PsycholARTSical: Psyched about the arts/Arts and Science/Technology
Arts and Science/Technology - (Hassan, Irene, Tearney, Mark)
“We must not forget that computers are tools, not ends in themselves.” This is a statement made by Diane Ravitch, a historian, in her article The Great Technology Mania about the implications of trying to succeed at maximizing student achievement through technology. She goes on to make an even bolder statement about their being “no evidence that use of computers or the Internet improves student achievement.” In an age where computers and technology seem like the silver bullet everybody in the education field has been looking for, Ravitch’s statements come as a surprise. However, a closer look reveals not only economic implications for this unsubstantiated technological revolution, but psychological ones as well. Although it is the assumption that “computers improve both teaching practises and student achievement” and that “To make tomorrow’s work force competitive in an increasingly high-tech world, learning computer skills must be a priority” (The Computer Delusion, Oppenheimer) a lot of evidence points to the contrary.
A case study facilitated by both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem examined computer-aided instruction (CAI) in Israeli classrooms from 1994 and 1996. Over this period the results reported did not support the view that CAI improves learning. “The researchers’ found that fourth and eighth graders with CAI showed no improvement or even worse performance on achievement tests after CAI began” (The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions). What’s more is that some of the fourth graders showed significantly lower math test scores after CAI began. It is important to note that these researchers didn’t have a bias against technology but simply argued that the “theoretical case for the CAI is not well-developed, and there is good reason to believe that computers can actually be a diversion” (BI for PPS).
What this extends to, with the technological bandwagon overflowing with advocates from the educational side of things is a reallocation of other educational resources. This is demonstrated in the case above with the Israeli Ministry of Education spending $105 million on computers during the researches three year period – an estimated amount that could have alternately funded about 3500 teachers for one year. Other examples include The Kittridge Street Elementary School, in Los Angeles, eliminating its music program to hire a technology coordinator and administrators in Mansfield, Massachusetts dropping “proposed teaching positions in art, music, and physical education” (Oppenheimer), and then spending $333,000 on computers. This is all very interesting considering recent research has suggested that “music and art classes may build the physical size of a child’s brain” and even has more significant influence on student’s success than computers in subjects like math, science, and engineering.
The primary advocate of this type of work is Jane Healy, an educational psychologist who wrote Endangered Minds: Why Children Don’t Think and What We Can Do About It (1990). In her book she writes that “visual stimulation is probably not the main access route to nonverbal reasoning. Body movements, the ability to touch, feel, manipulate, and build sensory awareness of relationships in the physical world, are its main foundations”. Obviously when it comes to computers and their use in the classroom “the senses have...little status”. “As well she and other psychologists think that computer screens flatten information into narrow, sequential data. This kind of material, they believe, exercises mostly one half of the brain” (Oppenheimer).
Many research papers have been devoted to looking at arts influence on student’s success and achievement. What makes this interesting is that Arts education classically steers away from using computers as a means to an end. One such research paper is Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement by the director of Educational Systems Research, Littleton, Colorado , Sandra S. Ruppert. In this paper Ruppert links several key phases of cognitive development to Arts Education. These include but aren’t limited to; Thinking Skills, which is encompassed by “reasoning ability, intuition, perception, imagination, inventiveness, creativity, problem-solving skills and expression” (Ruppert); Social Skills, which is defined by the promotion of positive growth in “social skills, including self-confidence, self-control, conflict resolution, collaboration, empathy and social tolerance”; as well as the motivation to learn which can be categorized by “active engagement, disciplined and sustained attention, persistence and risk taking, among other competencies”.
