I'm struggling with using new technology and the arts to convey content. I teach in the Loveland Integrated School of the Arts (LISA) and we strive to integrate the arts into the core content areas (science, English, social studies). I'm attending a weeklong workshop/professional development opportunity. It has, so far, been geared primarily to the arts teachers (art, music, theater), but has offered little for the core teachers. I'm frustrated by this and by the fact that so much of what we do with technology and art offers "fun" or relevance, but has no real content connection. Is it enough to make a movie in English class when they write the script?Is this enough of a connection? What are we teaching kids? I'm looking to provide a rigorous classroom experience where students learn to better understand literature and its influence on the world. I'd like to hope I offer some relevance, but I maybe I don't? I try to use "the arts" to accomplish some teaching, but I try to do this in an authentic way and not just an artsy craftsy project here and there. I've seen some interesting things in the past few days, but I don't see how they further the curriculum I am required to use. Digital storytelling? Really cool. Awesome stories. Doesn't have a lot to do with what we are doing in English. As a personal narrative? Maybe. But the time it takes to use the technology and watch the movies is a luxury I don't really have. What to do? I think teachers must make room for fun projects and activities, but I don't think we should just be doing "stuff." Technology is another teaching tool that too often provides a "cool" factor without advancing the content. I could live my whole life without ever seeing another powerpoint presentation. How is having our students make boring powerpoints teaching them anything? We're using technology but not contributing anything to the educational conversation. So, what do teachers do? I don't have an answer, but maybe you do?
posted by amy white at 7:06 pm
Hey Amy I would love to find out about the art workshop you went to. Did you get handouts or a cd with lessons, if so I would like a copy!!!
One suggestion I have is based on a lesson I have done with my art history class. First, we talked about the Japanese and their different writing styles. Next we created a poem in the Diamante style. This is a simple style because my focus was more on the art side than the English but you could do a more complicated poem style. Then the students had to illustrate their poems. I believe we used watercolor and pencil for these. Just a thought. Maybe you could have the students illustrations match up with another poem style. If you choose for them to write in another style, possibly you could the Diamante style to have the students illustrate the poem that they wrote.
October 4, 2009 7:42 AM