Sunday, October 28, 2007

School Bell

I just finished reading an article by S. Paul Reville in Education Week titled “Stop the Narrowing of the Curriculum by ‘Right-Sizing’ School Time”. This article speaks to one of the issues that I have thought long about in an interesting way: the time that school is in session. From as near as I can figure school sessions are determined by a hold-over from when we were an agrarian society and the travel/vacation industry. School days are determined by bus schedules and teacher contracts. The one thing that seems to be left out of the equation is what is best for a child’s education.

Paul’s article speaks to yet more issues affecting the scheduling of schools, No Child Left Behind Act, and standards-based reform. These two issues also seek to control school time by forcing teachers and administrators choose between time for achieving proficiency in the core subjects and other untested subjects like art, music, social studies and foreign languages.

With the advent of web 2.0 classes are no longer bound by the walls of the school or the time of the bell. Students will be able to attend classes on their schedule and when they are ready to learn. Collaboration can happen between students in the same class but other schools. Teachers from other areas could tutor long distance.

I think that we need to rethink the way that school time is scheduled. Schools should be look at round the year calendars. Evening and weekend classes should be offered through out the grade levels, students should not think of learning only happening between 8:00 and 2:15.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rain Rain Rain

Oh my what a deluge today. It started raining today on the way to work then got harder when the buses started arriving. Students were coming in late because of power going out. I had to delay my art assessment today by 15 minutes because of late students. I was so flustered that I decided to make an announcement about the delay in the test and I made it right in the middle of my principals talk on the morning show, boy it just gets better and better The test went well in spite of the rain and late students. All the kids behaved well and took the art test serious.

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 FAEA Conference Review

Wow what a great 4 days! I came back to school today excited and renewed. Ok I did go to bed early last night but I woke up early this morning ready to get to school and see the kids and show them some of the things that I did/learned.
Carol Norman and the teachers of Orange County Public Schools did a great job preparing for the conference.
The speakers were very interesting and presented their vision of a very exciting and creative future.
If you went to the conference send me your comments about the conference and the workshops you attended.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jive Foil Puppets

Presenter: July Davis

This fun workshop involved designing and producing a marionette-like puppet out of heavy foil, various paints and markers, beads and wire. Although the initials impression was that it would be an easy project. This was not in fact true.

The project used heavy foil that we used to cut out parts of our marionette. After the parts were cut out we connected them with wire and beads. After they were together we painted them and some also embossed the foil with designs. The end product was very cool but it is not something that I would do with my kids with out major modifications.

Drawing from the Students Perspective.

Presenters: Gena Brodie-Robbins, Amy Taylor

This was one of my favorite workshops. The pair started the class by explaining in a humors and entertaining way their way of approaching the art of teaching drawing. Gena and Amy added to this explanation research from many books.

The hand on part of the workshop was very interesting and covered four different approaches to teaching drawing.

If Gena and Amy offer this workshop next year I would recommend taking it, I know I will.

a recommended link: Click Here

Friday, October 19, 2007

How to Create Large Public Artworks for Children.

Presented by Paula Allen and Raquel Ache Leonard

This was a very cool workshop that combined individual works of art with a collaborative background. The diversity of media allowed for everyone’s strength to shine.

We started by making a doll using a muslin blank doll with bendable arms. For this we used many different materials, Sharpie markers, acrylic paints, fabric, beads, yarn, wire, and other things from a grab box of found objects.

For the background of the mural we used a 5x15 foot bolt of muslin. For creating the picture large sheets for hand made paper were provided. We tore and cut the shapes to form a scene of the natural environment of Florida.

FAEA State Conference day 2

Yesterday was very interesting. After the meeting in the morning I attended a workshop given by Karen Harris. the title was "The 'Upwardly Mobile': Sculpture in Motion. This was a very interesting workshop and the presenter gave us many good ideas on teaching children about the art of mobiles. during the workshop I recorded a podcast of the beginning of the workshop. you can find that with my other podcast at my podcast page. I also have some handouts that I will post at t later date (when I can get to a scanner). Later last evening I attended the gallery hop in downtown Orlando. There I met an glass artist by the name of Isriah. Isriah ia a glass blower and is also seven years old. It was very interesting learning about the art of glass blowing from a very knowledgable seven year old. After a little haggling we agreed on a price and I am now the proud owner of an Iariah original.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FAEA State Art Conference

I leave tomorrow morning for the State Art Conference in Orlando. I am going to try bloging, podcasting, and streaming video from the conference. I would like to try and do real time streaming video but that depends on the connectivity at the hotel. Stay tune on this blog for more.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vision of Students Today

I have been thinking a lot lately about how "technology" will affect teaching. I watch my son study and he does multi task during his studies. He will be reading out of a text book and also has on online component, he uses his cell phone to compare notes and thoughts about the lesson with friends. Oh, and he also has his i-pod on .
This is how he studies at home but at school I'm sure he is sitting at a desk with a teacher at the front of the room writing on a white board or maybe using an LCD projector to show a powerpoint.
I'm not sure where this is all going. I'm not sure what the answer is or even what the question is. But I do know that things have changed.
I am just an immigrant to this new way of working. Right now while writing this blog I just received two Twitters on my group from the K12 Online Conference. I check them when they pop up and see where the conversation is heading. Often I discover something new.
Just read the Twitters back about 45 minutes and discovered that the Wiki of David Warlick's Pre Conference Keynote Speech Chat Transcript. This is the conversation that went on between the "attendees" that listened to his speech. The conversation went on long after the speech was over and because the speech was recorded attendees could re-watch the speech and refine their thoughts.
Imagine this happening in a classroom. Students able to compare thoughts of the class during class, review a video of the class in the evening and revise their thoughts. A wiki could be set up for each class for students to post, revise, and collaborate on notes from the class. The teacher would be able to view the wiki and then collaborate with the students and guide their thoughts after class. The walls and time of classes begin to break down.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


While browsing members web pages on a Twitter session I came across this fun Widget. Voki lets you create an animated figure that speaks with your voice.

Get a Voki now!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

K12 Online

Participate in the free K12 Online Conference
In one of the many blogs I read I came across a reference to an online conference for educators interested in emerging technologies. Wow this seems to speak directly to me and the focus of my interest of lately. Right now if you access the web site you can find "teasers" videos of the scheduled events. My understanding is that you can view the workshops live online and interact with the presenters. That should be pretty cool. I'm going to try and catch some of the presenters.

Monday, October 1, 2007

OhOh found something new. this is called and its pretty cool. With it I can send a live video of my living room 24/7. Ok I'm not sure what good that is but just being able to to that is preaty neat! If there is no picture I'm not on the computer. I'll try and record some video of Bo that you can watch while I'm away.

Here's Bo!


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