In other words if we are to prepare students for work in the 21st century computers is not the best way to achieve increased success. This is emphasized by people that share the concern that computers aren’t the best way to make successful employees. Kris Meisling, a senior geological-research adviser for Mobil Oil is quoted in Computer Delusion as saying “people who use computers a lot slowly grow rusty in their ability to think.” What’s even more shocking are the comment Karen Chelini, the director of human resources for LucasArts Entertainment said: “With traditional art training, you train the eye to pay attention to body movement. You learn attitude, feeling, expression. The ones who are good are those who as kids couldn’t be without their sketchbook.” (The Computer Delusion) It is evident then that people on the front lines of hiring for even the most computer driven companies are looking for thinkers and they believe these aren’t the people that learn through a computer.
Links Between Arts and Technology in Practice
Amidst all the discourse on the benefits or potential hindrances of new technology in the education system, a handful of maverick entrepreneurs and educators are using technology in arts education to build communities. Two examples of programs that reach out to struggling youth and empower them with the ability to use new technologies for their own creative development show that while the new media may have some shortfalls when applied in a classroom, sometimes it is just the bridge to lead students back to success in school and out. One organization, Regent Park Focus, was formed to give the immense youth population in the neighbourhood of Regent Park in downtown Toronto a voice. The One World Youth Arts Program is a pilot program at Georges Vanier High School where students there are given the opportunity to create music using current music production software. Both programs show a holistic form of educating the students and empower every individual in the program with a sense of value and shared responsibility, turning more students back into learning and succeeding in school.
The arts program in Regent Park was created to fill a void that was unraveling the community. According to current statistics, the percentage of residents under the age of 24 was approximately 44%. More than 50% of the population in Regent Park does not speak English in the home, and more than 50% are also visible minorities. The area itself has been the scapegoat for years as a hub of crime and violence, and before there was a great desire on the part of the community to bond together and work collectively to defeat the stereotype associated with that area. Regent Park is a youth-based organization in the downtown Toronto community of Regent Park. Students here learn skills and relevant information about new technology related to the arts.
The organization was created and led by a group of adult professionals including Adonis Huggins and Steve Blair, who coach youth from around the community to run their video, radio, and music production suites. By giving the students creative control, their engagement and sense of self-empowerment is strong enough for give them more autonomy in the development and process, providing opportunities for leadership. The success of this organization stems from the youth that have benefited from the program who were at-risk, disenfranchised students in what is considered one of Toronto’s “vulnerable” communities. Youth and children working in the Regent Park Youth Focus organization are positively motivated to succeed in their group projects through public exhibitions, film fests, and worldwide online access to their work. They are also interested in their community, feel welcome and safe and do not feel the pressures of grades to push them to succeed in their work at the program. The benefits are contagious, and once they have seen what a great job they can do in this arena, their confidence will increase and hopefully influence their future goals.
By putting “culturally relevant pedagogy” into practice, the students will be able to contribute more as they are working within a group of shared interests or experiences. The radio, video, and music productions that the students create relate to topics that affect their lives, their friend’s lives, and their family’s lives. This awareness that students develop through these types of organizations foster local advocacy and activism that forms a values foundation upon which students can feel supported by in their educational or career pursuits. For those who are struggling in school, finding an interest on an area of expertise that they can expand on is often the hook or anchor that helps them steer through the sometimes-rocky path of secondary education.
The One World Youth Arts Program is a pilot project created by high school music teacher Stephen Lashbrook. It is an open level course that students join and learn valuable skills in music production, creating songs and compositions that are entirely their own and speak to their own lives and concerns. Similarly with Regent Park Youth Focus, the One World Program has shown the highest success with students who are disenfranchised or considered on the margins of the rest of the community. In other words, anyone who feels like a minority or whoever feels like not enough material in the current education system speaks to them and their own experiences. Student success creates “positive reinforcement”, which can spread outside the program and into the classrooms and in the communities and creating music and video productions also stimulates “metalinguistic” and “metasymbolic” awareness. Arts programs incorporating technology is also an example of cognitive apprenticeship, wherein the students acquire skills from an expert and develop a relationship based on this exchange. As Piaget has argued, youth and adults rarely enter into formal-operational learning unless they are engaged and interested in the material. By allowing students creative control in a music classroom, the opportunity is risen for the students to be able to express themselves using musical instruments and new technology. The production media is their “tools” for cultural expression, while their language, style, and message makes up their “symbol systems”.
