Ideas and Resources

Ideas and Resources

A place to exchange ideas and search for resources.
Blended Learning in the 2D Digital Art Classroom

Blended Learning in the 2D Digital Art Classroom

Posted by: on Nov 3, 2015 | No Comments


We’re 3/4 of the way through the first trimester in 2D Digital Art, and we’ve been working on a number of projects including:

  • Drawing/tracing in photoshop
  • Photo retouching
  • Face swap (taking one person’s face and seamlessly merging it with another person’s face)
  • Cinemagraphs
  • My Favorite Things (iMovie video)
  • Recovering the classics contest

Many of the projects require 7-8 45 minute classes to complete, including at least one session of in-class instruction and ongoing support. This semester, on average, each project took 5-6 classes to complete. Over 80% of the students had little to no experience using Photoshop before this class. How is it that learning was able to be sped up while accounting for the various levels of expertise? By using blended learning!

How it works in the 2D Digital Art Classroom:

  • The assignment is posted on the 2D Digital Art online class page (HamliNet)
  • The assignment includes at least one tutorial video, and the rubric:
  • As students begin completing the project, a new project is added, so those students can move ahead in their work.
  • Teacher time in the classroom is mainly spent checking in with students 1:1 or in small groups, reviewing how the project is going, troubleshooting, brainstorming, and providing feedback.

The post Blended Learning in the 2D Digital Art Classroom appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

Citizen Science @ Mountain Lake

Citizen Science @ Mountain Lake

Posted by: on Apr 27, 2015 | No Comments


Rachel Davis, Middle School Science Teacher and iPad Coordinator, Maggie Jo Feldman, MS Art Teacher, and Alison Trujillo, MS Spanish Teacher, teamed up for a fabulous Earth Day project! Along with the Grade 6 students, they released the Pacific Chorus Frog at Mountain Lake, making it the second native species reintroduced as part of our efforts to restore the ecosystem at the lake.

Here is a brief interview with the team recapping the experience:

Q: What grade level were you working with?
A: Grade 6

Q: What were your goals going into the project?
A: To raise awareness for the students so they could understand the human impacts on Mountain Lake. As they learned about it, they wanted to inform the public about these issues and the ways that people could help to restore the lake. Another goal we was to collaborate between subjects: Science, Art and Spanish.

Q: How did you roll out the project?
A: Leading up to Earth Day, we took a half-day where students designed beautiful and informative images that are on painted wood panels. During that time, they also created Spanish and English movies to explain the issues the images represented. Visitors to the National Park can scan QR codes attached to the panels to view the videos.

Q: If you were to do the project again what (if anything) would you change?
A: The time line was really tough. Next time, we’d like more time to connect with the park for planning purposes. This project would also benefit from more preparation time given to the students for cutting and designing the wooden boards. Looking ahead, we think we’ll also put more of an emphasis on teaching about the history of public art.

View photos on the Precido’s Facebook Page:

View photos on Shutterfly:

The post Citizen Science @ Mountain Lake appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

Student created web content

Posted by: on Apr 24, 2015 | No Comments


The Global Citizenship webpages needed to be created, and Dan was preparing for a seminar he was leading about Global Citizenship. We wanted to have visual content to supplement the written/spoken material that had already been assembled. What better than a student created iMovie project to meet these needs!?

Dan Polk, Director of Global Citizenship, and Marisa Felt Bellingrath, Assistant Head of School, teamed up to envision the project and created a proposal for two Grade 8 students, Ava and Bella, to complete.

Jim Lengel, Middle School Tech Integration Specialist, and Liz Beck, Project Manager LMS, were teaching Bella and Ava in the Digital Art Elective at the time of the project.

Q: What grade level were you working with?

Dan Polk and Liz Beck: Grade 8

Q: What were your goals going into the project?

DP: The central goal of the project was provide a broad overview of Hamlin’s Global Citizenship program, one that incorporated the voices of both students and faculty.
LB: Both students who created the video had been in Digital Arts for 5 trimesters. They are iMovie and Photoshop power users and are very talented esthetically. We needed a project that would challenge these students and help them take their skills to the next level – creating digital content that can be used in a real world context, and learning how to work as a part of a team to execute a creative project.

