Artkive is a free app for iDevices that is an answer to the prayers of parents everywhere – “Someone please tell me what to do with all of the pieces of art that my child brings home from school!” Jedd Gold, the creator of Artkive, developed an app that not only allows you to create a digitized gallery of your child’s work, but to create “Share Circles”, allowing you to send immediate notice to relatives and friends any time you would like them to take note of a new piece that has been added. Once they receive the link, they can view the art, and download it if they wish. Soon, Artkive will be giving you the option to order books and other items customized with the art.
This is great for parents of highly productive aspiring artists, but how can this be helpful in the school setting? I e-mailed Jedd, and this is a portion of what he had to say,
“100% this is a very simple and fantastic classroom tool:
Each child you add to the app is like a “folder.” As a teacher you can create an account and then add each student as an individual child (i.e. a folder of each child). You can walk around, snap a photo of a child’s artwork, writing, or other work, then choose from the dropdown which child created it. The app will automatically tag the grade and date it was created and you can add a title if you’d like. Then hit artkive and that image is now chronologically stored. From your artkive, you can see all the kids’s work together, or sort by child and see just their work.
You can add each parent to the share circle and with the press of a button, share a specific piece of work, or an entire artkive, with the child’s parents.
At the end of the year, you can give parents the option to purchase a book of their child’s entire year of art/school work.
You could also use the app to just take pictures of the kids. You could add a child and instead of a name, call it “Terri’s Kindergarten Class”. Then each time you take a picture of the kids playing or whatever, you could put it into that “folder” and you’d have a collection of class images that you could share or print.”
Jedd gave me some great ideas, and I am sure that lots of teachers out there have even more ways that Artkive would be useful. If you have a suggestion for Jedd, feel free to contact him at email@example.com, or just leave a comment below, and I will relay it to him.
Children’s Eyes on Earth is sponsoring an international youth photo contest. To enter, you must be 17 or under, and have parental or guardian consent. There are two themes: “I Love Nature” and “I Fear Pollution”, and each participant must upload at least one photo for each theme. The deadline for this contest is September 15th. Even if you don’t plan to have your students formally enter this contest, these would be neat themes to use for a classroom display of photographs taken by the children. It will also be interesting to visit the site once the winning entries are posted, and to discuss the subjects of the images. Be sure to watch the video on the home page that features world-renowned professional photographer Reza explaining the concept of this contest.
Dinner, Not Art is both a website and a free iPad app. It’s delightfully silly, but also encourages creativity and charity. Every noodle that is used in the virtual art will result in 10 noodles being donated to the charity Feeding America by Kraft until the end of this year. This is similar to the concept found at FreeRice.
In the app, the user can choose the shape of the macaroni noodles as well as the color to paint them. You can place them however you like and even change their size. You can also draw things on the rest of the page. Once you are finished, you can “glue” your pieces to the paper, and hang your art on a virtual refrigerator.
Kids young and old would enjoy this app. To deepen the conversation, students could do some research on Feeding America or some math to figure out the amount of macaroni art that needs to be done to create a real meal. Maybe they could research other companies that have offered deals like this and find out “what’s in it for them”.
Mark your calendar for September 15th, which is International Dot Day! Sponsored by FableVision Learning in coordination with Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot, this is a day on which educators pledge to encourage their students’ creativity. You can sign up formally to participate in International Dot Day, or you can choose your own way to celebrate this day of imagination. The website offers ideas for ways in which to make this a memorable day for your students as well as videos from some of last year’s participants. You can also go to this link for some ideas from Peter Reynolds on how to incorporate his wonderful book into your classroom.
I love this blog post from Suzanne Tiedemann on Brunswick Acres Art. She tells about a lesson for 5th graders in which they pretended to be app developers, and went through a simulation of the design and creation process. The students drew their own “icons” for the apps, and created descriptions that would appear in the app store. This idea could be used in all kinds of creative ways in the classroom. Wouldn’t it be fun to have the students design their own app ideas for apps that would tell about them as a Beginning of the Year activity? Or, how about design an app that a character in a book would find useful? What about an app that reflects an understanding of a science lesson or that would have changed a moment in history? The great thing about this is that you do not need to actually know how to design apps – as it can all be in your imagination. But, just in case you have an aspiring app designer in your classroom, you can always show him or her the TED talk video of 6th grade app developer Thomas Suarez that Tiedemann helpfully includes in her blog post.