Using ThingLink to Support STEAM
We’re excited to be hosting an online virtual booth and presentation at the STEAM & Arts Integration Winter Online Conference on February 7th. We invite you to jon us at the conference for our presentation, I Have a ThingLink for STEAM.
What is STEAM?
STEAM is an approach to teaching that supports arts integration across the curriculum. In a STEAM classroom students construct and demonstrate understanding about core subject areas through an art form. Teachers design learning experiences that encourage students to engage in a creative process that connects an art form to one or more core subject areas, such as Science, Engineering, Technology or Math to meet objectives in all areas.
We live in a time in which teachers and students are often bogged down by the rigorous demands of standardized testing. While standardized tests can be a useful tool to gauge and assess the progress of students, “teaching to the test” doesn’t always leave time for us to tap into our creative talents and engage students in meaningful learning experiences that address their diverse learning needs. Providing students with opportunities to participate in STEAM powered learning activities offers a balanced approach to teaching in which every student can draw on their personal strengths and talents to succeed.
Sir Ken Robinson makes a good case for integrating the arts into learning experiences in a TED Talk titled How to Escape Education’s Death Valley. He suggests that diversity, curiosity and creativity make humans thrive, but when schools put too much emphasis on learning to improve performance on standardized tests they are not providing all students with opportunities for true learning. Scroll over this interactive image to view Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk and to follow Bryan Mathers, the artist who created the original image.
How can ThingLink support STEAM?
The flexibility of ThingLink allows teachers to annotate an image with a lot of content to make those cross-curriculum connections. One image can hold a variety of multimedia resources to facilitate learning and the construction of knowledge through research, writing and creativity. The example below uses an essential question to kick off research about Wyland, an artist and conservationist whose work has helped shape the way we view our ocean environment.
Beyond research, this ThingLink powered STEAM project supports creativity through hands-on learning. Students create scale drawings of whales and ultimately collaborate to create a whale mural. Throughout the learning experience, students can use the ThingLink app on a tablet or phone to capture learning as it happens by taking pictures or video of their work and annotating those images to document their learning. Explore this interactive image to discover ideas for making connections to science, math and art.
Create and share a STEAM project
Over the course of the next few months we will run dedicated STEAM related creative challenges. We invite teachers and students to document and share their learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths via ThingLink. We will feature the best work at the end of each month making it easy for everyone to curate and collect the best interactive content. We’ve even created some new icons for EDU users to support STEAM!
- January: Science
- February: Engineering and Technology
- March: Arts and Design
- April: Math