Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mattawan Tech Camp 2012

Artists Name: Christine M.

School: Northview HS
From Video Game Design, to management tools like Class Dojo, and an endless amount of Free resources for consuming and creating content - the Mattawan Tech Camp offered a little bit of everything for the teacher looking to add digital tools to their curriculum.

The event kicked off with a lively and thought-provoking Keynote from Rushton Hurley, whose presentation title included the words "Kicking Posterior." As an advocate for the power of digital tools in the classroom, Rushton shared his passion with the crowd and offered the impact we can have in our classroom if we allow students the chance to create and share content through the video production. 

He continued this discussion in his sessions by offering us a load of free resources as well as things to think about. One thing I learned involved the search function in Google. Maybe you already knew this, but I hadn't ever seen the advanced search option in Google - did you know you can search for specific file types? He had us search for PowerPoint presentations using this method. If we can do this, so can our students. This got a lot of us re-thinking the presentation tool and how we can use it as a way for students to see what other students have created and synthesize it into something of their own, like a video or even use what they find to write a critique or summary of the presentations.

 I also appreciated the resources page filled with tools that I was seeing for the first time. One such tool is called Psykopaint. In this cloud-based program, you can upload pictures and then select artist styles ranging from Seurat to Van Gogh (and more) to paint your picture. You really have to check it out to see what I mean.

I had the opportunity to present at this conference, too. I discussed how I have used Video Game Design in the classroom. Sometimes as an Art teacher, I get a little narrow in my definition in what I should be teaching; Art History, drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics are key, but I have opened up to the idea that animation, video, digital arts, and video game design are also important aspects in Visual Arts education. You can check out the Video Game Design page I created for the conference filled with links to important sites about how this skill can effect student achievement as well as how students can make them and various competitions students can enter. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards will begin to accept games starting in September, so consider this as you start planning your curriculum. And if you don't know how to program or design a game, it is okay - you can still create a space that facilitates that learning for your students. I know that is the case in my classroom, at least.

Have you learned something at a Edu Camp this summer? Please share any new skills, tips or tricks below.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing all of the great points from the Mattawan Tech Camp! There were certainly a lot of shortcomings, and we're going to work hard to overcome those for next year, so I'm glad that you could take away so many positive experiences. Although to be fair, if anyone can get Rushton Hurley to attend their event, it's bound to be a fantastic day :)