Tag Archives: Art

5th grade hacks Greek constellations in a circuitry project. @The_School #scichat #artsed #5thchat

I have enjoyed spending the last ten years  collaborating with intelligent, creative, and willing colleagues at The School at Columbia University. Though I mainly worked with middle school teachers and students, I was often asked for help, guidance, or partnership from teachers in  the other grades. I always assisted anyone (parents, teachers, students) which helped me build community, connect people and ideas to each other as a de facto curriculum coordinator, hone my craft, and simply share all the stuff I’ve gathered and learned from my amazing network and the ideas being shared via Twitter, meet ups, conferences, workshops, and casual conversations.

Yoshiko Maruiwa is one of my favorite colleagues. After hearing I was leaving The School next year to join The Brearley School as their inaugural K-12 Technology Coordinator, Yoshiko asked if we could do one final project together in her 5th grade Art classes. I knew the students had recently completed an electronics and circuitry unit in science with Monique Rothman, and they’d studied Ancient Greece in Social Studies (including participating in a grade-wide Olympics). So, it wasn’t a big stretch to imagine having the 5th graders use the existing stars of Greek constellations to re-conceptualize their designs. I had originally intended for LED lights to be connected via wires that students would cut to size and connect into parallel circuits, but there wasn’t enough time. Instead, we used a lot of expensive copper tape.

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8th grade instructional performance pieces with @soshea_o at @The_School inspired by @yokoono’s #Grapefruit! #artsed

I was blown away by  the Yoko Ono retrospective at the MoMA in September of 2015, Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971. During a chat with music teacher, Sheila O’Shea, I spoke of the incredible exhibit and how I purchased the book Grapefruit which was full of instructional performance pieces penned in poetic bursts of words. Sheila was inspired to share this with her students, and they created original artwork to complement their interpretation of Grapefruit’s instructions.

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 Video: @zamchick gives a demo of how to “type a picture” using @WordsEye. #engchat #artsed   

Gary @Zamchick, co-founder of WordsEye, visited this morning. I had seen an early prototype of WordsEye a few years ago, and his current version is amazing. Here’s a video of Gary offering a demo for one of my awesome colleagues, Kindergarten teacher, Joyce Tsang

As per the email WordsEye sent me upon registering: 
WordsEye lets anyone “type a picture” using simple language. It uses natural language technology to translate your sentences into 3D scenes. Words can become art, visual opinion, greetings, and more.

Below is an example of text and the resulting scene included in the same registration email: 
 @WordsEye is an amazing two-fold web-based application. You can “type a picture” using simple and descriptive language to create an elaborate 3D scene. There’s also a social network component where you can share your creation to the WordsEye gallery, and download or re-mix someone else’s scene. When you explore the WordsEye Gallery, you can also click an image to see exactly the text used to create particular 3D scenes. I loved this aspect, and it reminded me of how you can “see inside” Scratch programs shared online in order to learn from the original creator and also remix the project to make it personal.

As a literacy tool, WordsEye is amazing for reinforcing the importance of descriptive and figurative language. You can change the scene easily by introducing or replacing words. I imagine having students build a lexicon of language that works in WordsEye – so they can help each other determine how the words tiny, humongous, large, small, huge, etc. will change the look and size of an object. In that respect, there are opportunities to have conversations about scale and proportion as well. Besides space and distance, WordsEye also recognizes pronouns — you can type “The dog is two feet from the sofa. It is to the left of the planet.” and WordsEye will place objects accordingly.

I hope one day WordsEye will be voice-activated, so that younger students can dictate words rather than type them. Also, I wonder if more emotions could be coded into WordsEye so that you can type “the sad boy” or “the happy alien” or “the frustrated teacher” (haha). Consider a doctor’s non-verbal chart of smiley faces to help illustrate a patient’s pain — maybe something similar will enable users to include layers of emotion or other non-verbals that can enhance the finished scene or offer insight into something they are not comfortable voicing aloud yet are ready to share in a visual medium.

You can pre-register to explore WordsEye on your own! https://wordseye.com

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