Digital Story

Here is my digital story: Bath Time. It is about a little boy who doesn't want to take a bath. I created it with imovie using stop motion photography.

I sketched the figures of the boy using my niece as a model, gave them a bit of color with color pencil and painted over them with india ink. Then I cut around them. All the illustrations were cut out and loose so that I could move them, nothing was glued down. The mother figure was actually my silhouette from photos I posed for and then traced around onto white paper. The stink fumes on the boy were strips of toilet paper. On the paintings of the bathtub I slit right at the faucet with an exacto knife so that I could have the different objects coming out of it.

I used black butcher paper as the background. I wanted to use brightly patterned paper for different backgrounds as well, kind of like funky wallpaper and I found some scrapbooking paper that was cheap and just what I was looking for. I printed out the text and then cut around the individual words so that I could make them appear one by one.

I borrowed a camera stand that aimed the camera towards the ground so that the paper could lie on the table as I photographed it. I took over 200 pictures in total, moving the illustrations a little bit each time.

I imported the photos into imovie, and timed them to have a rhythm, go with the music, and be legible.



Individualized Education Plan

For my IEP, I decided to learn Adobe Photoshop CS3. I always knew that Photoshop had awesome potential to do almost anything to a digital image, but I didn’t know how to use it, having never taken a class. I’m pretty good with computers and can usually figure out how to use software, but Photoshop is a professional tool which is not very easy to decipher.

This IEP was my first serious attempt to learn how to use Photoshop. To train myself, I mostly used Internet tutorials, with a little help from a friend. Once I mastered the basics, the question came, what initial assignment could I give to have students learn the basic components of Photoshop? My first idea was to assign students to place an image in a new context. This would force them to isolate an image, delete the background, import a new background into a different layer, and size and place the original image so that it makes sense in the new background. To practice, I created these images:

Then I decided that it would be better to start off with a simpler assignment. My new idea was to isolate an image and repeat it to form a pattern. Students would still learn how to select an image, as well as work with different layers and filters, but they would not have to deal with a new background image. Here is my example for the Pattern Assignment.

Over all, this IEP has been extremely helpful because as an art teacher I need to understand Photoshop. It also has been fun, as you can see from my examples. I still by no means am an expert, but I do have a basic understanding of how it works, and feel confident that I could teach it to my students.

Here are links to lesson plans, ideas for lesson plans with Photoshop in the future, and sources.

Here is more evidence of my development of technical expertise,
the making of Beth and Jo's Lava Ride
the making of Neil and the Giant Slug
the making of Many Jos


Internet Resources

Incredible High School Art Lesson Plans

The title of this website says it all. To me, the quantity of lesson plans outshines the quality, but there are gems to be found. Even if a lesson plan isn’t my style, I can take the idea and make it my own.

National Art Educators Association

This is the leading professional organization for art educators. The site includes sections that cover news, events, lesson ideas, community, advocacy, research, grants, job opportunities etc. It is easy to navigate and full of useful information.

How to Draw a Head

I think anyone could benefit from this free tutorial from the Academy of Art University. My mentor teacher showed it to me before we started a unit on the proportions of the human face. It is very well done, and interactive so it’s fun! I think I will show it to my classes in the future.

The Carrot Revolution

For the social networking assignment, I joined The Carrot Revolution. This is a blog run by David Gran, an art teacher in China. I started off by researching the social networking site Art Education 2.0. However I did not think it would be a good fit for me. To me, Art Education 2.0 just seemed like myspace for art teachers. It was a bit difficult to navigate and seemed like a time sucker. As an art teacher, what I look for in a website is lesson ideas, and The Carrot Revolution is full of novel, technology based art ideas. I contacted David Gran, and he agreed to let me contribute to his blog, so I was like a guest blogger.

In my art classes, we do hand crafts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, pottery, and metalwork. I appreciated reading about the art projects on The Carrot Revolution to see what they are doing over in China with technology. Perusing the site periodically always piqued my interest and gave me ideas for technology based art projects. I also enjoyed contributing to the site periodically, it made me feel connected to the art world.

Here’s one idea I got from the site – Strip generator is a site that makes making comics easy, check it out!


Article Assesment II

Bethany Waggoner

Assistive Technology for Reading

Hasselbring and Bausch


In this article, Hasselbring and Bausch describe software designed to help students with learning disabilities read independently. Ideal assistive technology for reading should help students understand the text that they are reading as well as improve their reading skills. Hasselbring and Bausch give examples of successful assistive technology software.

Text-reader software highlights text as a synthetic voice reads it aloud. Read & Write Gold is a type of text-reader software that allows students to adjust whether individual words, sentences or paragraphs are highlighted as well as the gender, speed and pitch of the voice reading the text. It also helps students write by predicting what word students are typing, either by the first few letters typed, or the context of the story. Read & Write Gold also has a feature which will read aloud what the student has written, helping them in the composing and editing processes of writing.

READ 180 is another assistive technology for reading. Prior to reading the text, READ 180 gives students background information about the topic in the form of a short video. As students read, they are given tools to help decode, bread into small parts, define, pronounce, translate, and spell words. One year after beginning to use READ 180, eighteen percent of its users no longer need special education for reading.

In conclusion, Hasselbring and Bausch point out that this technology is not some miracle cure for reading problems, but a tool that teachers need to be aware of.



Digital Story

When I decided to illustrate my story, I knew that I was committing to a lot of work, but it’s the sort of challenge that I enjoy. I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children’s story so I decided to go in that direction. This beautiful music video by Oren Lavie for his song, Her Morning Elegance gave me the idea to use stop motion photography. For the storyline, somehow I started thinking about the menacing pink slime that comes out of the bath in ghost busters…creepy! It was fun to channel my inner little boy and come up with gross ideas for why a kid would not want to get in the bath.

On the technology end I learned more about an art form – stop motion photography, and I learned how to do some cool time saving stuff on Photoshop (batch cropping for one). Of course I also became more familiar with imovie, which can be a little frustrating. I took a film class in college where we used Vegas Video, which has many more options.

My digital story, story map and story rubric.


Article Assessment 1 (spring)

Bethany Waggoner

The Overdominance of Computers
Lowell W. Monke

We know that to be prepared for the high-tech 21st century, today’s students must know how to use computers. This fact brings the questions,

How effective are computers as learning tools?
At what age should students begin to use high-tech tools?

Lowell Monke feels that before young students actually use technology, they should build skills such as self-discipline, moral judgment, and empathy in order to use it wisely.

Monke points out that computers are powerful tools that require self-discipline that young children and adolescents don’t yet possess. He claims that in order to mature and to truly understand what they study on computers, students need real life, authentic experiences. He does not want to get rid of computers in school, but to consider and limit the amount that they are used. Monke advocates slowly integrating technology into classrooms after elementary school and concentrating on it during the last two years of high school, right before students graduate.