Reflecting on one’s work is a valuable process for students, whether it is a creative story, a piece of art, or the solution to a Math problem. Looking back to examine the quality of their work and the process used to complete their work provides students with a more in-depth understanding of what and how they learn. One example of how students can reflect on their learning is by using an iPad to document the work they do during Art.
Using an iPad, students can take photos during the stages of completing their work to document the processes used during the assignment. Written comments can also be added to each photo, either directly on the photo (use the app Pixlr Express
* for this) or as a separate entry with the app Book Creator
(see below). One example of when this works especially well is with painting activities. Students often layer the background first, then add the midground elements, and lastly add the foreground, and recording these steps is a powerful way for students to appreciate the process used to paint a landscape. Archiving these steps is also useful for teachers to use as formative assessment or for samples when teaching the same lesson in future years.
Another means of archiving art work is to take photos of a series of completed art pieces done throughout the year. After each piece is completed, students can take a photo and write a short reflection (e.g. do a 3-2-1 3 parts they like, 2 parts they would do differently, 1 comment about the process). Of course, keeping the original piece in a folder is also essential as nothing can replace the original work.
Taking photos and recording reflections can be done with various apps, but my top pick for this would be Book Creator. The app Book Creator provides a means of organizing photos, written reflections, audio comments and even video clips into an ebook. If students took a photo and wrote a short reflection for each piece of art, or if they archived the process for each art project, they would have a wonderful digital portfolio by the end of the year. Using Book Creator also gives students the option to record their voice and archive verbal reflections, so students who have strengths in verbal communication can utilize this option. When completed, the student can publish from Book Creator as an ebook or pdf. These files can be shared with family via email, or online for the rest of the world to see.
Archiving student work or the processes used to complete their work is an important part of student learning and is a great way to share about what is happening in your classroom.
* Other apps for adding text to photos include Picshop Lite or Snapseed