The One World Youth Arts program is being supported by the TDSB, and there are hopes that this type of program which has proven to increase student success will spread to more schools in areas where students need it most. There is a growing demand or need for arts based programs to offer students a more tangible, relevant form of individual expression and by integrating new technologies as well gives students even more technological literacy, creative problem-solving skills, alongside the inherent community-forming bonds that both learning spaces provide and foster.
Overall, these programs show that mixing technological skill alongside individual creative expression allow students to make their learning more relevant and useful in their lives and career pursuits. Because they are accessible by all levels and backgrounds, students immediately feel the benefits of an inclusive learning environment where everyone has something to contribute and the products of their labour are given the value they deserve.
The CyberARTS Program
Ontario's new CyberARTS Program is another "culturally relevant" educational initiative which merits analysis.
CyberARTS is a specialized, multi-disciplinary, integrated arts and technology program available in several Ontario schools:
- Don Mills Collegiate Institute
- Don Mills Middle School
- Northview Heights Secondary School
- Charles H. Best Middle School
- Western Technical-Commercial School
- Lakeshore Collegiate Institute
- Innisdale Secondary School
Certain schools, like Don Mills Collegiate, offer additional technology fused courses such as CyberGEOGRAPHY, CyberHISTORY, CyberCIVICS and CyberCAREERS.
The CyberARTS program was created in 1995 by educators who saw a need for enriched learning through the arts. The student-centered curriculum focuses on project-based learning that integrates arts and technology.
CyberARTS students spend approximately half of every day studying academic core subjects. The remainder of their day is spent gaining credits in Comprehensive Art, Extended Media, Communications Technology, and Computer Science. Students may opt to learn Music, Drama, Dance, or Media Studies or take advantage of Co-op opportunities.
As the CyberARTS program is still a very new initiative, course content differs from one school to another. Consistent among schools is a focus on the Visual Arts. Units of study include:
- Traditional art studio activities
- In-depth art history and theory
- Art analysis and appreciation
- Life Drawing
- Portfolio Preparation
- Exhibition Opportunities
- Career Exploration
The Arts component is invariably tied to Technical Studies, which include:
- Advanced Computer Skills
- Animation: 2D and 3D
- Graphic Design Principles
- Desktop Publishing
- Web Design
- Digital Photography
- Film and Video Production
- Consumer Behaviour and Advertising
In addition to learning art, design, and technology, the students are also taught important skills such as organization, work ethic, presentation skills, professionalism, career building and post-secondary education planning. Thus, the program features a opportunity to complete authentic tasks – tasks that have some connection to real-life problems the students will face outside the classroom.
CyberARTS is committed to both formal and informal experiences in Cooperative education and in the development of curriculum to provide "real world" projects that extend beyond the classroom. Educational Partners include Apple Canada, Kodak Canada, Rogers Communications, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Sheridan College and the Ontario College of Art & Design, among others. Partners provide software and hardware support as well as training and educational consulting for special projects and initiatives.
Problem- based learning is another important aspect of the program All CyberARTS students are expected to contribute to the program, school and/or greater community. These community hours will involve student application of their artistic, creative design and technological abilities in a variety of areas, such as:
- Graphic design for the school newspaper or yearbook
- Fashion Design for a schooI Fashion Show
- Stage Design for the Drama and Music Program
CyberARTS students are expected to take on leadership roles in these activities as part of the curriculum and skills training.
Entry to the high school program is based on a successful audition, interview, and application package. In addition, a portfolio or sketchbook is highly recommended.
