winter projects

This site is now running on Joomla 1.5 Stable with the design rebuilt as 1.5 native template. This is a major rewrite of this powerful opensource CMS. I have been using it for a few years for variety of sites including massarted.org, a portal for the Massachusetts College of Art + Design’s Art Education Department and thenoise-boston.com, a music zine that’s been covering the Boston music scene for more than 25 years!(and the web for more than 10).

I am also rebuilding the rockopera.com site with Joomla. Even though the company remains dormant, there’s some news to report and plenty of archival stuff I’d like to get back online. Look for more additions later this spring.

You can now join me at Linked In. I’m just getting around to joining this professional networking site and have already found a few colleagues and old friends.

education and research

I am interested in discovering ways to constructively use new media in education, both in the classroom, and as a communication tool for educators. My thesis, Reflections in the Screen, explored new media’s role in the classroom and examined the virtual worlds of the graphical interface and ways it has become integrated into our visual literacy. In addition, I believe, it is also fundamentally changing the way we learn and remember.

Some of my older research and coursepages are located at
babel.massart.edu/~eleanor.

web design with kids

Web Design with kids: I have been teaching basic web design and computer art to Somerville middle school students through a 21st Century Schools grant. The course covers coding and using a web editor along with creating original art using limited resources. Because we have little useful software, we use web resources to create a lot of our web art. A course homepage gives the students a starting point with lots of great links, and reminds them of their weekly projects. The student’s website projects are kept on a school server, behind a firewall.

 

social tagging and sharing

Social Networking, tagging and feeds, oh my

The Internet has created instant access to a staggering array of information and experiences. From this, a culture of Internet collectors has emerged (of links, downloads, friends, virtual currency in online worlds). An interesting example of a collaborative weblinking site is del.icio.us. I have been using it to store and tag my web finds since early 2004. Users create a web-based links account and tag links however they choose. Over time, a pattern of interests (yours and others) will emerge. One can easily make RSS feeds from tags and serve the links on other web pages or share with other del.icio.us members. I have not been exploring the social aspects of this site much, but find the community to be an excellent resource for information on a wide range of topics.

My account home: http://del.icio.us/elr
Links tagged education: http://del.icio.us/elr/education
Links tagged art: http://del.icio.us/elr/art

Wikis in Education

I have been exploring  wiki-based collaboration since 2003. At MassArt, we’ve explored a few different wiki engines and have used them for course collaboration, student pages and quick pages. The Art Education courseware (which I currently manage) uses Moodle to serve course-based easy-to-use wiki’s. Wiki’s are, essentially, a way to serve editable pages on the web. Some use simple wiki code for markup, which is then written as HTML pages by the wiki. Some newer wiki engines use a visual text editor to make markup easier.

Art? Why or why not?

While teaching an introductory art course for High School juniors, I kept a simple Weblog at BlogSpot – all of the instructors in the summer program did that year – where the students could post their “homework” and I could keep a syllabus. I asked them to consider the following works. Most of these students had little exposure to modern art.The next day I presented a detailed slide show of 20th century art.

[nggallery id=10]

20 questions for your character

Animation Basics, Developing a Story.
Hand out idea sheet for basic animation or comic book illustration.


Ask your main characters some questions before you try and draw them. You may have to get personal to see what makes them tick. Keep in mind that  your character may or may not tell you everything. You’ll learn more about them as your story unfolds.

20 questions for your character

1. What is your name?
2. How old are you?
3. Are You a man? a woman? something else?
4. Where do you live?
5. Where are you from?
6. What do you look like?
7. Who are your parents?
8. What do you do?
9. Do you believe in a God?
10. Who do you admire?
11. What music and art do you like?
12. Are you happy or sad?
13. What makes you angry?
14. What makes you strong?
15. What makes you weak?
16. How are you special?
17. What is your secret?
18. Who was your first love?
19. What has hurt you?
20. What scares you?

Describe your character in a few sentences.
Now, draw a picture of your character!

Questions adapted from: 20 Questions for Characters by Matt Madden & Jessica Abel
Website: http://www.teachingcomics.org/exercises/view_exercise.php?exercise_id=18