In the middle of the bustling city of Atlanta there is a special place full of inquisitive artists. This special place is our lementary school and these inquisitive artists are my students. From kindergarten to fifth grade, they arrive at my door full of wonder and ready to take on whatever I have in store for them. Art is more than just an extracurricular activity, to them it’s an adventure, one that I am more than happy to help guide them through!
Welcome to the 21st century! In a world where technology is everywhere, it's hard to believe that there are some who are without, but that is exactly what I have discovered in my classroom. I have students whose only exposure to tech are those limited interactions that have on library or classroom computers. It is important to teach these students how to navigate the world they live in, so that they may use this knowledge to change our future for the better. Unfortunately, it's hard to teach 21st-century learners without 21st-century technology.
Over the past year, I have incorporated project-based STEAM activities into my art classroom.
Students have thrived in this environment, soaking up learning like a sponge and spreading out their knowledge of art, history, and technology to their other classes and to their peers. We have developed online portfolios of their work and have shared our work, not only locally to parents, teachers, and other students, but globally. And all this was done on only three devices: my personal computer, my personal cell phone, and the one tablet we share as a class.
Now imagine this same scenario, but this time with more devices. Students are able to log onto Coding apps, movie making apps, art history apps, and more. They are able to solve design problems, make stop-motion videos, create Picasso-esque art pieces and post them all onto their online portfolio to share with the world. The art room becomes a vessel for exploration of their past, present, and future world rather than a hindrance. THIS is what a simple donation can do. It can make available two additional tablet devices that are more than just wires and motherboards, they are windows to a whole world of possibilities.
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