How can we incorporate technology into an art lesson?
Visual art is one of the areas in the school curriculum where teachers are not putting so much effort or time on because of the pressure to cover lessons for state standardized testing in Math and English Language Arts. For this reason, students do not have opportunities to express their creativity in this medium. And so I thought of doing an art lesson with a twist – using technology to make an artwork. Students love to use different kinds of technology, and they enjoy almost everything as long as they do it on their computers or gadgets. Accordingly, I figured that if I do a lesson, and I incorporate something that they will be interested in like using the computer, I will be able to get more student engagement and this could result in better learning. According to Hur and Oh (2012), “Students demonstrate greater learning engagement when technology s incorporated in the instruction.” Another reason why I chose to do an art lesson is that I want my students to be able to express their talents and creativity and discover the other side of them away from the pressure of other school subjects. Furthermore, I think that through the integration of technology, teachers and students will show reinvigorated enthusiasm into this new approach to arts.
I love doing art, and I enjoy teaching it too. But this lesson is sort of something new for me as I have not really used computers before when teaching a certain content area. I planned this lesson very well to make sure that I will be able to deliver the lesson’s objectives and meet the learning expectations I have for my students. During planning, I made sure that I have specific content and language objectives that are appropriate for my students (Echevarria, 2000). Also, I took into account that using computers for a lesson might be new for most, if not for all of them. That was another reason that I made plan B and C if something won’t work right. But thank goodness, it all went well! In addition, I think the scaffolding strategies I used helped my students to easily adjust and be able to do the work on their own. I feel that because of this innovation, students become more curious about what other things they can explore and do utilizing available technology.
What were some specific standards addressed in this lesson?
The lesson’s objectives consisted of students being able to understand and identify basic elements of arts such as colors, lines, and shapes, and being able to create an art piece made from the Microsoft Paint program on the computer. For our language objective, we focused on the listening attentively standard, especially that this type of a new lesson requires a lot of attention from the students. Otherwise, they won’t be able to follow and achieve the goal. In addition to the language objective, the Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) skill I chose for this lesson is building relationship skills. I think that this SEL skill in this particular lesson is important because students will need to communicate clearly, listen actively, and cooperate with other students and the teacher to achieve our collaborative goals and objectives (CASEL, 2014).
Personally, this lesson showed me that something can become very interesting and that students can really engage in meaningful learning as long as the teacher puts effort and creativity into his/her lessons. I know that it is overwhelming to put a lot in a single lesson, but the more effort we put into something, the better student learning outcome is realized. Putting physical stress aside, I actually enjoyed teaching this lesson and seeing my students happy about their creation, and getting compliments from my colleagues just made me more excited to teach art using available technology.
Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.casel.org/social-and-emotional-learning/core-competencies
Echevarria, J., Short, D., & Vogt, M. E. (2000). Making content comprehensible for english language learners. The SIOP Model. Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon
Hur, J. W., & Oh, J. (2012). Learning, engagement, and technology: Middle school students’ three-year experience in pervasive technology environments in south korea. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 46(3), 295–312. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.2190/EC.46.3.e