Q: How did you roll out the project?

LB: Originally, Dan asked me to work on this project. While I was happy to help, the timing perfectly coincided with the start of Trimester 2 of Digital Art and the struggle I was experiencing with keeping the course relevant to Ava and Bella.

Dan arranged a time to meet with Ava and Bella during Digital Art. He introduced the scope of the project, as well as its goals and timeline. He and Marisa also dropped in periodically to check on their progress. The students knew I was there as a resource, but overall they managed the project independently and worked on it both during Digital Art and on their free time.

DP: I also provided the students with music ideas, images, and questions to pose to faculty/students.

Q: If you were to do the project again what (if anything) would you change?

DP: I might include a live shot or two of students doing something Global Citizenship related, skyping, working in the community etc.

Ava and Bella’s work is featured on the Hamlin website!

The post Student created web content appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

WordPress for Education – A Solution for Younger Students

WordPress for Education – A Solution for Younger Students

Posted by: on Mar 30, 2015 | No Comments


When I read about Ed Tech solutions for the classroom I often get the impression that the concepts are only applicable to older students. Lower School students sometimes get left out, and the more interesting Ed Tech work is integrated in the upper school levels.

This is partially because many lessons are designed to integrate multiple basic concepts, which are taught in the younger grades. But, there are lots of tech tasks that younger students are capable of managing if given the ability. For example, even the youngest students can use an iPad to record a video. However, posting that video for private classroom display is a challenge – most media sharing apps (YouTube, Vimeo, etc…) will only allow users 13+ years to register. This means that either the teacher needs to make an account, which she then shares with the students, or the teacher collects all the videos and posts them herself…not an ideal solution.

We’ve come up with a pretty nifty solution here at Hamlin! WordPress + the Jetpack plugin + VideoPress upgrade.

Hamlin’s Set-Up

  • Our Learning Management System (LMS), Blackbaud K-12 (aka Whipple Hill), offers a version of called SchoolPress.
  • SchoolPress allows the school to create blogs and assign the Author role based on the class rosters. In other words, if I create a blog for the Grade 2 class, I can simply import the Grade 2 class roster and easily make each student a blog editor (and the teacher the blog admin).
  • The blog is also tied to our LMS, so if the blog is password protected (which all our classroom blogs are), there is a single sign on feature – the students must log into our LMS before taken to the blog. Integration via the Jetpack plugin – VideoPress

    • The Jetpack plugin is available to all sites (i.e.: a self-hosted WordPress site).
    • Jetpack requires that you have a login. Once this is created, you can connect your .org site to your .com account, and get access to several features and upgrades available through
    • Enabling Jetpack, allows you to purchase and upgraded version of Jetpack that includes VideoPress.
    • VideoPress allows anyone with an Author, Editor, or Admin role to post videos to their blog from their computer, tablet or mobile device. Since students (no matter what age) can be assigned any role, students can independently post their work to the class blog!

Note: you can attach your account (upgrade and all!) to multiple .org sites. This is a HUGE money saver!

Success story from the classroom, written by Ms. Andrews (Grade 2 teacher)

Background: The girls started their Family Field Trips around San Francisco. For this project, the girls create a presentation using PowerPoint/Keynote/Google Slides etc…, which they present to the class.

After A. presented her slides to the class, she went home and: took a screenshot of each slide to input the images into the Book Creator app, cropped each photo in Photos prior to putting it into Book Creator, and made a new book in Book Creator of her slide images. She used the sound recording tool to record herself reading her slides saved her project as a video. Then, she uploaded the recorded version as a video to the Blog and wrote a description about her work…all on her own!

A. said she did this because, “I wanted to be able to share it with my grandparents and other people who live far away, and with people that came over to my house. The steps just seemed to make sense to me, so I did it and it worked.”

I love how confident she felt to problem solve and explore these tech tools in order to create a project that fit her needs for communication, despite it not being a requirement of the project. She shows ownership of her learning and pride in the work she has done on this project!

