Tag Archives: smart

The most hectic month on record, ever.

 

London. May 12.

Blimey it’s been a month.

Barman versus Wolverine alternative cover. #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford

Three weeks ago the students and I trekked our way across London, beginning in Camden Market with an exhibition at Chin Chin Labs of the artwork the kids had made in the ice cream banknote brief. Once we’d done that, and a brief art walk around the historic Stables, we dashed to the Apple Store, Regent Street, to take the stage and speak from our vantage point from the intersection between education and tech arts.

Apple Store and Chin Chin labs.

Apple Store and Chin Chin labs.

It was fab, a bit stressful at times, but a lovely day. Once in a while it’d be nice to walk into something where I have a full charge of energy but that never seems to happen.

4k IWB art working = yes. #SMARTboard #DigiFest15

After that? A week after that in fact, we ran a stand at the JISC Digital Festival. THAT was also awesome. Tech art on SMART board and iPad, demoing our skills to a wide array of Universities, companies and more. It was a huge pleasure to be involved in and the students thoroughly enjoyed being treated like they were the custodians of the images made in a brand new world.

Three days after that? I was invited to christen the Google wall on Tottenham Court Road. It was a lot of fun. A limited tool set to say the least but nice to spread out on a very large canvas. May well be in there again on the following two Thursdays, umming and ahhing about what I should do. After that a very lovely tablet art teaching session at the Ben Uri gallery in London, which is always wonderful to be a part of.

Stylus T Frog and the fish eyed Doodlewall.

One day after that…? Oh, just setting up our stand at the London Super Comics Convention.

With apologies to #CharlieAdlard. Riffing on his #LSCC image. #WelcomeToGuildford

Just so we’re clear, not all months are like this. This has been a bit hectic. At times unpleasantly so (especially when one unsupportive voice tried to raise hers above the fab supportive ones). Regardless – how can you say no to the opportunity to have your students treated like stars? It’s been a month of 18 hour days but their Cvs will shine as a result*

Of course you can draw with us, Cinderella. Sit next to Bat Girl and she'll be happy to help.

So… LSCC. Nice quiet weekend? No. Not really. An excellent weekend, just not a quiet one.

Edward and friend. The awesomely good Mr Edward @Paazola Ofosu on #Promethean IWB and #ArtRage a t #LSCC

We’ve done a lot of cons, many at ExCeL which is a venue I’ve grown to really love, and this was BY FAR my favourite. The space was almost a perfect size. Our new signature move (wallpapering the stand) looked fabulous (courtesy of Rosie, Nick and Tallia) and the IWB shone. It shone when the students used it, it shone when I used it. And it SuperNova’d when Mr Charlie (the Walking Dead) Adlard, Mr Edward (horribly talented artist) Ofosu and Mr Bill (Daredevil, Elektra, New Mutants, Stray Toasters, everything) Sienkiewicz used it. Charlie was, genuinely, one of the nicest people I have ever met and, of course, no-one can argue with his accomplishment as an artist. A true gentleman. Edward is fabulous and I’m horribly envious of his innate ability.

The fabulous Mr Bill @SinKEVitch on a #Promethean IWB. #ArtRage.

Bill? He’s one of the super stars of my comics universe. Everyone has their favourites. Mine include Mr Sienkiewicz and have done since… New Mutants? Elektra? Brought to Light? I honestly can’t remember which is the first. Stray Toasters is a genre definer, a beautiful mix of styles, an artistic statement and a fabulous collection of odd thoughts and malicious toast. The second member of staff posted on his facebook that he’d never seen me go full fanboy. I did. Charlie was, and is, wonderful, but I came to his artwork once my love of comics was fully formed. Bill was one of the artists who taught me to love sequential illustrated narrative all those years ago. Shaking his hand was a huge thrill, teaching him to use ArtRage on a Promethean IWB was an extraordinary experience.

Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), the Guildford College touch screen art students and a muskart eer. #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford #Magic

And now? What’s next? Um. Don’t know. I know what I want to do, which requires, as ever as always, a little bit of chasing. But for the moment I’m happy. We pulled off a heck of a show, then another. And then one after that. LSCC were wonderful partners, as were JISC. Eating ice cream at Chin Chins is always lovely and the Apple Store is an icon that I probably should have felt more scared to step onto the stage of. We even managed to take a selfie with Mr Johnny Vegas who was kind enough to stand still with a motley bunch of brilliant kids.

