Personally, I have little experience developing lesson plans, having undertaken one professional placement thus far. I have noticed that lesson planning in the Visual Arts can be quite different to other subjects, particularly when completing a major artwork or project. I have often struggled to use preprepared lesson plan templates as the vast majority do not cover the necessary information in Visual Arts. In art making, students need to be afforded the time to experiment, plan, and develop ideas in relation to artworks. In this sense, rather than planning a structured lesson, student-centered activities are planned more fluidly. Rather than covering a certain amount of content in a specific time, students often define the amount of time used on a practical activity. I look forward to not only planning these types of lessons, but also planning more structured, theoretical lessons to cover historical and critical studies content.
Planning Visual Arts Lessons with Technology:
A thought provoking video around using technology to engage students in the arts. The point I took from Tim Bateson’s comments was that in order to allow students to explore technology in an artistic way, teachers must learn to ‘let go’ of the traditional structured curriculum and assessment methods. Bateson also highlights that assessment can be more appropriately structured around the process in the arts, rather than the final product. This is an important point of emphasis.
Classroom Behaviour Management and Technology
Behaviour management can present challenges at any time, let alone when technology is involved. As the majority of secondary students now have access to a variety of devices both at home and at school, it can be difficult for teachers to keep ALL students on task simultaneously while using technological devices in class. However, if the lesson is planned in detail and the learning activity is engaging, the teacher should be able to manage this off task behaviour. As Johnson suggests, many schools have banned devices such as mobile phones, handheld gaming devices and iPods (2012, p. 137). This is in an attempt to minimise the distraction of games, social media, unwanted music and other media. Interestingly, a lot of schools that have banned such devices also have implemented a BYOD program, with many students using devices such as iPads with the same capabilities. This seems extremely contradictory to me. While there is some degree of control of BYOD devices because of their limited access to school internet and the like, it does seem rather pointless to completely ban the mobile phone. While I agree that a mobile phone is not suitable to be considered a BYOD device, there does seem to be an occasional use for them in selected classrooms. In my experience, some students have asked to use their mobile phone if they are having problems with their device, or need to quickly access relevant information. While I agree that students should not be able to use their mobile at any given time, I do not agree with students being unable to use them in situations such as the aforementioned, particularly with teacher permission. Thus, I believe that Johnson’s third method of combating technological distraction and inappropriate behaviour is the most effective (2012, p. 139). By ‘establishing clear expectations of how and when technology is to be used in ones classroom’, teachers can set reasonable rules where students do not feel totally banned from using a mobile phone or other device (Johnson, 2012, p. 139). Mobile phone use should be allowed at lunch time, perhaps, but only in specific situations determined by the teacher in the classroom.
Note: A study by Kuznekoff & Titsworth revealed that students who did not use mobile phones during lectures scored a full grade and a half higher than their peers who did. While this is to be expected, this result would most probably occur with any disengaged student, rather than one using a mobile phone alone. I think the real battle for teachers is to control what students are doing on devices when they are allowed to be using them, such as BYOD laptops or tablets.
It will be interesting to see if my thoughts change with my experience in schools and my increased confidence in classroom management.
Johnson, D. (2012). The Classroom Teacher’s Technology Survival Guide. John Wiley & Sons.)
Kuzenekoff, J & Titsworth, S. (2013) The Impact of Mobile Phone Usage on Student Learning in Communication Education Vol. 62, Iss. 3.