Tag Archives: digital citizenship

Showing 6th graders how to independently maintain their Digital Art Portfolios on The Social Network.

6th graders in Yoshiko Maruiwa’s art classes are adding a sub-page to their Digital Art Portfolios on our Elgg social network (we named it The Social Network four years ago). Yoshiko and I want the students to be able to archive their work and maintain their portfolio independently. Hopefully, they will continue to do so for the remainder of the year and into 7th and 8th grades. We also talked about having a physical portfolio of their work and one that exists in the cloud.

I had each class for an hour. These were my instructions:

1. Take a good photo. Without flash if possible. From a straight and center vantage point and not too high/low/left/right.

2. Upload photo to iPhoto and crop/edit/enhance as needed.

3. Add their image to the class album on The Gallery. (The Gallery is our in-house photo server powered by Drupal.)

4. Copy the URL of the full-size image.

5. In a new tab, login to The Social Network. (The Social Network is our in-house social network powered by Elgg.)

6. Create a sub-page in their Digital Art Portfolio.

7. Insert the image by pasting the URL, adjust the dimensions of the image, add border and padding if desired. We talked about how the basic WYSIWYG toolbar is “supposed” to be idiot-proof.

8. Awesome trick by a 6th grader: Remove the last digit of the height and the width to quickly resize the picture.

9. In the body of their page, next to their image, write an Artist Statement about their piece: Discuss what it represents, the colors and design chosen, the process…

10. Add tags as needed : 6th Grade, art, portfolio, painting, self-portrait, mosaic…

11. When finished, comment on their classmates’ pieces. We reinforced appropriate commenting:

Not so great – “I like your painting!”
Great – “I like your use of color and symmetry.”
Really great – “I like how you painted your guitar. Do you play any other instruments?”

In each session, we had three stations and a pile of cameras available for the kids to take a picture of their art piece. After, a student was at the front of the room demo-ing on the classroom iMac while everone was at their personal MacBooks following along or going at their own pace. Having a gaggle of cameras, enough download wires, and 1:1 laptops was awesome but not necessary.

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Setting up 6th grade Digital Art Portfolios on our #Elgg social network


Today, I’m with 6th grade, co-teaching with the lovely and amazing 6th grade teacher/artist, Yoshiko Maruiwa.

Like the other members of our Art Department, Yoshiko encourages and inspires her students to produce, critique, and reflect upon art. Students bring home many physical artifacts, and today we set up a structure of digital pages to showcase, share, define, appreciate, and network about each other’s art on our in-house Social network, powered by Elgg (http://elgg.org). Elgg is open-source and relatively easy to maintain, especially as my server manager, Cristina Martinez, does all the back-end work. (Twitter: @cmfinlay)

Students created an overarching “Digital Art Portfolio” main page and are responsible for adding sub-pages for each assignment that will include an Artist’s Statement and a digital photo of each piece.

There is a section to comment on every page, and we talk about appropriate comments being ones that are constructive and inspire conversation:
Not so great – “I like your painting!”
Great – “I like your use of color and symmetry.”
Really great – “I like how you painted your guitar. Do you play any other instruments?”

Yoshiko and I took photos of the artworks for this project, but for later assignments, the kids will take their own photos and load these images onto a shared album on our in-house photo server; It is called The Gallery and powered by Drupal (http://drupal.org).

I ask students to point the URL of their images rather than download/upload to reinforce citing and not copying works from the web. We talked about ownership: Who owns the photo of their painting? Me, the school, the student? They painted the picture, I took the photo with a school camera, and I posted the image onto our school server. This spawned a quick and mildly interesting discussion, considering my ignorance and my audience.

As I do every time I’m with a class, I totally repeated my mantra that whatever they post online is Public, Permanent, and Traceable, and they should strive to use our technology Academically, Responsibly, and Respectfully.

Now I’d like to get the 7th and 8th grade art teachers on board. I asked Yoshiko to show a sample digital art portfolio to her colleagues at their next department meeting. Fingers crossed.


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5 Properties of Public Life: Persistence, Invisible Audience, Searchability, Replicability, Scalability. (via @donbuckley)

Today, I watched Don Buckley (@donbuckley) deliver his “5 Properties of Public Life” talk to an 8th grade class. These tenets are: persistence, invisible audience, searchability, replicability, scalability. Don, my boss, is a modern day Renaissance Man and ranks among the coolest people I’ve ever met. You can see him in action at TEDxNYED, as he’ll be co-hosting with Sylvia Martinez (@smartinez).

Once you post something online, it’s impossible to remove it.

 Invisible Audience
When you post something publicly, you have no control (and potentially no information) about who is viewing that information.

As search engines become more sophisticated, it just gets easier and easier to locate information.

This is about how easy it is to copy and paste anything from the web.

The impact of posted information is so much bigger these days. Consider the hideous example of Rutgers Freshman Tyler Clementi.

 While neither gender-neutral nor asexual, we also like to show these “Think Before You Post” videos:

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