The audition involves completing a creative activity, such as a still life drawing. The interview is with two CyberARTS teachers, a senior CyberARTS student, and often a guest artist. The main purpose of this interview is to see what kind of a person the student is. Can they think outside of the box? Do they have potential in this program? All of these questions and more are explored in this process. The application package includes a student information sheet, an interest and background form, two teacher reference forms, a creative writing piece, and a release of information form. Prospective students are required to have this package into the school of their choice by the beginning of January.
Media Arts, Cyberdisciplines and the Use of Cultural Tools
Psychologists recognize that culture shapes cognitive development. A major spokesperson for this sociocultural theory was a Russian psychologist named Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. Vygotsky’s work began when he was studying 'learning' and 'development' to improve his own teaching. He wrote about language and thought, the psychology of art, learning and development, and educating students with special needs. Vygotsky’s work was banned in Russia for many years because he referenced the ideas of Western psychologists. However, within the last twenty-five years Vygotsky’s ideas about language, culture and cognitive development were “rediscovered” and have become major influences in the field of educational psychology.
Vygotsky believed that human activities take place in cultural settings and cannot be understood apart from these settings. He realized that people use cultural tools, including symbolic tools (such as maps, works of art, signs, codes and language) play and important role in cultural development. Our understanding of “cultural tools” has also expanded to include real tools , such as the abacus and rulers; today we would add computers, video equipment and the internet.
Vygotsky upheld that cultures create tools to support thinking and mediate higher order mental processes. Children’s knowledge, ideas, attitudes and values develop by using and appropriating the ways of thinking provided by their culture. Children transform the tools as they construct their own representations, symbols, patterns and understandings.
Sound familiar? It should, because this is the heart of Media Arts and CyberArts education. Students of these disciplines sublimate cultural resources, critically process these materials, and construct representations of their understanding of the world around them. Often, these representations will manifest as works of literature and visual art. As students learn and grow, they continue to refine their skills and understanding of the world they are part of.
It should also be noted that Vygotsky promoted a concept of assisted learning, or guided participation in the classroom. Assisted learning requires scaffolding, giving information, prompts, reminders and encouragement in the right time and in the right amounts, and then gradually allowing students to do more and more on their own.
Appropriately enough, the CyberARTS program uses this same “assisted learning” system. Curriculum is designed so that the teacher is a facilitator, manager, producer, and support, while students take an active role in problem-solving the task at hand, be it creating a publication, authoring interactive DVDs, creating a portrait or organizing a conference.
More information on the CyberARTS program can be found at the main website at http://cyberarts.ca Explore the site to find links to student galleries, information forms and the like.
Technology and Public Education: Potentials for Collaborative Teaching and Learning Through Online Communities
Talk to any teacher in the TDSB and they will likely tell you that there is a sustained push from the school board to integrate and expand the use of technology in their teaching and professional development. While the board itself has no publicly available mandate on the subject, a host of technology initiatives at the local and provincial level would seem to uphold this popular impression. Most commonly referred to under the moniker of “e-learning,” these initiatives offer various levels of resources and options for networking, collaboration and education. While their efficacy is in many ways debatable, their integrated presence at all levels of educational policy and delivery in Ontario mark out a community of sorts, which has the potential to fundamentally alter the ways through which both students and teachers learn.
But what exactly is “e-learning”? And how is it financed and implemented? These seemingly straightforward questions immediately problematize the concept, underlining some inherent flaws in the vision of technologically mediated public education. To begin with, e-learning basically refers to anything done via computer network. So the word itself (like “the internet” before it) is as broad as it is imprecise. It could be almost anything. But for it to be truly transformative within the educational model requires up-to-date, functioning hardware and software, which most schools don’t have and can’t afford on an ongoing basis. It also requires technologically adept teachers. Simply buying computers, isn’t enough – fully integrating technology into the curriculum requires ongoing training and professional development. That said, things are changing, however glacial the pace. And the ideas behind e-learning initiatives will continue to gradually change the shape of public education over the years to come.
