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Sunday, June 1, 2014

2013-2014 Art Teachers Year in Review

This was the first time since I started at Apex that there has been a team of teachers with common interests, working together to achieve common goals. The results, which I outline below, far exceeded any expectation I could have envisioned. This is truly an amazing list of accomplishments!

Technology

There were several technology based ideas brought to fruition that helped advance the Art Dept.

The NAHS website was established to deliver information about meetings and events. http://apexnahs.weebly.com/index.html


The Student Spotlight was introduced to showcase the work of individual students. http://www.artofapex.com/search/label/Student%20Spotlight

We branded the "Art of Apex" and applied the brand to all our networking sites including gMail, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest. We also purchased the ArtofApex domain. http://www.artofapex.com



Speaking of the blog, we rolled out the first group blog series about Choice in the Open Art Room. This series amazingly received over 4,000 individual hits, with each of the five individual posts receiving more hits than any other blog post. http://www.artofapex.com/2013/11/why-dont-high-school-art-students-work.html


Of course I couldn't mention technology without giving props to our biggest technological accomplishment, the Portal. So impressive is this accomplishment in size and scope, with over 50 videos, 60 Pinterest boards and over 1,000 pins, that it is equivalent to many of the projects I worked on at Nortel Networks.  http://artofapexportal.weebly.com


Furthermore, this is the first year that all art students at Apex (over 400) have created a blog. The Artistic Behaviors section of the Portal has allowed a consistent method for students to self assess their artistic development. http://www.artofapex.com/p/student-blogs.html


Curriculum

Theme Based Teaching:

This was the first year theme based teaching was introduced at Apex. Theme based teaching allowed the students to develop creative solutions to problems instead of following recipe style art lessons.

TAB/Student Choice:

Similar to theme based lessons, this was the first year the concept of letting students make decisions about the art making process has ever been discussed. The student response to this method was overwhelming positive. This was more then allowing them to choose between media, it was the first time we at Apex have dedicated our efforts to teaching them to think and work as artists.  http://www.artofapex.com/2014/01/does-choice-really-matter.html



The proof is in the pudding.. The number of students signing up for next year's art classes is through the roof! Every class has enough students signed up for another section beyond what we already offer.


Professional Development

Our acceptance to NCCAT allowed us to create and populate the Portal content. This trip, including our tour of the Green Energy Park, was a wonderful professional development experience. However, the story goes beyond our experience. An art department, located outside of Charlotte, was so inspired by our Portal that they in turn applied to NCCAT with the intention of developing their own art dept. portal. 
http://www.artofapex.com/2014/03/hey-where-did-all-teachers-go.html


Professional development is not just about receiving but sharing what we learn. Two of our proposals were accepted to the NCAEA State Conference in New Bern next October. I believe we would have had all three accepted if not for a mix up regarding one of them.

Several of us took part in the international Monday Art Ed chats sponsored by Colleen Rose on Google hangout. In these video sessions, we discussed topics ranging from the Portal to student choice. All of these sessions were recorded and made available online.https://m.youtube.com/user/MrsRoseArt


Speaking of international exchanges, several of our students exchanged comments with students from Ontario, Canada in the Google Plus Community.

And most recent, but certainly not least relevant, the HS TAB Facebook community had 50 teachers join on the first day and continues to grow in both numbers and conversations daily.

Truly, this has been a remarkable year... and we are just getting

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