Back to School Links


iboy_daniel, CC Attribution License

Summer is winding down, and preparations for the start of a new school year are occurring all over the U.S. right now. To mark the occasion, here are a dozen or so links for both experienced art teachers and those starting on their teacher career.

To start, I want to give a shout out to Yuri Strom, a graduate art education student at Georgia State University for developing The Art Material Girl website for her Master thesis project. It is designed for elementary art teachers caught in a budget crunch, who are looking for tips on saving and finding money along with information about art material ratings and safety information. Nice job, Yuri!

Next, Learn it in 5 is an online library of how-to videos, produced by technology teachers, for the purpose of helping teachers and students create classroom strategies for today’s 21st century’s digital classroom. Below is a sample:

I saved several links this summer to sites with lists of tech tools and resources for teachers. Here are two of my favorites: Top 100 technology blogs for teachers from OnlineDegrees.org and The 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You on EduDemic.

Open Studio, the brainchild of Los Angeles artist Mark Bradford, is the inaugural project of the Getty Artists Program. It’s goal is to make contemporary arts education accessible to K-12 teachers and classrooms across the nation and around the world. Authored by noted international artists, Open Studio is a collection of art-making activities that present the unique perspectives of practicing artists. Each activity is presented as a free, downloadable PDF that includes an art-making prompt, an artist biography, and images of the artist and works of art by the artist.

Looking for a great filler for an Art One or Art Appreciation class? Here’s The History of Cubism in Less Than 2 Minutes, with a techno beat. (update 9.21 – video pulled from youtube. no explanation. sorry.)

Speaking of art history, here’s a great project from Patricia Harris from the Henrico County Public School System (VA) in create a claymation movie about the life of a famous artist that answers the question “What If…?” After researching their assigned artist, groups decide on an alternate path for an artist and showcase that through the claymation movie.

Moving right along, there’s been a lot of online chatter recently about the The Creativity Crisis article in Newsweek back in July. Charlie Rose had an interesting conversation with author Ashley Merryman, musicologist Aaron Berkowitz of Harvard University and Bruce Alberts about the topic that you can watch online. Of course, arts educators are likely to pick up on the notion in the article that U.S. creativity is declining because of a lack of creativity development in our schools. But, Jason Pugatch on Huffingtonpost.com warns us that arguing this point we may be lessening the value of the Arts. According to Pugatch, “By the very definition that Art is only important insofar as it improves other areas of study, the Arts themselves are made unimportant.” A point that Elliot Eisner has made in the past, and one that we should remember during the coming year which is certain to bring more attention to the role of creativity in art.

Lastly, please indulge me while I do a little self promotion. The main reason for the trickle of postings on this blog lately is that I’ve been busy with my colleagues the past couple months preparing for the launch of a new online MA in Art Education program here at the University of Florida. This is a 36-hour low-residency program, which also includes an option that leads to K-12 Art Teacher certification in Florida. Over the past two weeks, we had our first cohort of students on campus for two weeks of studio intensives that covered sketchbooks and printmaking. It was both an exhausting and stimulating experience for all involved, as illustrated by the following video of the first week of class. (You can also check out the over 400 photos taken during the two weeks on Flickr.)