Tag Archives: Yoshiko Maruiwa

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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Finished works from an 8th grade Digital Art unit I led with @NewYork564 at @The_School. #artsed

I love collaborating with Yoshiko Maruiwa (@NewYork564) every year on a variety of projects. Yoshiko is a wonderful artist and teacher, and she introduces me and our students to art and artists that put our units in a larger context, from Cindy Sherman to Robert Frank to Louise Bourgeois.

Yoshiko and I just led a Digital Arts mini-course that lasted for 8 sessions. (Other courses offered were mixed media, batik, and ceramics.) Our small group of students completed three photo manipulation projects. Below is their description of each project and the resulting images:

Project 1: InsideOut Collage
Inspired by the artist, JR, the 8th grade artists from Digital Art course created our own interpretations of his classic “InsideOut” artwork. During this assignment, we created a collage of images to represent our inside stories, using images that are important to us. Through the following slides you will see different representations of who the students are and what inspires us.

Project 2: InsideOut Photo
The INSIDE OUT project by the French artist JR gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for.  It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. Inspired by his project, we took black and white photos that conveyed our social action project.

Project 3: Social Action Digital Collage
For this project we took our Social Action Projects (SAP) and turned them into digital art. We collaged and layered pictures until they came together to represent the injustice we are focusing on for our SAP. One requirement was that we had to be in the picture, so it was a challenge to include ourselves in pictures that we found on the internet.

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Slides from my #FETC presentation, “License to Cull: Art History, Media Literacy, Ethics and Photoshop”


This integrated unit evolved over time and was co-taught with the 6th grade Art teachers (first Yoshiko Maruiwa, and then Katelin O’Hare). It examines fine art and the fine print. Students learn about ownership, copyright, licensing, media literacy, fair use, Creative Commons, Wikimedia and Photoshop.

Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)
Orange County Convention Center Expo Hall
1/15/16, 11:00am – 12:00pm

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