Hinsdale District 181 teacher earns art technology award

A Monroe School art teacher has earned the Art Education Technology Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Art Education Association.

Theresa McGee accepted the award at the National Art Education Association conference in San Diego recently, where she also presented a ten-minute spotlight on the work of her Monroe School students and how she integrates technology in curriculum.

McGee was chosen to attend the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute this summer. In March of last year, McGee was named a Class of 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator, an honor recognizing pioneers who are using Apple technology to “transform teaching and learning in powerful ways.” She was one of 90 educators chosen from the United States, one of five from Illinois, and the only art teacher among those from K-12 institutions. The Global Institute will give McGee the opportunity to collaborate with 350 teachers, professors, technology directors and other educators from 30 different countries.

“My approach to technology integration does not discard traditional art making materials,” she said, “but instead infuses a wide variety of emerging technologies to encourage creativity and originality, engage learners, and support cognitive development.”

McGee said only about 10 percent of her students’ projects are digital art. In “traditional” art projects involving drawing, painting, and sculpting, for example, she uses technology to strengthen her delivery of instruction. With her fifth-grade class, students work in groups to create a Keynote presentation about artists they have researched and then share the presentations during their annual field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago.

For a field trip downtown for a Chicago architectural tour, McGee created an iBook to highlight the city’s sites, complete with text, video and images that students can share with their families upon their return.

McGee also uses iBooks to record herself providing directions on a variety of art projects. Students can access her recordings via iPads and choose the project of interest to them.

“The recordings also allow students to work at their own pace,” McGee said. “They can pause and rewind my directions if there is something they don’t understand or need to see again.”

She has developed several iTunesU courses designed as professional development for art teachers and has written 18 articles in her own Tech 4 ArtEd column for SchoolArts magazine. She has been a speaker at several state and national conferences and was featured in eSchool News earlier this year for her use of augmented reality. Similar to the way a mobile device scans a QR code and links to a website, she said augmented reality lets a person see artwork with a mobile device that would otherwise not be visible.

After 17 years at Monroe School, McGee will move to Hinsdale Middle School starting in the 2014-15 school year to teach art to the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal