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Lesson Plans

Graphics Arts programs

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 22:33:28 -0500

I teach in a small, rural, high school and I have 3 Mac LCII's in my room,
a CD-ROM drive, a hand-held scanner, just got an Apple QuickTake digital
camera, and I have a SONY laserdisc player. Everything besides the
computers I got through small grants I wrote and received on my own.
Software: Aldus SuperPaint; Broderbund TypeStyler, Virtus WalkThrough,
Fractal Design Sketcher, ThunderWorks (scanner), Publish It Easy. I teach
classes that average 20+ students, most of which are just fulfilling
elective requirements - so I don't teach anything specifically focusing on
computer graphics. But, in every class I teach, 7th grade on up, I provide
computer options for traditional art media projects. For example, as my
students complete various versions of color wheels, I encourage some to
design ones on the computer in addition to their regular ones. For 7th
graders, new to the Mac, I have a blank color wheel template and they
simply learn how to locate and paint in colors and type names next to them.
Upper grade students design their own from scratch. When we did an
architecture project, some of the students opted to design their dream
houses on the computer using Virtus WalkThrough (which is difficult to
learn, but oh so much fun). There are lots of other ways I encourage
computer design. (Logo design, posters, color problems, etc.) By the end of
a school year, everyone in each class has worked at least once on the
computer and some choose it for a majority of their assignments.

I am also exploring multimedia uses of the technology, but am currently
hampered by limited RAM and no money for upgrades (am looking for grants).
It is my vision to someday have students create visual term papers,
combining text and original graphics, scanned images, images from CD-ROM's;
or original computer "storybooks"; illustrated journals; class newsletters,
etc. I have many more ideas than I ever get to pursue - and no time to do
it either. I'm initiating digital portfolio assessment by taking photos
(Apple QuickTake) of student work and having them write evaluative
statements about them. I'll keep these on file as long as they are in the
school system and encourage them to add to their digital portfolio and
reflect upon their work from time to time.

Then there's the Internet. I'm online at home and my school computer lab
(PC) is on, but they can't get the Mac's in the school system connected.
Money is again the problem. I just drool at the thought of accessing the
Metropolitan or Louvre someday from computers in the classroom.

So what are other teachers doing?

Oh, one last thing. I have also put lots of hours into designing simplified
student directions for the software I have - I don't even make it through
the manuals, so I sure don't expect them to, but they do need some
directions. I don't see any problem with using professional level graphics
software, at least on the high school level. I have no desire to use
anything like PrintShop, that pre-formats so much for the user - it takes
away most of the creativity. (It's fine for non-artists).

Sandy Hildreth
7-12 Art, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617