Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wallpaper, take 2: Digital workflow/Computer as a tool for taking handwork to the next level

As part of 21st century learning, students of art need to have a basic understanding of digital workflow.  We artists use digital workflow as a part of our artistic process: for planning, creating, refining and presenting.  In this particular project, after hand drawing our work, we photographed it and then uploaded it to our google folders for access.

We then used pixlr express to crop and up the contrast, as well as other "tweaks" to make our photo optimized for printing. : refining our work.  There are a variety of online apps that work for this, and some of them are incredibly in depth.  Having it linked directly to google drive and being an "express," version with less overwhelming options made this a good choice for this piece.  Here is a before/after:

The next step was to see how it looked as wallpaper.  Again, there are a variety of online sites that allow you to upload your imagery to create custom wallpaper, but the User Interface of allows
for users to see their wallpaper right away, and to play with whether they want it as a repeat, staggered or mirrored: part of creating and refining.  We createda screenshot of what that looked like and using the collage mode of pixlr express, created a final that one can see the original design and how it works as wallpaper--the presenting part of the artist's process.

This whole process involved a lot of steps and as a teacher figuring out the best way to teach this material can be challenging.  Flipped classroom?!  Online tutorials?!  Teaching everyone at once?!  Because it involved a lot of tech to begin with, I decided to opt out of adding more tech and go with the model of peer teaching/helping.  I teach a few students, they then teach a few student, those teach a few more.  And, it has worked.  It is amazing to take a breath and look around the classroom and watch learning take place.  we are drawing, we are photographing, we are "wallpapering," working in small groups, working on our own.  This process of discovery and the sharing has made the excitement for learning in the classroom palpable.

Wallpaper, take 3: Community building online contest is next.

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