The ability for the girls to connect school to home and home to school via the Blog, is so exciting and gives me ideas about future projects/uses! To see the girls take what we have done in class and use it independently to communicate their work highlights the value of this tool and why I love having a Class Blog!

The post WordPress for Education – A Solution for Younger Students appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

Innovative Teaching: Video Conferencing in the Grade 2 Classroom

Posted by: on Feb 24, 2015 | No Comments


Meagan Andrews, Grade 2 teacher, developed an interesting technique for using video conferencing in her classroom. During Reader’s Workshop, where students practice their reading skills, students were given the option to read with with a parent or buddy using Skype or FaceTime.

Ms. Andrews found that parents, friends, and even puppies, jumped at the chance to participate in the classroom from a remote location!

Click to view slideshow.


Some initial planning was involved so both students and adults (or canines) had a copy of a book in their respective locations. Together, they explored the book during the first part of the video conference. Once this was completed, the student selected a book from her book box which she read out loud.


“I loved it!!! She is so cute and was so happy. It’s very cool and could make the parents feel really involved from home! Maybe even some of the dads who don’t have as much time to be on campus/involved etc… It works for us! FaceTime is so easy and is on every iPhone so you can be anywhere!”
– Grade 2 Mom

The post Innovative Teaching: Video Conferencing in the Grade 2 Classroom appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

MaKey MaKey Launch – Professional Development for Teachers

Posted by: on Jan 30, 2015 | No Comments


You’ve been asked to create a 1.5 hour ed tech training for teachers.

– Great!

That training will take place on a Friday afternoon, the first week back from winter break.

– Great!

Wait. Why so confident? What can you possibly do to keep teachers engaged and excited to learn about educational technology on the Friday afternoon after break?

MaKey MaKey, of course!

Click to view slideshow.


  1. Introduce staff to the new making resources in the library
  2. Have fun!
  3. Encourage teachers to try something new and get out of their comfort zone.
  4. Spark excitement, enthusiasm and creativity

Training Roll Out

      • Mark Picketts, our Director of Technology and Innovation, gave an introduction to MaKey MaKey, including a short video of various MaKey Makey projects:
    • We asked teachers to self select into small groups, and sit together at a table that included:

      • A laptop
      • A MaKey MaKey
      • Various materials, such as play dough, bananas, tin foil, cardboard, markers, etc…
    • Each group was asked to read through the quick start guide, and demo the bongos or piano software (found in the Try Out of Software section of the page.)




The post MaKey MaKey Launch – Professional Development for Teachers appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

Hour of Code Recap – Middle School Edition

Hour of Code Recap – Middle School Edition

Posted by: on Dec 18, 2014 | No Comments


MS girls coding before school

An interview with Middle School Technology Integration Specialist, Jim Lengel and Rachel Davis, Middle School Science Teacher and Integration Specialist:

Q: What were your goals going into Hour of Code?
A: (Rachel) – I wanted the girls to get more comfortable with coding and feel like it’s something they can tackle or try in the future.
(Jim) – I wanted to show the girls that coding can be fun! Like Rachel, I think if the students have a chance to experience coding they find find out that they love it.

Q: How did you think you were successful in meeting these goals?
A: (Rachel) – I’m so glad that most of the Middle School students attempted coding. Some students even told Jim and I that after their Hour of Code activities at school, they went home and coded that night!

(Jim) – It was amazing to look over and find a sea of girls in 5th and 6th Grades coding. We really had an enormous amount of Hamlin girls coding.

light bot; one of many coding apps used

Q: If you could do it again, how would you change the Hour of Code week at Hamlin?
A: (Rachel) – I think an hour dedicated for each grade to code during the week would be great so that even those who felt like they were not good at coding would at least give it a try.
(Jim) – I’d like to develop an integrated project that would then be taught via scheduled classes during the week. I’d also like to have more time to teach girls coding in general.

Leah Busque from Task Rabbit encourages the girls to build their dreams

Q: How did you celebrate the Hour of Code in your life?
A: (Rachel) – I really enjoyed watching the girls code and was impressed with their critical thinking skills. I Wish I had had the same opportunity when I was in Middle School. I was really inspired hearing Leah Busque from Task Rabbit speak on Tuesday, I thought she was incredibly inspiring.
(Jim) – I took a coding course “code school“, it will allow the technology team explore any only courses until the spring. I’m excited to integrate the lessons I am learning into my classes at Hamlin.

