Help me give my students to opportunity to take photographs with a device other than a cell phone, allowing them understand a new art form beyond social media.
My students rely on art to help them deal with various stresses they are working to overcome. They come from all corners of a large city, some traveling over an hour and a half to get to our school. Many have not had an art class since grade school. Some never had an art class and if they did, it was once a week for 50 minutes. At my school they receive three and a half hours of art a week.
They come into the art room excited to make and create, to try new things, and see where their imagination can take them.
A large percentage of my population has either an IEP, a 504 plan, anxiety and/or depression issues, or a combination of these. These students find the art room to be a refuge from the stress of their daily lives. You can see them change over the course of our time together. Shoulders relaxing for the first time that day, or slowly becoming more confident and happier. They understand how important the language of art is to them and how it helps them process what they are going through.
In my art classes I try to offer a wide variety of possibilities to allow my students to express themselves. DonorsChoose.org has allowed me to broaden theses options, and my students have responded in ways I would have never imagined.
Recently, I realized that photography offers an opportunity to tap into my students' love of images to help get them excited and motivated to express themselves through a new art form.
My students live in a world consumed by images and social media. Selfies are a daily ritual for them, and while social media and cell phones have ignited their interest in taking pictures, the art of this genre is lost on them. By bringing real cameras into the classroom, students will not only step away from their devices, but they will see photography in a new light. Not as something to add to a post on Instagram, but a true way of expressing themselves.
I recently started a Photography Club and we had almost 40 students show up for the first meeting. These teens were eager to learn how to improve their picture taking. Their cell phones create limitations as it is not the same as taking pictures with a camera, and some students do not have a phone, or have limited data, or damaged devices. This year I am moderating the yearbook, and it is my hope to elevate the quality of photos in the yearbook as well as have students take ownership of this publication. Something that has not happened in the past. These cameras will allow students without phones to be involved in the creation of the yearbook, as well as overcome a strict no cell phone use in school barrier.
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|Sony - DSC-W800 20.1-Megapixel Digital Camera - Black • Best Buy Education||$89.03||5||$445.15|
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