Tag Archives: Art

Free Art History Education in your Inbox

Artips is a free daily newsletter focused on art history. Delivered to subscribers’ inbox 3 times a week, Artips tells short and original stories about famous and unknown works of art.

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Founded in April 2013, Artips is a start-up founded by two young college graduates, Coline Debayle and Jean Perret. They decided to create a way to address difficulties many individuals face when trying to understand the arts, such as the art world’s complex nature, outdated art history texts and long lines outside major museums across the world.

Artips makes art history more accessible and mobile by offering daily enter- taining and unique stories that take only a minute to read. With its advanced and responsive design, Artips can be read on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

As an Artips subscriber, you will learn the answers to the following questions: Why did Michelangelo sign his Pietà like a thief in the night? Why does the barmaid of Folies- Bergères look so melancholy in Manet’s painting? What were the eerie premonitions of Surrealists like Dali or Brauner? From ancient to contemporary art, Artips allows us to understand works of art from a new angle.

Through the writings of over one hundred specialists, editors, students, art hobbyists and art history teachers, Artips tells a memorable and fun story every day about paintings, sculptures, installations, photography and design.

As of this month, there are over 80,000 francophone subscribers and we have launched our English version earlier this month.

To subscribe to Artips for free, visit their website artips.co.

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the World with the Google Cultural Institute

This is reblogged from my post on Free Technology for Teachers

I am a big fan of the Google Cultural Institute; it’s an amazing repository of Artistic Masterpieces, Wonders of the Natural World, Historical Artifacts, and more. By using it as a repository of digital materials, it’s an easy way to access cultural content from around the world in my classroom. I can pull up a high definition image of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and use its powerful zoom features so that students can see the impasto brush strokes. We can explore the Street Art of Sao Paulo with a Google Street View for a unit on modern art or the Ruins at Angkor Wat

Free Technology for Teachers: Explore the World with the Google Cultural Institute.

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3 Ways to use Google in Art & Art History

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius

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Google has become one of the most popular tools in schools today. With its broad and flexible system of apps, there are many ways to adapt them into a classroom to help you explore new and dynamic ways of presenting materials or having students build projects! If you teach in the art department (with either Studio Art or Art History), here are three ways to use Google to facilitate your classroom workflow and to allow students to showcase their work.

GOOGLE DOCS FOR WRITE-UPS

Google Docs is a quick and easy to master word processor. Where it excels, however, is in its ability to track progress, share your work, and collaborate with others both at your school and with peers from outside of your institution. My Art and Art History teachers love using it as a tool for students to write research essays, synopses, or other written assignments. Because of the collaborative elements, it’s an excellent tool for group projects and/or peer editing. When students are finished with a project, they can share the final version with the teacher. With the “revision history” feature, the teacher can track a student’s writing over a period of days and hours, witness group contributions, see how a student incorporated peers edits, and more.

SHARED GOOGLE FOLDERS FOR PRESENTATIONS & DIGITAL SHOWCASES

Create Folder

Shared folders within Google Drive have so many uses in the world of Art! To create a shared folder simply open Google Drive, click “new,” and select “folders.” Give the folder a name and then share it by selecting it with a single click and then choosing the “share” icon. You can share a folder with a single person or a group of people depending on your needs. Students and others can then submit content directly to that shared folder.

My Art History teachers love using shared folders as a repository for presentations. Often, high-resolution images of art create robust files that are too large to email. With a shared folder, this is no problem because students can simply upload their presentations directly to it; with Google Apps for Education, there is no limitation on file size or storage, so space is not an issue! With a shared folder for presentations, students can continue to access the content for future reference.

In studio art, a shared folder is a good way for students to submit images or videos of their work in progress or as a finished product. As Google Drive has free apps for both iOSand Android, students can also upload directly from the camera roll on their smartphone or tablet!

GOOGLE SITES AS A PORTFOLIO OF WORK

Students in Art classes often have a portfolio of work that they are especially proud of and want to showcase. Google Sitesis a great place for them to highlight their work. A Google Site can be personalized and has the ability to embed images, video, documents, presentations, and even folders from Google Drive, allowing students to create and curate their own digital portfolios. With Google Sites’ shared settings, students can publish their portfolio only to themselves, broaden it to their community (a particular teacher, their classmates, the faculty as a whole, or the school or district), or to the world. Teachers can help students decide their appropriate audience based on their age, school or district policy, or the objective of their showcase.

