About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Tech Adventures in the Art Room


Our district has iPads for all students 4th -12th grade, with a variety of other devices to assist the kids. We also provide a secure server for these devices, as the iPads go home with the kids.

Our Admins and community expect us to use these devices. However, we need meaningful technology integration in the art room. This is where I wigged out a few years ago, wrongly thinking that technology would replace traditional art making. In my room, we use the iPads for photography, research, creating and maintaining E-Portfolios, creating digital art and for early finishers.

For art teachers who have iPads, Google Docs, PCs, MACS, a mixture of all of the above, here's a tutorial for getting started. Don't worry, it's easy!

Just as a FYI, here are our conditions in my district, Lewisville ISD:
  • Every school is site-based, so very little is consistent.
  • Our students have access iPads, Mac Airs and Google Chrome Books in a variety of ways.
  • We all (students and teachers) use Google Apps for Education. 
Are you just starting out integrating technology into your art room? Here are some easy, baby steps to help you. Ready?

Baby Step One:
  • Have the kids create digital, also called e-, portfolios. Use Artsonia (our district cannot, fyi) or any other app or site for this purpose. There are many, so do your research. Use technology for photographing artwork (teach them how to take great pictures!) and archiving their art. 
Baby Step Two:
  • Using the iPad to take pictures, and getting work off the iPad:
  • Get the Google Drive App and Snapseed App (It is a Google photo editing app.) on those iPads. They are free, awesome and necessary (once you get comfortable, there are 9,909 other photo apps you can play with).
  • Why Snapseed?  It will help you to navigate between different apps, teaches the kids about photo editing and allows us to save to our Google Drives. 
  • Take a photo with the iPad (yes, I know you can edit easily with the Photo app. This is to help you use multiple apps, trust me)
  • Open Snapseed, see the little iPad icon and "Open Photo"? Click on it. select Open from Device to find your picture.
  • See the pencil icon on the bottom right? Click on it. The edits and filters are all there to play with, and there is an easy tutorial.
  • When you are finished editing, click on "Save" at the top right, then click on the 3 dots at the top right corner
    • "open in..."
    • "Open Google Drive"
  • Their Google drive will now appear. 
    • click save
  • In the Drive, make sure the kids "rename" it, or they will have a bunch of files named "Snapseed" and it will drive them nuts.
  • Once it's in their Google Drive, it's there for whatever purpose you want.

This seems like a lot, but after you train the first 8 kids, they train the rest and then they FLY. The kids get it in a few minutes. And they have a blast. It really wasn't as bad as I had feared. Trust me!

Would I lie to you? No way! (Fun with PicMonkey)
  • But I don't have iPads! Can we still do this cool stuff?

YES. You need access to computers and digital cameras. And your kids need a way to digitally save their work. Network drives, flash drives, just make sure they can get to the pictures. 
  • Have the kids use the digital cameras or whatever technology you can grab...
  • Upload the pictures and make sure they are renamed immediately. Trust me on this!
  • Save them to a clearly named folder. 
  • On the computer, go to pic monkey.
  • Have a blast with the edits. Make sure to Save it and rename it!
  • Print the pictures or create an online gallery (great for Open House or Art Shows!)
Pic Monkey
Baby Step Three:

Get some of these apps on their iPads and have the kids substitute an art activity. Have them explore drawing with traditional materials and then with Sketchbook Express (there are GREAT video tutorials online for most of these apps. You can show them to the kids and have them go along with the video if that is easier for you).

Let the kids play with these apps. Maybe assign a homework project or do a PBL with another teacher to create digital art. Take it slow. The issue is getting the work off the iPad, so be prepared for printing or creating an online gallery.

other apps I like:

Google Classroom (free) 

Sketchbook Express (free)

Brushes (free)

Tayasui Sketches (free)

Inspire Pro (free)

ArtKive (iPhone app, can be used on iPad) (free) *LISD cannot use Artsonia

Pic Collage (free)

Procreate (the best out there, paid app)

Animoto (iPhone app, can be used on iPad) (free)

iMotion HD (free) Check out ipads in the art room for inspiration

Stop Motion (free)

Blendoku (free) A highly addicting color theory game

 PS Express (free)

Moma Art Lab (free)


Need help with apps?

Fugleflicks: she is the bomb.
ipads in the art room: they are friends. And she is also the bomb.


  1. Thank you for this. We are switching to Google this year. I may have an android tablet, but the kids can bring their own.

    1. How is it going so far? Any good things you can share? That I might steal from you???

  2. Thank you for sharing all these amazing tools (I'm partial to PicMonkey... such professional looking results with ease)! I LOVE seeing your work and your students' work.Thank you for posting!

  3. I know! I love PicMonkey, it's how I make super fast and awesome collages for this blog. So fast and easy.