Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Google Art Project perfect for art education

Google Art Project launched today. And it. is. AWESOME. Talk about making museums accessible to everyone. Extremely high-resolution images of original artworks! (That means you can see them much closer than if you visited the museum in person. Woah.) You can also “tour” the museum galleries, like you would in Google Maps street view. Currently, there’s only a handful of museums and galleries but I envision and hope more will join the project soon (like the Louvre?) I haven’t found artworks other than paintings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future they included three-dimensions works of art as well. (Update: I have stumbled upon a sculpture work, hopefully I’ll stumble upon more and in the future provide all angles!)

screen shot of Google Art Project
Self Portrait in a Straw Hat, Paul Cezanne (MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art—New York, U.S.)

Since I’m going to be student teaching in the art classroom in a couple weeks, I’ve already thought how an art teacher can find different ways to use this in the classroom. Below are a few examples.

Helpful aids for master studies.
Since one can zoom in very close to these artworks, a student could focus on a small portion at a time — really understanding how Cezanne used blocks of color in his still-lifes, for instance. Looking at the whole image can be overwhelming, but breaking it into pieces makes it much more manageable.

Practice gallery walk-throughs.
Taking a group of students to a real-life gallery? Walk them through one of these galleries (or maybe the ACTUAL gallery you’re visiting is featured here—even better!) The students can practice appropriate behavior in an art gallery, have a better understanding of what to expect, as well as ask questions ahead of time (“How close can we get to the paintings?” “Do we have to walk a certain path around the gallery?”)

Better visual aids.
Technology use in the classroom is ever-increasing and the art classroom highly benefits from this. Being able to image search for paintings (so you don’t have to scan them from your art history book!) is a huge help. Now, rather than students seeing a poor-quality photograph (or photocopy of a photograph, etc.) art teachers can use Google Art Projects dynamically and students can really inspect the artwork. Studying lines in the elementary art classroom? Pull up Van Gogh’s Starry Night on your smart board, zoom in, and students can take turns finding and tracing his swirling lines!

Fascinating Anticipatory Sets.
Need their attention before introducing a stippling and pointillism unit? Zoom in on a painting by Georges Seurat and have the students guess what the painting is of, as you slowly zoom out.

You can even choose specific artworks and group them into your own “art collection”. You can name your collections the same as your unit plans for quick access, without having to remember which gallery is housing it and then having to spend valuable class time searching for it.

Love love love it.

InDesign Trick

I learned this trick from GoMediaZine on Friday. Tried it yesterday. It will literally change my layout life. Works like a charm and I can’t believe I lined up any other way! I had to share.

In Adobe InDesign, move your cursor right before the first letter of the paragraph on the first line of your bulleted list. Press ctrl + \ and the other lines will fall in directly below that one. You are left with a clean left justified bulleted item. NOTE: When setting your rags by hand on the item, do not use a hard return (Enter) or the trick will not work. If you need to insert a manual break, use a soft return (Shift + Enter) and the list will still line up correctly.

Thank you, GoMediaZine.

We Moved Card


Made this little doo-dah tonight after work to send to the whole two people who don’t have email on our people we must tell when we move list.

That being said, anyone moving soon that will need a few of these? Complete with fake “glue leakage”!

Make a Donation

Donate to Second Chance Rescue and get a free pet photo session and 5×7 print!

Details are on Scott Meyer Photography’s blog.

The Greatest Idea in the World

When struggling to write a paper defending one side of an issue for Government class in high school, my dad gave me some advice. He told me that the best debaters know how to argue both sides of the issue. It makes sense. Being able to foresee how the other person sees the issue, can help you in defending your side. I assume it’s a fundamental part of debate. But my school didn’t have debate club, or whatever.

Sometimes, I take the other side of an issue, even if it’s not the one I’d side with. And even if it’s not an issue at all. I do it just for the sake of uncovering the possible problems that may arise. I do it to bring up other points. I frequently wonder if that makes me a pessimist. I don’t think so, though sometimes I *am* pessimistic (just as often as optimistic).

I’d like to think of it mostly as realism. I think people, by nature, are disagreeable. Even if you have what could be considered the greatest idea in the world, someone will have a problem with it. Someone will think they have a better way to do it. Someone will think life was better before your idea was realized. Sometimes, these people will be right. Sometimes, these disagreeable people have the knowledge and capability to make your “greatest idea in the world” into something better.

This way of thinking (pessimistic, realistic, argumentative, whatever you want to call it) brings change. From Blu-Ray discs on our shelf to the mighty mouse on my desk, to the “new” Facebook open in a tab in my browser, to browser tabs. And to the cell phone you might be reading this post on. Everything around us exists because someone thought differently from everyone else around them.

And everything around you right now? Right now, someone’s thinking of a better way to do it.