Google’s tools support teachers and students as they produce, share, and curate material across a variety of contexts. While these are three ways that I have seen teachers in Art and Art History use Google in their classroom, how else can you envision using these tools and apps?

To learn more about using these tools, EdTechTeacher will be offering a Google & iPads Pre-Conference Workshop as part of their February 9-11 iPad Summit in San Diego.

The Best Museums on Flickr

A photographer friend of mine, Christian Santiago, recently redirected me to Flickr. I remember the Flickr of a few years ago, largely used as a repository for vacation photos. Wow has Flickr grown up! As a Social Studies teacher, I am always on the look out for high quality images that are Creative Commons Licensed. Now, museums around the world are using Flickr as a means to showcase and share their collections. What makes these Flickr streams especially valuable is that they use them to highlight their archived material.

Here is a short list of museums on Flickr:

Boys picking up garbage, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Boys picking up garbage, courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress – An amazing repository of images from American history, some of the highlights include Dorothea Lange, the history of baseball, and photojournalist collections about child labor.

The Field Museum Library – More than 1,600 images of both the collection of Field Museum and the history of the museum itself.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Not only do they have some great images from their collection, but they include photos of their social events including the Met Gala.

The British Library – More than a million images from their collection  covering topics like fashion, cartography, warfare, botany, and more.

The British Museum – While they have only few images from their collection, they post pictures and videos from their live events around the world, such as Nelson Mandela Day and Day of the Dead Altar.

Prairie Dawn 1971 Muppets, Courtesy of the Smithsonian Museum

Prairie Dawn 1971 Muppets, Courtesy of the Smithsonian Museum

Guggenheim Museum – This is a great way to look at installation exhibits!

National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian – Not only do they post images from their collection, but pictures of the museums’s history, scanning images for their x 3D collection, and more.

National Media Museum – This English museum focuses on photography, video, memes, and more.

The Smithsonian Institution – A great highlight of material at all of the Smithsonian Institutions.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – Another amazing collection of natural history artifacts.

Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art – A nice overview of the collection and exhibits at LACMA.

This is only a small collection, but Fickr is an excellent resource for educators looking for unique, high quality images to incorporate into lessons or to teach students about licensing online content.

Smarthistory: Khan Academy for Social Studies

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Great Mosque at Damascus by G. Lewis, courtesy of Smarthistory & Flickr

Khan Academy is popular in math for its brief lectures and interactive modules. However, you can also use it in the Social Studies. Check out Smarthistory, a free multimedia platform for student and teacher of history, archaeology, museum curation, and art history.

It includes an interactive timeline, in-depth yet easy to understand articles, vibrant images, and videos about topics throughout history and around the globe. Check out “Teach with Smarthistory” for ideas on how to incorporate it into your classroom. If you are a historian, archaeologist, museum curator, or otherwise involved in the social science consider contributing an article or multimedia content. Additionally, Smarthistory contributes videos to Google Art Project.

SXSWedu – Can the Liberal Arts Survive in an Age of Innovation?

The next session I am attending is a topic near and dear to my heart as a liberal arts major, “Can the Liberal Arts Survive in an Age of Innovation?” The speakers are David Maxwell, President of Drake University, Liz Willen,

The seven liberal arts – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century); Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The seven liberal arts – Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (12th century); Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Editor of the Hechinger Report, Michelle Weise, a Senior Research Fellow at the Clayton Christendon Institute, and Scott Kinney, President of the Capella Education Company.

Quite famously, the President dissed the Liberal Arts not long ago with a sleight directed at Art History. Although he then followed up with a letter of apology to an upset professor. At the same time, he highlighted an issue in higher education. How do we resolve Liberal Arts with workforce readiness in higher education? Many educators, administrators, and law-makers are focusing on changes in education with a greater emphasis on STEM, leaving the Liberal Arts behind.

