K-12 mLearning Options

Using Mobile Devices in the Art classroom

Technology has taken a leading role in the art world in the 21st century. Many projects and compositions are now being edited or fully created using computer-based or mobile-based platforms. Here is a list of mLearning Apps that I feel would be useful in the Art classroom.

App #1: Sketchbook Pro

Sketchbook Pro is a mobile drawing tool, which incorporates numerous professional grade brushes, tools, and colour pallettes allowing users to explore a variety of mediums through a mobile interface. Sketchbook Pro is known as a professional grade illustration tool for use on Windows® or Mac®, though it translates well onto the mobile medium, especially those which incorporate a stylus. Sketchbook Pro is available for Iphone, Ipad, and all Android devices for the low price of $4.99 and is sure to easily translate ideas into vibrant compositions at the touch of a finger.

Classroom Integration and Implications

One of the big ideas of the Alberta Art Curriculum is that of composition. I feel that sketchbook pro takes away the stress associated with the blank page and the permanence of various mediums. Creating a composition through Sketchbook pro takes away some of these stresses. Students have the ability to erase mistakes and to work with various mediums with which to create their compositions in a cost effective manner. All the tools that a teacher could dream of physically having in the classroom are incorporated in this app in a digital format. This provides all students with fair access to the tools that they require to develop as artists. This app would be most useful in teaching students basic drawing skills as well as how to develop and compose an effective image, beginning with a pencil, and working towards bold ink lines and vibrant colour. This app is listed on the itunes app store at $4.99.

App #2: Adobe Colour Lava

Adobe Color Lava is an interactive colour-mixing app, which allows users to actively mix their own colours for use in photoshop. This app is available for both Apple and Android and is often known as a companion app for Adobe photoshop. Colours and colour swatches can easily be created on the go and saved on your mobile device. Colour swatches can also be sent to your computer via network connection. The is now listed on itunes for $2.99.

Classroom Integration and Implications

Color Lava can be used as a tool in the classroom for encouraging students to take an active role in creating colours and discovering colour relationships. Students can use their fingers to develop new understandings of colour and later use their creations within their compositions. With adobe becoming a major player in the professional art world, students enrolled in high school art will find comfort in becoming familiar with both platforms and the knowledge that many mobile tools can be easily integrated with their most familiar technology formats.

App #2: Art Authority

Art Authority K-12 brings the art museum to your classroom. Art Authority K-12 is a student friendly version of the original Art Authority app for Ipad. This app provides students with an interactive museum containing over 1000 western art works. Students can take an interactive walk through the museum and discover much of what they want to know about the works inside. This app is available on itunes for $7.99.

Classroom Integration and Implications

Art Authority K-12 allows students to take a virtual walk through a museum and discover and explore over 1000 artworks by numerous historical western artists. The provides many opportunities throughout the art curriculum such as comparing classics styles, artist studies, and other various studies of mediums and historical backdrops. One activity that came to mind was that of a comparative scavenger hunt. Students could work in groups to compare and contrast two different woks and further incorporate their findings into a reflection piece. This would allow students to take an active role in their learning and provide for some meaningful critical discussion experiences.

App #4: ArtRage

ArtRage brings the art studio to your students' fingertips. This app is much like the above-mentioned Sketchbook Pro although, it places its focused an various mediums within the realm of painting. Students can explore Oils, Watercolour, Paint Rollers, Pencil, and even Crayon in a simulated manner that seems more real than anything. This app uses intuitive controls which allows users to mix paint or watercolors as the system keeps track of how much paint or water is actually left on the brush. This app is listed on itunes at $4.99.

Classroom Integration and implications

ArtRage is a useful tool for classrooms that are equipped with or have access to iPads. This is a great tool for furthering students knowledge of the different painting mediums and how they can be used in composition. One way of using this app in classroom is through emphasizing the importance in texture. Students can experiment with creating, for example, a skyline with their choice of weather or season. They can then integrate their knowledge of colour and texture to create stormy clouds, sunny skies, or even a rainy day to express their learning and interpretations. This allows for full-class participation with the added ability to differentiate learning and intstruction.

App #5: Dropbox

Dropbox is a file-sharing platform which can be used between your mobile learning device such as an iPad and your Desktop or Laptop. Each new member is awarded 2 GB of storage for free which allows for a large quantity of files to be shared. Further, users can do away with the hassle of emailing links by sending files to other dropbox users. The app is free for anyone to use and allows for instant file retrieval anywhere you go.

Classroom Integration and Implications

Dropbox is a useful tool for the Art classroom. When using programs such as Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage on the iPad, students can utilize Dropbox to share their files between their iPad and the School Computers in order to, for example, edit their finished product on Adobe Photoshop. This would also provide the possibility of working on projects between home and school.

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