Regardless of the ability of schools to access it, there are plenty of e-learning resources available to teachers and students in Toronto, from the basic to the complex. These include inter- and intra- school networks and resources, online courses and curriculum, and a growing number of peer-to-peer interactive online tools. Most schools, for example, have a “Teacher Share” directory on their network, through which teachers can share resources. It is only accessible from desktops at the school itself (which is a real limitation, as it would be ideal if it could be accessed from home). However it is a handy way for departments, and whole schools, to collaborate on resources. On a more involved level, ABEL (advanced broadband enabled learning, a non-profit service out of York University) is subscribed to by Toronto and York Region school boards and runs workshops and training, as well as developing curriculum and providing a “virtual community,” including access to online collaboration, development and resource tools. The Ministry of Education has it’s own initiative along these same lines: e-learning Ontario aims to be “a facilitator of online education … providing resources to engage students in learning, as well as an opportunity for teachers to share resources with colleagues across Ontario” (Ministry of Education, 2008). And the Toronto District School Board has set up its own detailed and comprehensive set of electronic resources called “cyberlinks.”
One such link takes you to e-pals.com, a “global community of classrooms” through which groups of students can safely connect and chat online. This site also hosts its own blogging technology and collaborative projects, providing numerous fantastic online opportunities for extending and enhancing the curriculum. In fact, as is the way of the internet, any one of the TDSB-sponsored sites listed above will open up a myriad of further possibilities. The very real problem then becomes how teachers can find the time to sort through them all, let alone use them productively. While part of the value of the board and ministry sites is they are doing a significant amount of filtering and sorting, the sheer quantity of available material is equal parts valuable and overwhelming.
Because of this, in my experience the most effective way to approach the use of technology in the classroom is with a concrete need in mind. That way, it becomes a focused quest, less about “What can I do?” and more about “How can I do this better with the available tools?” For example, when teaching Art History, I was confronted by the problem about how to source copyright-released fine art images of suitable quality to project in class. This is actually a significant impediment to teaching high school art, as most schools don’t have extensive or up-to-date slide libraries, and all art is copyright-protected. And, as most art is shown via projector, it makes perfect sense that the best solution to this problem would be a central online library of sorts. And as I discovered, this exists in the form of ArtStor.com, which offers educational copyrighted access to tens of thousands of art images that can be projected via the web interface, saved into slide shows, interactively enlarged to focus on pertinent details, and shared between users. It is an example of the kind of really sophisticated interfaces that are starting to exist, and that hopefully our public education will have access to some day soon.
A broader pedagogical issue that e-learning in its current form addresses is the hindrances to learning brought about by conflicting schedules and geographic impediments. The ubiquitous wikipedia, acrobat, and google have all developed collaborative tools (wikibooks, acrobat connect, googledocs) through which multiple users can work on the same document from their home locations, which makes group work a more accessible option for students. More significantly, there are a wide range of online courses available through various school boards such as the TDSB’s “Virtual School,” which are supported by the Ontario Ministry of Education’s “Learning Management System.” The TDSB promotes its Virtual School as “a real school operating in an online environment.” It officially opened in September 2000, and has its own teaching staff, guidance, a Principal, library, learning and health resources, as well as a career center, and offers 20 courses, which change annually according to student needs. (Toronto District School Board, n.d.). There are many reasons why students, particular those deemed “at risk,” may be unable to attend regular classes. For them, e-learning for credit courses may be their only option for completing their high school education. And while this type of e-learning carries with it a very real limitation in that it requires home-based computer access, it is clearly a significant improvement in access for many students.