...and then, at the end of the day @JohnnyVegasReal was kind enough to pose for a picture with m y students. Fab day!  #LSCC #WelcomeToGuildford

But the main thanks? As ever – the students. I’m a happy teacher. The kids are more than OK. They’re fab. Nicky Morgan et al may be hell bent on destroying the opportunities of education for the masses but the kids still learn and grow as they ever did while they have the chance. The only difference is that, in my case, I tell them they’ll work stupidly hard in and out of my classes at enrolment and, by golly, they do. We’ve done 14 events this year Most have joined in and, I hope, they’ve learnt a huge amount.

That said: I’m dog tired..

*So far the kids have been residential artists at Eurogamer, BETT, Teentech, Surrey Opps, Teentech London, Surrey Skills, Electric Theatre, Shake Shack, MCM, LSCC, Dell, JISC and a few other places I can’t think of or remember. That;’s not, at all, a bad CV to step out of an A level class with.

Return of the BETT.

 

Touch screen art... Engage. #BETT2015 #SMARTboard.

The past few years have been a rollercoaster and the peaks and troughs generally come at the same times… Event days and the huge amount of work they entail.

I’ve been a teacher for 120 months now and the first 60 passed by in a fairly normal fashion. Teach, paperwork, mark, paperwork, chase students, paperwork etc. Then we were asked to demonstrate tablet art techniques at the World Skills Festival which was thoroughly fabulous.

How do you follow that? With turns at the Barbican, the Royal Academy. Teentech (x4), Bohunt, Magic Summer, Europamer (x2), MCM (x3), Sky Arts, Electric Theatre and much more. So many places we’ve been demonstrating tablet art on so many devices.

And, of course, there was the Gadget Show Live:

…which was the only show where everything has gone to plan despite being the biggest we had done (until recently). 70 or so students from 6 different classes on a seven day working residential. A 120 sq m stand which we filled on a budget smaller than most other stands free drinks budget. It should never have worked… but it did and it was brilliant.

Which brings me to BETT. How does that fit into the calendar? Surely the students would prefer to work at the comic conventions or the computer games shows or the music festivals or the art galleries?

Team Friday McAwesome. #BETT2015.

Well. Yes. Those were fabulous. But this time a surprising number of students who said they enjoyed this one most of the shows we’ve done this year. I loved it, because I love BETT, but they thoroughly enjoyed it too, and it was all down to the tech.

Thanks Team SMART. Had a fab time helping you on your stand. #BETT2015 #SMARTKapp

Sometimes we’re asked to do shows with tech that the students work brilliantly and professionally with at the time but afterwards grumble about an app or a device. We’ve been very spoilt, but to be fair we’re also pretty good at what we do. This year we were asked to draw on the SMART stand (again. They asked us last year too) and we drew on devices as we always do.

#SMARTKapp at #BETT2015 (close up ") ).

Lets be clear though, this year was different. Last year we drew on Interactive Whiteboards and it was good but, at the end of the day we were just drawing on large screens, which we’ve done, a lot.

SMART board art at #BETT2015

This year SMART had a 1-2 sucker punch of devices that I loved using and want in my classroom, stat . I’m absolutely NOT saying this because SMART paid for the travel and sandwiches (to be frank they got a good deal -I charge more for two pictures than they paid for all of the student train fares and I drew significantly more than two pictures over the past four days). SMART amp and Kopp were my two stars of the show. BETT obviously agreed as SMART amp won best collaboration software. If Kapp didn’t win an award it was robbed  its a fabulous piece of tech

Drawing on SMART board. And iPad ")

I’ll write some more later, today is my VERY MUCH DESERVED lazy day following four 15 hour days in a row. However I wanted to show off some pics of my students being thoroughly brilliant, as the always are at a trade show, and I wanted to big up the SMARTboards while BETT is still fresh in people’s minds.

Interview time #SMARTAmp

It was an ace show for us, there are hopefully some very cool things to come out of it too, but for the moment let’s just say that BETT is fab, the students were too, as was SMART and, you know what? So was I 🙂

As ever as always: lovely to draw on a #SMARTboard at #BETT2015

(Apols for some of the formatting. I’m writing this on a Surface 3 and it’s not allowing me to do some of the things I want…)