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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Art Ed Vision: Open, Flexible, Transparent

As we prepare for 2015, we are setting a new vision for the direction of Art Education in our school and beyond. To develop that vision, I asked our department to consider the three words that would best describe the future art room. Here are the three that I compiled along with an explanation of each...

Open, Flexible, Transparent

Open: Students make all decisions on project complexity, order, media and level. Developing the ability to turn a question, observation or opinion into art.

Flexible: All projects are scalable in scope of complexity, projects are non linear,  project level from beginner to advanced Is adjustable

Transparent: students work, statements, concepts and methods are shared on a global platform

Having a vision is one thing. However, implementing it creates an entirely new set of questions. How does an art program offer students projects in a non linear fashion? How can level, scope and complexity all be adjustable? To answer these questions we are rolling out a pilot of the Apex Portal Version 2.0.

First Look

Please keep in mind when viewing that The Portal Version 2.0 is currently under construction. Some of the content areas have been populated while others are placeholders. Our goal is to have everything in place and ready for a pilot release for the start of the second semester (mid January 2015)

The Units:

Each unit 
(first introduced here) is designed using a four stage process; Introduction, Dig Deeper, Challenges, Your Turn.

The Introduction is a short look at what the unit is about. It will explain to the student the objective and provide example of both traditional and current artists work. The purpose of the Introduction is get the student excited about the possibilities and help them decide if this is a unit they wish to pursue.

Dig Deeper asks the student to research on their own the topic of the unit. This section may require students to watch videos of seek out artists and artworks that relate to the topic.

The Challenges section offers students a choice of small, one or two day projects that will help the student explore the unit through creation and media use.

Finally, the Your Turn section asks the student to design and create a work of art based on what they have learned. This section is designed to help the student with idea generation however, the what and how of the project is left entirely to the student.

Non Linear

It is important to note that the students are free to select (or not select) any unit and in any order they desire. They will not be required to follow any particular sequence. Once they have completed a unit, they are free to choose any other unit they wish to explore.


The Units are placed in three categories. Explore, Engage, Extend. There is built in complexity of these categories starting with basic  in the Explore section and building to more abstract ideas in the Extend section. Again, students are free to explore any of the units regardless of complexity. They will also determine the length of time needed to fulfill the requirements whether it be a quick brush up of a technique or a three week endeavor.

Click here to visit the Portal Version 2.0

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