Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Using What You've Learned: The Teacher Conference

In Fall 2001, Forrest and Virginia Toelle, two of PeachStar's very own Teacher-In-Residence participants, developed a presentation to share with their fellow Georgia educators at the 2001 Annual Teacher Conference in Atlanta. The conference, whose theme for 2001 was "Spotlighting the Arts in Teaching," featured success stories and best practices offered first-hand by teachers around the state. We at PeachStar are proud to share with you the Toelles' suggestions for the integration of the arts via the use of multimedia in the classroom.

The Toelles' presentation, entitled "Captivate Your Audience: Using Technology to Spotlight the Arts," was given by Forrest, an educator in Muscogee County, and stressed the importance of a strong arts presence in the general curriculum. "The ways of thinking, connections to culture, and the general skills promoted by the arts help students to think independently, to judge the world around them, and to be creative and imaginative," he claimed; each of these skills is important to student success across curriculum areas. According to his presentation, one of the most effective ways to incorporate the arts into the classroom is through the use of technology.

Forrest then went on to share the secrets of Power Point as a tool for integrating arts and technology into classroom instruction. He offered websites that provide Power Point tutorials, places where teachers might find images to use in presentations, a primer on scanning and digital cameras as well as on the manipulation of images in a Power Point presentation, and tips on how to insert music over the final presentation. One of the highlights of the presentation was the new streaming project being offered by PeachStar and United Learning; through this effort, teachers and students may download video clips which they may then embed right into their own Power Points!

After demonstrating HOW to create a captivating presentation, Forrest presented some ideas of WHAT Power Points might be used for in the classroom:

* Make a test for students to identify famous artwork
* Let students make Power Point presentations set to music
* Make Interdisciplinary lessons
* Set up a program on how to draw an object using basic steps
* Write and illustrate stories and dramas
* Allow students to create multimedia presentations blending photographic images, text, sound, and animated graphics to teach their classmates what they know

We at PeachStar take our hats off to Forrest and Virginia for all of the hard work that made this presentation possible.