T-shirts to award successful completion of an hour of code!

Q: Can you share two highlights that particularly stick out in your mind?
A: (Rachel) – Wow, there are so many – picking two is a challenge. Watching Ms. Helm code with the girls was a real highlight for me. Seeing the excitement in a student who was able to light up a tree in Alaska, and how proud the 7?s and 8?s were when they received their hour of coding certificates.
(Jim) – One morning I walked around the corner to virtually the entire 6th grade class coding together. They were excited and really into it – I felt like I had reached the masses! When we gave the girls their T-shirts as a reward for completing the hour of code it was a fantastic wrap up to the project.

The post Hour of Code Recap – Middle School Edition appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog

Art Making and the iPad – NorCATA Event Dec 7, 2014

Art Making and the iPad – NorCATA Event Dec 7, 2014

Posted by: on Nov 9, 2014 | No Comments

It’s true! I’ve been asked back for a follow-up to the NorCATA presentation and iPad demo at the Union Square Apple store back in Jan 2012.

It’s also true that I haven’t been practicing art therapy for several years. So, my goal is not review the state of art therapy and technology, but rather to draw upon my experience teaching teachers how to integrate technology into the classroom. I’ll review how to research art making apps, how to assess their usefulness in a therapeutic context, learn some basic skills in Keynote, Book Creator, and Paper 53, and help attendees envision how to use art making apps within their therapeutic practices.

Hope to see you there!

3D Printing – Potential to Help the Visually Impaired

Posted by: on Oct 31, 2014 | No Comments

An article by The Verge points us to this video:

Intuitively, this seems to have an application within the art therapy space regardless of visual ability. I would love to hear from someone who works with photographs within art therapy, and/or photo therapy (i.e.: Judy Weiser), regarding their perspective on using 3D printing in art therapy.

What does infinity have to do with the SAMR model? It’s all about mindfulness in the classroom.

What does infinity have to do with the SAMR model? It’s all about mindfulness in the classroom.

Posted by: on Oct 5, 2014 | No Comments


When the Tech Team first landed on the SAMR model, it resonated with us. We had already launched 1:1 iPad and laptop initiatives, but searched for common language to discuss our ed tech vision. SAMR seemed like a perfect fit!

Except for one thing. We don’t view the integration and use of technology in the classroom as hierarchical. We view iPads, laptops, apps, 3D printers, etc., as tools. Just as you wouldn’t choose a jigsaw to hang a painting, you wouldn’t choose Microsoft Word as a programming app. There is a time and place for each tool and the key is to know how to choose the best tool and why it’s the best tool for the task at hand.

Since it’s creation by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, the SAMR model has been discussed alongside various images, like flow charts, ladders and scales. Another popular SAMR metaphor is attributed to a 2013 blog post by Tim Holt as well Jonathan Brubaker‘s subsequent post, comparing each SAMR category to various types of coffee.

As you move through our presentation you will notice a new image created by the Hamlin Tech Team, where the infinity symbol is used to describe the flow as teachers mindfully select technology and its uses within the classroom. This is also meant to symbolize our decision not to weigh one SAMR category over another, but rather to raise teacher awareness and the capacity to make informed technological choices in the classroom. For example, Word (substitution phase) can make perfect sense for some projects and be the right tool for the task, whereas a blog (modification or redefinition) may be the right choice for other tasks.

Guiding teachers to discover new technology, be mindful of the pedagogical reasons for selecting one tool over another, as well as creating a safe space for openness, risk taking, and creative thinking, are more important to our team than striving for redefinition above all other categories.

We hope you enjoy our take on the SAMR model, originally presented to Hamlin faculty on May 12, 2014.

The post What does infinity have to do with the SAMR model? It’s all about mindfulness in the classroom. appeared first on Education Technology Blog |.

Source:: Liz Beck – Hamlin Ed Tech Blog