Posts Tagged 'online teaching materials'

Friday Photos: Plumed Serpent Resources

Have you visited The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico yet? I think there is wonderful opportunity for interdisciplinary exploration with this exhibition. A variety of cultures are represented, all of which were connected by a shared pictorial language that crossed geographic, ethnic, and linguistic boundaries. To learn more, check out the DMA’s online teaching materials related to the exhibition on CONNECT.

We recently added the following works of art to our exhibition resources:

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On September 8, 2012  the DMA will host a half-day workshop, Cacao, Codices, and Cross-Cultural Connections in Ancient Mexico. Workshop participants will investigate the exhibition The Legacy of the Plumed Serpent in Ancient Mexico and explore the artwork, narratives, and pictorial language that bridged the Toltec, Mixtec, Maya, and other disparate Mesoamerican cultures between A.D. 900 and 1521.

We would love to see you and your colleagues at this workshop or another one of our upcoming teacher workshops. You can register online or by contacting teacherprograms@DallasMuseumofArt.org

I hope everyone’s school year is off to a fabulous start!

Andrea V. Severin
Coordinator of Teaching Programs

Self-Guided Visits: Tips for Teachers

Students enjoy Miguel Covarrubias's Genesis, the Gift of Life

Arranging a self-guided visit for your students is great way to explore the Museum.  It allows your students to encounter the Museum on your terms, observe art at their own pace, and spend more time in front of objects that interests them.  Setting up a self-guided visit is easy, and to ensure that your Museum experience is educational and enjoyable, try these helpful hints:

Getting Started

Sign up for a self-guided visit by filling out an online request form.  If you  have already arranged a docent-guided tour and would like to add a self-guided visit to your Museum experience, send me an email at Tours@DallasMuseumofArt.org.

Be Prepared

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of logistics.  Save yourself some time and energy by preparing before you visit.  Once you have a date and time confirmed, start considering the layout of your self-guided visit.  If you have a large group, break them up into smaller groups before you visit.  Smaller groups make it easier to navigate through the galleries, and dividing them before you arrive gives you more time to spend in the galleries. 

Have a Game Plan

Most visitors feel that they need to see everything when they come to the Museum.  While every object on display deserves to be seen and appreciated, it’s just not feasible to see everything in our collection, unless you can spare a couple of hours.  Instead, challenge your students to focus on a handful of objects that encompass a topic or theme learned in class.  Short on inspiration?  Check out our online teaching materials for themes used on docent-guided tours.

Students in the European galleries

Be Creative

As teachers, you learn to be creative in just about every situation.  Consider your self-guided visit as another opportunity to show off your inventiveness.  Try adding some of these activities to your self-guided visit:

      • Create a scavenger hunt.  This activity works great with large groups and can be a fun game for all ages.  You can find loads of factual information and teaching tips in our CONNECT teaching materials.
      • Incorporate a sketching activity.  Have students take a closer look by having them sketch an object.  You can incorporate this activity in your scavenger hunt, or have a more in-depth drawing session.
      • Take a smARTphone tour.  Don’t have a smartphone?  Borrow an iPod Touch from the Visitor Services Desk.

Make the Most of Your Trip
After you’ve had plenty of time to gallivant through the galleries, why not enhance your Museum visit by stopping by Center for Creative Connections.  The Center for Creative Connections, or C3, is an innovative space that encourages interactive experiences with art.   There are fun activities for all ages, and you can create a make-and-take art project at the Space Bar. 

Students Sketching in the Galleries

There are many ways your students can experience the Museum, and as a teacher, you are the architect behind their visit.  Remember, encountering art can be exciting and educational, so be sure to have fun!

Wishing you all a terrific Thursday,

Loryn Leonard
Coordinator of Museum Visits

Educator Resources: Sneak a Peek at New Online Teaching Materials

Egungun costume; 1920 - 1950; Yoruba peoples, Nigeria; cotton, silk, and wool fabric, metal, leather, mirrors, cotton, and wood; Dallas Museum of Art, Textile Purchase Fund, 1995.35.

This Egungun costume from Nigeria is one of sixty-five artworks in the Dallas Museum of Art’s collection that will be part of new online teaching materials to be launched in Fall 2011. Education staff, working in close collaboration with curators, designers, and web developers, have been hard at work for over one year designing a new model for creating online resources for teachers that are easy-to-access and provide the following:

  • more and better-organized information
  • video and audio clips related to the artworks and cultures
  • contextual images and multiple views of the artworks
  • teaching ideas that could be customized by classroom educators

The project is officially called Connect: Teachers, Technology, and Art, and it is supported through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. When we started our project work in November 2009, we went straight to the audience we serve: TEACHERS.  The dialogue and partnership that developed with ten teachers who were selected to represent the minds, wishes, and needs of classroom educators everywhere has been crucial, as it led to a pivotal decision about the presentation of information and ideas about the sixty-five works of art.

These teachers helped us test current teaching materials to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and they showed us how they might use objects like the Egungun costume in a classroom experience with their students. Together, we analyzed and re-imagined what great teaching materials for DMA artworks could be and we are excited to reveal this sneak peek.

I reveal to you the new template for online teaching materials and the future of online resources for teachers and students at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Each work of art will have its own set of information, clearly organized according to tabs.  The “First Glance” tab provides introductory information about the object, similar to the information found on a label in the galleries.  It may serve as the hook to pull you further into an exploration of the artwork.  The “Extended Information” tab provides paragraphs of topical information that reveal more about the object.  For example, the Egungun costume information includes paragraphs about Death and Religion, Materials, and African Masquerades.  This text has been culled from new curatorial scholarship and existing interpretive resources.  A teacher will also find contextual images in this section.

