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Digital Portfolios

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Keywords: Digital Portfolios
Subject(s): Art
Grades 9 through 12
Original Author: Patty Phillips, Louisville
Students often need something to occupy their time in art class. They will often finish a project ahead of their peers or sometimes they need a break from the project they're working on. This project offers students a meaningful task and provides them with the opportunity to reflect on their work.

Goals: Students will...
1-learn how to use a digital camera
2-learn basic photo editing processes in PhotoShop Elements.
3-learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation.
4-create a permanent archive of their work.
5-Write a reflection on their artwork, the processes they learned, and their growth as an artist.

During the first weeks of school students will be introduced to the digital camera, get a brief lesson on its use and take pictures of one another. They will learn to download pictures to the computer, crop them and change the mode of the picture in Photoshop Elements. These photos will be used for later projects, or can be included in the digital portfolios.

After completion of each class project, students will photograph their artwork, download the image to their personal folder on the computer, and backup that file to cd.

Near completion of the third project, I will demonstrate how to create a Powerpoint presentation by projecting the computer desktop on a large screen. As students finish the third project, they will photograph their artwork, and begin working on their Powerpoint presentations. Each Powerpoint will include an artist's statement -- a reflection on the artist's work, decision-making processes, art forming processes, and development as an artist.

Students will continue throughout the school year to record and reflect on their work. As the year progresses, I will demonstrate more of the capabilities of both PowerPoint and PhotoShop Elements. The PowerPoint will be an on-going project that can change and evolve as students thoughts and feelings about their work changes. The digital portfolio will provide students with meaningful work to do when they finish a project ahead of the class or on those days when the art-making just isn't going well and they need a break from it.

Most importantly, the digital portfolio will allow students private time to analyze and reflect on their work without facing the critical judgment of their peers. Self-assessment is a necessary ingredient to growth in any endeavor, but especially in art. This will also serve as a valuable assessment tool that represents classroom based performance, and can be integrated into each lesson.

As students examine and reflect on their work, they can better see their own strengths and weaknesses as an artist. Then, when I am tutoring students on the software or informally assessing them while they work on the computer, we can conference on what they can do to build on their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses.

My intentions for creating digital portfolios are not only to teach students new skills and introduce them to new creative tools, but to train them to think analytically about their work and the choices they make in the creation of that work. Ultimately, I hope to build student confidence so that they will look forward to presenting their digital portfolio to their peers as a record of their artwork and their development as an artist.

Materials: Digital SLR, Slideshow, Batteries
Other Items: 2 Licenses for "Toast Titanium", $79.85 each, total of $159.70
200 Rewritable CD's, $1.00 each, total of $200.00
Associated File: 39423942.kid