Personalizing and differientiating learning in AP Art

Here is my challenge:

  • 2 classes of AP Studio Art.
  • 4 variations of the three exam types offered in AP Studio Art (Drawing, 3D Design, and 2D Design, 2D Design-Photography.)
  • the exam requires a large body of work to be produced specific to the exam type so at ASIJ students have the opportunity to take the class over 2 years and submit the exam in the second year. (16 pieces of work for 3D Design, and 24 pieces of work for 2D and Drawing.)

This means there are potentially up to eight different groups of students for me to teach in 1 class period. Here is a diagram created in Gliffy to illustrate.

Call me crazy but I am actually quite excited about the problem this creates. It compels me to find new ways to help personalize learning for each student, and to differentiate instruction for each of these groups. Yes, it would be much easier if they were all doing the same exam type, but that wouldn’t have pushed me to think outside the box.

One solution I am hoping will help me is technology. Which is why I have been spending part of my summer reading, learning and playing with things like my new iPad. The use of mobiles and game-based learning were identified in the 2010 Horizon Report as trends that have potential to enhance student learning. This week my focus has been on finding suitable mobile apps that I can recommend to my students to try out depending on their exam type. Here’s what I’ve been experimenting with so far:

ArtLite has info and a good selection of work on 11 artists plus a neat quiz. (free)


PocketChris has the basics of Photography – a bit texty but has some neat visual ways to explain things like depth of field. (free)

PhotoTrainer – still pretty texty but helpful tips on taking photographs in different lighting situations and how to create HDR images. (0.99)

Random Pose – just downloaded this today. 3D human figures in dynamic poses — with shadows! (free)

Dexigner – graphic design, architecture, fashion news and more.

Of course arty apps for iPods and iPhones are just frosting on the cake. The actual cake will still need to be my Blackboard course and the resources I will be linking into that. None the less this challenge is causing me to think differently about teaching and learning, surely that is a good thing.

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