Web Sightings for March 2009

Here they are—your Web sightings for the month of March.

AcademicInfo is an online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. The Subject Guides are listed alphabetically and include over 25,000 resources, many of which are art related.

Threadless, a community-centered tee shirt company is sponsoring a free art and design curriculum program called Threadless 101 in which students (high school or college) are assigned to create an original design for a tee shirt. These designs are critiqued and voted on by the class and the student with the highest scored design will be featured in the Threadless newsletter, and also be awarded a $25 Threadless Gift Certificate. For more information and downloadable curriculum materials, visit the Artist Programs page on the Threadless website and click on “Download Class Materials” under the “Threadless 101” subheading.

Speaking of contests, it’s not too late to register for Doodle for Google, a competition for K-12 students in the U.S. to “play around with their logo and see what new designs they come up with.” This year’s theme is “What I Wish for the World.” Only teachers from registered schools can submit doodles on behalf of their students. Entries from the parents of registered home-schooled students may also be submitted. Registration closes on March 17th, 2009 and the Entry Deadline is March 31, 2009. State Finalists and Regional Winners will be notified on May 8, 2009 and the winning doodle will be posted on the Google Homepage on May 21, 2009.

If you’re looking for icebreakers, teamwork resources and free team-building activities, check on Teampedia.

Classroom Architect provides an opportunity for experimentation with the layout of your classroom without any heavy lifting!

Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who’s Doing It Best by Fran Smith on Edutopia is a great advocacy article to share with your school administrators, colleagues, and parents.

IDEO’s Ten Tips For Creating a 21st–Century Classroom Experience offers insights on creating a investigative-learning curriculum and classroom that inspires students to be seekers of knowledge.

Amy Bennett‘s paintings captured my attention this past month (via BOOOOOOOM!), which she describes as “glimpses of a scene or fragments of a narrative” based on a scale model or diorama of a home or neighborhood. I’ve been thinking lately about the possibilities of students creating dioramas as art projects, and Bennett’s work offers in intriguing model.

Design, Sustainability, Change from Maria Popova on Vimeo.
I’ve been watching a lot of Ted videos lately, which is why I found TEDify, the brainchild of Maria Popova, of interest. It attempts to capture the “common tangents between TED’s incredibly diverse speakers . . . in order to make the bigger social and cultural point.” Its inaugural episode examines the relationship between three of today’s most culturally relevant issues: The role of design, the idea of sustainability, and our collective capacity for change.

Street Art Locator is a community Google Maps mash-up for finding street art worldwide.

Finally, of all the things the U.S. government has to be concerned with right now I found it heartening that the U.S. Congress asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) on student access to arts education in schools. The study found that while instructional time for arts education generally stayed about the same between the school years of 2004-05 and 2006-07, teachers at schools with higher percentages of minorities and that have been identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act reported a decrease in time spent on arts education in their schools. No surprise there! I’m hopeful that with the new administration in Washington something more will come from this report than the major recommendation it seems to make to study the matter further.