It should be clear by now that e-learning resources and programming come in all different forms, from the basic to the complex, and address a wide range of pedagogical needs. They present both students and teachers with remarkable ease and flexibility of access, as well as almost limitless resources, provided that the tools and means of access are available to them. Moreover, beyond the advantages and practicalities discussed above, electronically-referenced educational strategies have numerous potential psychological benefits. Technology in the form of text messaging, blogs, Facebook and MySpace has become a central focus in students’ lives, and a primary mode of communication. Raised with a lived understanding of the internet as a basic source for interest, investigation and communication, today’s tech-savvy teens have the potential to benefit significantly from e-learning. Firstly, there is a strong “intrinsic motivation” factor, as it is basically an interest-related activity that is in and of itself rewarding (Woolfolk et al., 2003, p.355). On top of this, as Piaget theorizes, effective educators need to respond to how kids think and problem solve (Woolfolk et al., 2003, p.38), and electronic learning naturally taps into this by utilizing students’ technological knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Moreover, both Vygotsky and Piaget promote social interaction as the basis of cognitive development (Woolfolk et al., 2003, p.43), so it follows that by increasing the scope of student’s interactive relationships, we will be enhancing their cognitive development.
Technology is becoming an increasingly relevant tool in our “cultural tool box” (Woolfolk et al., 2003, 44). It can be seen as both a “real” tool (hardware, software), and a symbolic tool (language, communication protocols). As these tools are developed and refined through usage, the employment of technology through e-learning can be seen to increase not only student learning but their ability to function and succeed in the world. What is particularly interesting here is the particular ways in which community is utilized and developed around e-learning technologies. Existing as a virtual space, these communities nevertheless function as hubs for communication and interaction. And within these hubs, new knowledge is being formed as our “cultural tools” are developed and refined. Where will this take us? In terms of public education in Ontario, e-learning is at a stage when much is possible, and little has taken place. However, through expanding on the notion of what community means, and what a learning environment is, these initiatives are moving education into an interesting and potentially transformative new space.
Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario, Canada. Reaching every student through e-learning. 19 March, 2008. http://www.elearningontario.ca/eng/
Toronto District School Board Virtual School. Frequently Asked Questions. n.d. http://www.tdsbvirtualschool.com
Woolfolk, Anita E, Philip H. Winne, and Nancy E. Perry. Educational Psychology 2nd Canadian Ed. Toronto: Pearson, 2003.
Lesson Plan Example Using Technology and Art Interpretation in a History Course Lesson Title: Who is Napoleon?
Unit: French Revolution and Napoleon
Course: The West and the World, Destination 1
Students will have learned about the height and wane of the French Revolution, and maybe have heard Napoleon’s name float around amidst these lessons, but never received a full lesson on him, his military achievements, and his ambition and rise to power. They will have had lessons on French nationalism, capitalism and slavery, the rise of the middle class in Europe and the declining intensity of the Revolution.
Expectations from the Ontario Curriculum 2005 edition:
1. Draw conclusions based on supporting evidence, effective analysis of information, and awareness of diverse historical interpretation (p.203).
2. Analyse different forms of artistic expression and how they have reflected or challenged the societies in which they have appeared (p.198)
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and use of chronology and cause and effect in historical analyses of developments in the West and throughout the world since the sixteenth century (p.196).
Lesson: Day 1 Part 1 – In Class
Intro and Q+A 10 minutes
The class will come in and sit in their desks, observing two pictures of Napoleon right at the front of the room, on the black board.
• Suggestions: J.L. David’s The First Consul crossing the Alps via the great Saint Bernard Pass,1801; http://www.napoleon.org/en/gallery/pictures/files/The_First_Consul_crossing.asp; Adolf Northern’s Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Napoleons_retreat_from_moscow.jpg
Above the pictures the central question:
“How do we know who Napoleon was and what role he played in history?”
1. What clues can you find in this picture that tell us what is going on? Let’s brainstorm on the board.
2. How do you think this image portrays a powerful political leader?
3. Now let’s look at the second picture. Can anyone tell me how this picture is the same or different? Let’s list the similarities/differences on the board.
4. What kind of man do you think that this person was, according to the picture?
5. Do you think this image was created at a high or low point in Napoleon’s career?
6. Who do you think saw this image? How did this influence the public understanding of who Napoleon was and how influential he was at the time?
