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Showing posts from March, 2012

Visual Thinking Strategies Workshop: Part 2

Mary Lewis from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts led a workshop with staff on Visual Thinking Strategies . She began part 2 of the session having us view a clip from 60 Minutes with Harvard professor, John Stilgoe . Stilgoe pointed out many interesting design components. For example, have you ever noticed the arrow in the FedEx logo? Or that if all car manufacturers just put the gas cap on the same side, lines at gas pumps would be much shorter because everyone would line up in a more efficient manner. Lewis then told us about "The Stages of Looking." Stage 1: Beginning viewers are looking at the story Emotion plays a big part of it, and they use their own life experience to relate to the image. "What is it about the picture that made you think of that?" Stage 2: Constructivist People apply what they think is "right," and build a framework. "IS THIS ART?" Stage 3: Classifying By classifying the artwork, this stage attempts to critically catego

Visual Thinking Strategies Workshop: The Basics of VTS

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in with staff from South View Middle School as they explored Visual Thinking Strategies with from Mary Lewis from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The curriculum is based on Visual Understanding in Education , developed by Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine. These strategies were developed for beginning viewers. Basic Visual Thinking Strategies Asking the questions 1. Begin by asking the question, "What is going on in this picture?" Staff noted that the process allowed them to "slow down" and think, rather than being told what to think. The pictures Lewis chose told a story, and this allows for more reflection. The classes where kids are really struggling is where kids really struggle to focus. She has found that if she says, "take 10 seconds" If students struggle, ask them "What do you see?" 2. The second question is "What do you see that makes you say that?" What is the clue? "I'm goin

What I like about BYOD Part II and III

Today I went over to one of our middle schools to take a picture or two for a project I was working on and I came upon this scene: It's spring, and so the computer lab was set up for students to complete assessments, like it is for 1/4th of the school year. Fortunately, because we allow students to bring their own devices, it wasn't a problem for them to prepare the Language Arts presentations for tomorrow! Some students used district owned laptops, and others used desktop computers in the library, but without BYOD, the teacher would have been limited. Another thing I have been liking lately is our New " Virtual Training " option for students interested in bringing their device.  Students and parents watch the orientation video, complete a survey based on the building they are in, sign the agreement forms, then come to the office to have a sticker put on their device to verify they are "wireless certified." So far, close to 30 students have ta