Oct 13 integrating art and technology Mikey McKillip

Integrating art with technology; focus on digital photography with lower school students.
Having a more traditional arts program at our school, technology integration had not been attempted before. Wanting to change this, I met with the art teachers, administration and our technology director to create a plan for this year. We brainstormed ideas and decided that digital photography, animation, and movie making would be good starting points for art and technology to be integrated with the overall lower school curriculum.

In order to do this, I requested digital cameras for each teacher. Especially in lower school, each teacher should have his/her own camera to capture learning moments as they are happening. If each teacher has his/her own camera, it is much more likely that pictures will be taken on a regular if not daily basis.

Along with the one to one digital camera plan, I proposed the idea of having a digital photography lab kit. The proposed lab kit became a large locking suitcase contain 10 digital cameras, chargers, batteries, individual camera cases and USB card adaptors. The teachers and administration agreed that having a lab kit available for teachers to access on a per-need check out basis would be beneficial for projects, field trips and other school activities. So far, this idea has worked out very well.

The only drawback to our digital camera lab kit was that it only contained 10 cameras. Having classes of 20 or more students worked if we let students share resources but we felt that student would benefit from individual access to cameras. We came up with two solutions for this problem. The first idea was to use webcams included with our laptops. This was a good solution for indoor still-life applications but was of course very limited. The webcams also tend to be low quality (2.0 megapixel). The second idea was to access resources from home. The art teacher and I crafted a permission form to allow students to bring cameras from home to be used at school. This worked well for the actual photography sessions but each camera was different with different functions. When it came tie to download pictures to store on the computers, we found that not all cables are made equal. Some connectors were standard USB but others were proprietary and the students often forgot to bring cables with them. We decided to purchase USB multi-card readers and this solved the problem.

Here are some resources we have been using for digital photography:

A Great On-Line Tool For Sharing Your Photos with the World

An Easy Way to Find, Edit, and Share Your Photos On-Line

On-line Photo Editing - the Fun Way!


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