablet option. All of my students have Android tablets to work on and all the apps I use in my class are free. Some of my projects offer a similar option for the tablet option as the traditional. For example, students may paint traditionally for their Impressionist Landscape, or they may use a painting app such as Sketch Guru.
Traditional watercolor
Using Sketch Guru
Other assignments have a different way for students to show their understanding of a given concept. For example, for my proportion lesson involving foreground, middle, and background students are able to draw the interior space of a room with pencil, or they can create a digital collage using PicCollage. Both assignments accomplish the creation of a piece that shows depth and understanding of proportions but some students might prefer one over the other. 
Traditional drawing

Using PicCollage to manipulate images
Some of these apps add additional materials for students to use that they would not have access to at home easily such as the texture tablet option. Students are learning about visual and tactile texture and then asked to either create a drawing showing 4 textures or create a sculpture showing 4 textures in TrueSculpt
Traditional drawing
Using TrueSculpt
I thoroughly believe in teaching traditional art skills and would never want to move towards 100% digital in my classroom but I think options are important. I am excited for students to have the opportunity to experience more diverse materials in their art making and get a taste of digital art if they choose. Stay tuned! 
Shameless plug: I'll be giving a presentation at NAEA this year on Saturday at 2pm all about using free Android apps in your art classroom!

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