Students who have exceptionalities often lack
the ability or motivation to succeed in a classroom that offers
limited choices in programming and assessment. I have found
that my senior high school visual arts students dislike writing
about art in traditional ways, through essays and notes in their
journals. Many of the students also find it difficult to verbally
articulate their idea. My inquiry will explore alternative ways
for them to develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills
about their own art and the art of others and to explore art
theory in a way that will engage them using tools that they
already enjoy, tools of the internet.
Every student in my class is familiar with word processing,
safe researching skills and appropriate use of the Internet
from my computer class in an earlier grade. I have also observed
students using social networking sites and see how these hold
their attention. The internet engages all the students in
my classes, including those with attention problems and developmental
disabilities. This inquiry will examine the efficacy of using
the new collaborative tools of Web 2.0 and how they can provide
my art students with stimulating, real-world activities that
are meaningful and authentic.
Collaborative tools allow for multiple means of expression.
Students can express their ideas through text, images, voice
and video. They can post images of their artwork or create
artwork directly through programs available on the Internet.
These tools also allow them to reach out beyond the classroom
walls to real life artists, and to visit studies and museums.
They can critique the work of other students and practicing
artists and get the opinions of others. Assessment becomes
richer and more authentic when they can receive feedback for
their ideas, artwork, and artist statements from members of
the community and even their own families.
Another rationale for introducing technology into my art classroom
is that the tools can help students in becoming actively involved
in their own learning, which promotes critical thinking and
helps students stay motivated. The use of technology can promote
a constructivist, interactive approach to student learning,
which can make the class more inclusive for all students.