Tag Archives: middle school

Blended Learning in the 2D Digital Art Classroom

We’re 3/4 of the way through the first trimester in 2D Digital Art, and we’ve been working on a number of projects including:

  • Drawing/tracing in photoshop
  • Photo retouching
  • Face swap (taking one person’s face and seamlessly merging it with another person’s face)
  • Cinemagraphs
  • My Favorite Things (iMovie video)
  • Recovering the classics contest

Many of the projects require 7-8 45 minute classes to complete, including at least one session of in-class instruction and ongoing support. This semester, on average, each project took 5-6 classes to complete. Over 80% of the students had little to no experience using Photoshop before this class. How is it that learning was able to be sped up while accounting for the various levels of expertise? By using blended learning!

How it works in the 2D Digital Art Classroom:

  • The assignment is posted on the 2D Digital Art online class page (HamliNet)
  • The assignment includes at least one tutorial video, and the rubric:

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 11.44.16 AM

  • As students begin completing the project, a new project is added, so those students can move ahead in their work.
  • Teacher time in the classroom is mainly spent checking in with students 1:1 or in small groups, reviewing how the project is going, troubleshooting, brainstorming, and providing feedback.


Shading Value Project by Maggie Jo Feldman


  • Identify a range of value in a work of art
  • Create an abstract drawing using a range of values
  • Apply knowledge of value in different contexts
  • Demonstrate understanding of the use of different media
  • Design a Keynote presentation


Students began this unit on value by first watching a PowerPoint and discussing how using a range of light and dark shading contributes to mood, contrast, and texture in works of art. They designed a value scale in their sketchbooks that showed a range of shading from dark to light.

Applying the shading technique, students produced an abstract value drawing.

In order to further enhance their understanding of the aesthetic effects of shading and develop visual awareness, students integrated art and technology to create a Keynote project using their iPads. Their Keynote presentation included a black and white photograph in which areas of light and dark were identified using their value scale.


Here are the steps the students followed to create their project in Keynote:

  1. Students photographed their value scales. Crop and save in PS Express
  2. They searched a color image on the Internet.
  3. In PS Express, they switched the color image to black and white
  4. They went to Keynote and inserted their value scale and image
  5. They identified on the image the range of values using black or white text where appropriate
  6. They added their names
  7. Students chose to make their piece horizontal or vertical and where to place their name
  8. They printed the project

Follow up formative assessment questions:

  1. Was this helpful in furthering your understanding about values in art?
    Answer: majority “thumbs up”
  1. Did you have fun doing this project?
    Answer: unanimous “thumbs up”
  1. What did you learn that was new to you on the iPad?
    Answer: PS Express to crop and adjust color, using different colors text in Keynote