David begins by reaffirming his belief in and support of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in higher education. They have a long tradition in education. They are narrative tools that describe the world around us – help us to understand who we are, why we are, our place in the order of things, and our record in the human condition. They are proof of the fact that we were here. They are also how we try to answer the “big questions” in the world. However, he does acknowledge that the Liberal Arts alone are not sufficient in preparing students for the broader world. Preparation for a professional workforce is a necessary but not sufficient outcome of higher education.  We must ensure that our graduates can fulfill their personal and professional aspirations and needs. Sadly, we cannot get away from addressing the financial model of college – especially as costs for higher education is increasing at such an exponential rate. David also expresses his concern that the discussion about higher education and jobs seems to only be “about jobs.” Our objective is not simply job training – but to prepare students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and global citizenship.

Michelle next steps in to discuss her concerns about the “myths” of Liberal Arts – namely that the Liberal Arts are the antithesis of workforce/vocational training and that increased technology means the need of the Liberal Arts. This is the result of the division in this country between colleges and technical schools – that technical schools are where we learned how to do “mechanical thinking/acting” and that higher education was where we “learned to know.” Of course, college is no longer a luxury good, it’s a necessity. Additionally, college costs are becoming more prohibitive. Also, in a knowledge economy or learning society, learning is becoming work and work is becoming learning. A college degree is not enough for the learning economy of our time. We cannot let students assume that a liberal arts degree will “sort itself out” due to buzzwords like “critical thinking” and “creative problem solving.” The pursuit of passions has become a privilege, even a luxury good. Academics has never been good at proving its relevance to industry. As the cost of academics continues to rise, the onus will be put on higher education institutions to prove their relevance and return. Whoever can link non traditional pathways and preparation for the workforce, will fill a great need.

Scott Kinney of Capella University, a for-profit online institution, feels that his institution (and similar) have a role in addressing this issue. You can still receive the benefits of a liberal arts education and come out prepared for the workforce. Scott argues that no matter what happens in Liberal Arts Education, we need to do a much better job of serving non-traditional students who are looking to be job-ready immediately upon graduation. Scott states that 75% of currently enrolled students are “non-traditional” (I guess that makes them “traditional”?). Embracing a non-traditional student needs to be a focus and can be the solution for the issue of resolving Liberal Arts with Industry. Scott argues that we determine outcomes/competencies and then build curriculum around that. He also argues that we have to focus on lowering the price and raising completion rates.  Additionally, we must connect that with job readiness – that they enter the workforce with the necessary skills and competencies. Scott argues that we need to navigate job competencies in conjunction with employers.

Liz (our moderator) asks David if the for-profit model by Scott’s institution is in conflict with the traditional model at Drake. David is surprisingly in agreement with the other members of the panel. He feels that colleges must do a better job at preparing students for careers, we must fit the needs of all of our students, and that we need to work with employers to ensure that they get from their students what they need. Michelle also highlights the challenge of enacting change from within an institution – especially at Colleges and Universities where tradition is so valued. Additionally, Scott highlights that job preparation does not undermine Liberal Arts objectives – you can still hold discussions on novels and works of art. David states that the real issue is “How does learning take place? What is assessed and how is it assessed?”

Ultimately, Liberal Arts is vital to the human experience, but we must find a way to effectively merge it with our modern needs. However, I would argue that it’s dangerous to make education solely about training for jobs. Education is about developing sophisticated thinking and learning skills.

Art/Write Connecting the Common Core with Art History

University of Arizona Mascot, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

University of Arizona Mascot, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Many thanks to my friend and colleague Daniel Schneider for bringing this project to my attention. The Art/Write project out of the University of Arizona’s Museum of Art helps high school students to examine and write about art critically. Additionally, the projects highlighted there meet Common Core standards for writing.

“Writing requires careful observation, critical thinking, analysis of ideas and events, and of course creative thinking. When engaged with a work of art, students must also utilize the skills of sustained observation, imagination and interpretation. This web resource provides looking and writing activities that allow students to develop strong looking skills that in turn foster effective writing.” – Quote from Art/Write

If you teach art or are looking for ways to liven up your writing curriculum in conjunction with the common core, be sure to check out Art/Write.