Answering the question, "Is this work good?"

How can we embrace globally collaborative projects in our curricular areas to address this facet of 21st Century Learning?

“Mr.McGrady – what do you think of my artwork? Is it good?”

“Who else could you ask this question to?” (he answers with the slightest hint of – this is the 34th student who has asked me this question and patience, although a virtue, is wearing thin)

“I don’t know – a person at my table?”

“Excellent – then you should/could post your artwork on twitter, or a blog site, and ask for feedback from the world!” (not my usual answer – but I guess it could be.)

What a great world we live in where I am not the only curator, or decider of student’s successful artworks – I am always trying to get my students to understand this concept. Your art can, and really needs to be, seen by so many other people! Imagine leveraging social media as formative assessment platform – such a wonderfully exciting idea – don’t you think?

Twitter posts with drawing warm ups – shared among KL, SIN, AUH, and most likely small town Ontario, Canada (my mom – a keen viewer of my blog and twitter activity).

For a little while now – @itsallaboutart – Nicki Hambleton, @MorganKrajczar – Morgan Krajczar and I, have been sharing drawing prompts with our classes at the hashtag #drawingprompt or shared among us three through direct tweets.  Initially this process started way back in October at Learning 2.0 when I met Morgan and wanted to connect to her class sharing perspectives.  We initally thought a photo exchange would be a great way to do this.  Digital photography is a course we offer here at my school and I was trying to find ways to connect our photos to the larger world.  Initially Morgan and I decided we could share ‘literal perspectives’ – students would shoot the view from their bedroom window or a room in their house and we could compare and contrast these views from Abu Dhabi and Manila.  A great idea it sounded – but one failing of collaboration is of course getting it done.  I will admit – I am to blame.  I was too busy and too slow (lame excuses I know).  We did end up getting some exchange happening but it was basic at best – entirely my fault.

The next idea was to share drawing prompts – and using twitter we have done a brilliant job of this – my kids love coming up with new prompts, seeing work from other students and I hope to move this into a more formative model with students giving feedback to other students about their work.

What I love about this practice is that is very much a real life scenario trickled down from what artists do.  In fact, I used to do this with a friend of mine – he would send an idea and I would create a sketch and send it back and vice versa.  A great way to stay creative after College Art world supports had sort of dried up.

The #drawingprompt hashtag is in its infancy with only a few posts – but what a great resource for teachers to pull from for ideas created by students or teachers and used as a platform to share.  I noticed as I was following a little closer that some have shared writing prompts there as well. #writingprompt has a lot more tweets to its name but please pass on this information to any art teachers at your schools to start following and adding to the #drawingprompt.

Andrew Marcinek’s post on Edutopia was a great read as I have been working through this twitter experiment with my colleagues in Asia.

And this (qualities of a strong PLN) must be transferred to our students as they begin to connect regularly both inside and outside of school. As educators, we must model positive use of learning networks and groups, and give students the proper foundations in the effective use of social media.

Trickling down of practices that real world artists do – posting online – for feedback, inspiration and collaboration are, I am coming to learn, very important practices for a reflective teacher and budding young artist.

So – pass this on to Visual Art teachers at your site – add to the #drawingprompt – join in the fun yourself by throwing out a prompt.  Get involved in this activity with us.

Try it yourself and add it to the comments here: drawing prompt for this space – Why is there a bicycle in my living room? (Note there is currently a bicycle in my living room…..)

Create a drawing – post it twitter – and share the tweet here.







6 thoughts on “Answering the question, "Is this work good?"

  1. Okay so I have added #drawingprompt in a column on my tweetdeck. I will have my 9th graders do “you are what you eat” tomorrow. Hope you don’t mind me joining in. Here in China we have had a few hiccups with VPNs in the last week but hopefully I am back to being connected. I felt like an addict without my drug last week.


  2. I absolutely love the idea of using social media as a formative assessment tool. Fantastic. I’m definitely going to share your hashtag with our art teachers and share your idea with the rest of our faculty. Thank you!

    There are two bicycles I our kitchen…I’ve learned not to see them!


  3. Very cool idea Matt about “social media as formative assessment platform”!

    It embodies connectivism and proves just how exciting learning and sharing are when there is an authentic audience and a community constructed.


  4. Nice – I checked out the blog – insane the amount of detail people got into the contest part of it. Love it!!

    Not entirely sure how I embedded a tweet into a comment – held my breath and copied the embed code – dash of luck as well.


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