The third tab, “Teaching Ideas,” is a section presenting questions, comparisons, and activities that any teacher could use to get started teaching a lesson using this artwork.  These ideas are a mix of resources generated by DMA education staff and K-12 teachers.  Finally, the “Media/Resources” tab provides extra resources in the form of books, audio and video clips, and additional web sites.  We are also working to provide as many pronunciations as possible for less familiar words, easy print capabilities, opportunities to view the images in larger sizes, and access to detail images of the art.

In April, we will begin testing this new model with a new group of ten teachers. Will they agree with the first ten in terms of needs and wishes?  That is exactly what we hope to find out. Each of the new teachers will design and implement a lesson using the teaching material template above, and we will ask them to tell us what works and what needs to be changed or added.  We look forward to this second round of crucial work because it will only make the online resources stronger.  What are your initial thoughts about this new look and presentation?

At the completion of the Connect project, we plan to have a wonderful new model, but we will only have converted sixty-five objects to the new teaching materials.  We have hundreds to convert!  A redesigned home page and teacher resources site will help us streamline the presentation of resources as we remain in transition mode and continue converting the existing resources to the new format.  I will be anxious to share the new site with you later this year and welcome your comments.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Community Connection: The Best of Both Worlds

It is just me, or is anyone else shocked that we are already in the second week of August?  As we look forward to the 2010-2011 school year, it only makes sense to feature a classroom teacher in our monthly Community Connection blog post.  Meet Michelle Alcala, who begins her fifth year as art teacher at Salazar Elementary School in Dallas ISD.

Michelle and her children

What are some ways you’ve worked with the DMA?

I began by bringing my students here for visits.  My 4th-graders come every year and really enjoy the experience.  Another teacher and I started Saturday programs with our students, and we bring a group of fifteen to twenty students from all grade levels and their families to the Museum once a month. 

Last year, I was invited to create artwork with students for the Art Ball, the DMA’s annual black-tie fundraiser event.  My students were so excited to see their work in a real museum setting, which is unbelievable for an elementary school student.  They brought their families to see their work and dressed up; the pride they had was great.

I’m also a part of the teacher panel and am hoping my insights help with the new online resources for teachers.  Before, I did not use the DMA online teaching materials very often, and I’m hoping my contribution will help art teachers and other teachers.  [Michelle is part of a select group of teachers collaborating with Museum education staff on an IMLS grant focused on redesigning the DMA’s online teaching materials.]

How has your work with the DMA affected your approach to teaching?

I’m always trying to find things that I can tell my students about that will help them make connections to the Museum and encourage them to visit with their families.

Do you consider yourself an artist?  What are your creative outlets?

Initially, I intended to go to art school.  I ended up having children and realized they were more my passion than becoming an artist.  I tried to find the best of both worlds, and that’s when I came up with teaching art.  I still sketch and paint sometimes, but not in the volume that I used to before I started teaching.  I also love to read.

How do you spend your summer months?

I spend my summers with my children at my home in Oak Cliff.  We play and read and go to the zoo and go to museums and as many different free things as we can find.  We just got back from a trip to Florida and Disney World.  I also went to Chicago with my mother.  It was wonderful.  I visited the Art Institute and went on a tour of the new wing.  It was just incredible, seeing so many pieces of art. 

What do you most look forward to in the 2010-2011 school year?

To my new art lessons, both my own that I’ve created and ideas from the DMA.  I also look forward to seeing the kids again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen all of their little faces, and I’m ready to get back into it.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

Connect: Teachers, Technology, and Art

Our work on a new grant project, Connect: Teachers, Technology, and Art, has officially begun!  Through the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and their Museums for America grant program, the DMA was awarded $150,000 in October 2009 to begin redesigning online teaching materials.  Over the course of the next two years, we will work to create five new dynamic, web-based resource units that present the wealth of our collections in African and South Asian art.  How will we do it?  Thoughtfully, by connecting these three things:

Teachers: Results from a 2007 evaluation with 450 teachers, which focused on how teachers learn and teach with art, will inform the initial selection and organization of artwork images and information.  Staff will also collaborate closely with twenty teachers, who will help design and test the new teaching resources in their classrooms.  How do you currently use the Museum’s online teaching materials?  We welcome your comments!

Technology: Digital images, video, and audio, similar to those on DMAtv, will enliven the resources by providing extended information about works of art and cultures.  Imagine all of this packaged into custom units that are easy for teachers to access, search, and share with students.

Art: Works of art from Africa and South Asia will be the focus for the five new resource units.  The units will reflect recent curatorial scholarship and upcoming catalogue publications for both collections.  They will also highlight artworks recently added to the collection, such as the olumeye from Nigeria and the Buddha Sakyamuni from Thailand.

2004_16_MCD~01

Kneeling female figure with bowl (olumeye)

2006_21

Buddha Sakyamuni

Grant work to tackle over the next two months includes taking inventory of great images, information, video, and audio content related to the African and South Asian artworks, as well as selecting ten teachers to begin collaborating with staff.  If you would like to hear more about the grant, please feel free to email us.  Also look for future progress reports on the Connect project here on the blog or delivered via the Educator Newsletter.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community
nstutzman@DallasMuseumofArt.org

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools
jmarvel@DallasMuseumofArt.org


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