“Computer Class” is an increasingly out-of-date concept. Students come to school in Kindergarten very familiar with technology. All the classrooms at St. Ann Catholic School have interactive whiteboards and WiFi. Classes in every subject and grade make use of our computer lab, Chromebooks, and iPads. Classes also use our Science Lab and “Maker Space” for hands-on projects. Technology is not just a class, it is a tool used in every class.
Art is also increasingly a technological discipline. Most working artists today work behind screens designing products, websites, and print media, mastering the music we listen to, and editing the movies we watch. With the skills of art and the tools of technology being so closely linked in today’s world, we’re working to integrate the two disciplines into a new approach to art and technology classes. Art and Technology at St. Ann Catholic School are taught by the same full-time award-winning teacher. The two disciplines are taught side by side and meeting twice a week allows students to engage in larger projects.
In Integrated Arts Class, our students are studying the basic mediums and methods of visual art and taking inspiration from prolific artists of the past. Then they’re tackling traditional technology skills like typing, coding, reading assessments, and standard software like PowerPoint and the Google suite. They are also learning about the logic of coding in the art-room without computers and using online voice recording and animation software in the computer lab to make their own drawings into cartoons. Students use the STEM process to turn recycled materials into sculptures. Stop-motion claymation, designing and building garden beds, escape room puzzles, and even 3D printing replacement parts for our 3D printer have all been highlights of this new initiative.
Implementing curriculum and instruction models that blend Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, is a tall order. Our full-time Integrated Arts teacher not only designs projects for the Art and Technology curriculums, but she also assists every teacher in the building in developing engaging cross-curricular projects.