In order to encourage her students to take more risks in their artistic practice, RuTC Art Foundation teacher Caroline King tries to build trust, relationships and fearlessness among her cohort. One very effective way in which she is able to do this is through the use of the online tool Padlet into her classroom.
‘It’s a tool that works to their strengths as it involves a lot of posting and tagging,’ says Caroline. She and her students post links to research articles, resources, videos, exhibitions, and anything else that might inform or inspire the development of their creative projects. This has created a tremendous culture of sharing, where students and staff post increasing amounts of content related to the projects, often leading to interesting class discussions, and students using sources of inspiration for their work they may not have identified without it.
‘It gets them to think about things they might not have anticipated,’ says Caroline. ‘It’s a great way of stretching the high-end learner and encouraging the less confident students.’ Students often struggle with sharing their work and research as they think their ideas might be stolen, adapted by other students or criticised. At university and within the art world however, sharing and group-work are the norm. A tool like Padlet prepares students for this.
Caroline uses Padlet to ‘break the ice’ even before students join the Art Foundation course. She invites all enrolled students to post a picture of where they are at that very moment and what they aspire to achieve on the course and after. This year’s students posted pictures from Berlin, Nice, Philippines and Tenerife and this helped them form a bond early on, enabling collaboration and sharing to happen more organically and to be seen as a natural thing to do as a student.
‘If they don’t feel anxious about what others think of their work or what they are interested in, then they are more comfortable taking risks and being positive about failure,’ says Caroline. What online collaboration or teaching tools do you use and find most effective? Share it with us in the comment box below.
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