Students are going to be handed out a different online link to an image of Napoleon. For the remainder of the class, the students will go to the computer lab and discover the image to which they have been assigned.
Day 1 Part 2: In Lab
On the computer, they will write a paragraph describing the picture and what it says about Napoleon, at different times of his career. They may use the textbook to help them tie the image to the related part of Napoleon’s career.
Once they have completed writing and typing the paragraph, they will send the paragraph to the teacher’s class email provided on the handout. The teacher will take the text and post it online as part of a class blog, with credit to the students, and links to the images. This part can be done during class, or overnight if the teacher has extra time.
By the second day, they should have a paragraph ready, and the next class will take place entirely in the computer lab, where they will continue to send the paragraph or read the postings on the class blog.
Day 2: In Lab
Students continue to type up their entry into the blog and email it to the teacher. The teacher continues to post the entries onto the blog. The remainder of the period is given for students lagging behind in the computer entry process, and for students to read and make notes on the other student’s entries. By the end of the class, once every student has entered in their post with the url link to the image, every student is expected to read the other entries, and make some small notes on the reading homework of the day.
Information/images posted on the class blog may be used as part of a unit test.
If some students have completed all the work, they can get a head-start on the homework, which is the textbook chapter reading on Napoleon.
The West and the World
Who was Napoleon?
“How do we know who Napoleon was and what role he played in history?”
For this assignment, you are to discover a part of Napoleon’s identity through a variety of visual primary sources. Every picture each student is going to be assigned to research is unique, from a different part of Napoleon’s life and career. In your own words, answer the following questions:
1. At what point in Napoleon’s career was this image created? How was his popularity at that time?
2. Does this image paint Napoleon in a positive or negative light?
3. Does the image focus on his position in politics or his military ventures?
4. Does the artist take Napoleon’s influence, power, or policies seriously?
5. Is it propaganda? How valuable is this image as historical evidence?
Once you have finished making your notes on the image you have been assigned, you will email your response to the following address: email@example.com. Include in your entry your name, the url link to the image you were assigned, and whether it came from napoleon.org or wikipedia.org.
The entries will be compiled and posted online on a history class website, entitled www.createawebsitename.com. You will be given class-time to read other student’s responses and are required to do so as some information given on the website will likely be used on the final unit test. This means that the information you provide should be able to help your fellow students understand how Napoleon was portrayed over the years in a variety of situations.
Total Marks /20
Does my explanation of the image correlate to the situation depicted?
Do I show how the events relate to France’s situation at the time?
Did I research the title and background of the image?
Have I examined the possible interpretations of the picture by different audiences?
Is my paragraph written clearly, with proper use of examples?
Have I checked my paragraph for grammar/spelling errors?
The West and the World
Who was Napoleon?
How to set up your class’ blog:
1. Go to www.blogger.com and follow the steps given on the website to make a blog.
2. You now have a blog, a webpage that can add pictures (jpegs) and text. Create an introduction and title for your class, and once the students send their information to your email, copy and paste them onto the blog, making sure to credit their name and the website where the url link to the image they’ve researched was found.
3. If this task is too time consuming for you, you may be able to create an email for the entire class that they can all log in and post onto the site either individually or as a group. You can set up groups around one computer, and each group can log into the site and type their entries in one message.
4. Remind students to put their name on the entry, however, since if it is not there you will not know who wrote it.
5. Give extra class-time to the students to read the other entries, and from their entries to make at least 3 point-form notes on each image. Students are welcome to make comments on the image, as long as they are suitable.
The following url links are from napoleon.org. They contain an image, as well as a caption (sometimes) regarding the image. Here are some samples, but you are welcome to get more from the same website… just number them, print them out and hand them to the students. Every student will keep that slip with the url, tell you their number (to keep track) and type the url address on Internet Explorer or Firefox and begin researching.