Four Fun Ways to Engage Art Students with Augmented Reality

The following ideas are being presented at the NAEA Convention in Seattle with the Art Education Technology Interest Group. If you are going to the convention, please join us!

*NOTE(updated April 2021): HP Reveal has discontinued its free app.  The following information will still give you a taste of how it works, but you may want to try Halo AR instead.

Art Education Technology Pechakucha 2018
FLASH Learning.
Fast-paced sharing of technology ideas from 10-12 practicing presenters.
Saturday, 3/24/2018    4:00:00 PM – 4:50:00 PM
Center/Meeting Room 608/Level 6

Four Fun Ways to Engage Art Students with Augmented Reality

#1 Layer animations into student work with the HP Reveal app.

Press play to see how it works.

For more information check out How to Add Stop Motion Animation to Artwork With a Green Screen AND How to Add an Aura with HP Reveal.

#2  Create a clickable curriculum map.

With the app, you basically get one image and one overlay. This is usually plenty for K-8 student use. The desktop version of the app is called HP Reveal Studio. It is a little too complicated for my elementary students, by I love that it allows you to set multiple overlays within a single image. The following is still a work in progress, but as I build my library of flipped-classroom videos, I have been able to add them to a clickable curriculum map. This way, a single poster in my classroom holds a year’s worth of how-to videos that my students can access at any time. In order to see the videos embedded in the map, you need to “follow” Mrs. Pasquan on the HP Reveal app before scanning the image.

#3 Make critiques more entertaining with an AR question game.

Word of caution: the following image file is a bit too large for the app on my older iPhone (5c), but it works well with my classroom iPads.

#4 Make famous artworks talk with the help of Chatterpics and HP Reveal.

Posted in Classroom Projects | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Add Stop Motion Animation to Your Artwork with a Green Screen

The following guide was created to supplement my presentation at NAEA 2018 called Four Fun Ways to Engage Art Students with Augmented Reality.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Add an Aura With HP Reveal

The following guide was created to supplement my presentation at NAEA called Four Fun Ways to Engage Art Students with Augmented Reality.  If you have not yet played with augmented reality, be careful.  It is instantly addicting!

*NOTE: HP Reveal has discontinued its free app.  The following information will still give you a taste of how it works, but you may want to try Halo AR instead.

Posted in Classroom Projects | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

4th Grade Choice Photography Unit

By Chloe – Inspired by Tanaka

This year, I have been making an effort to add more choice and student-directed learning to my curriculum.  This unit grew as an extension of the 4th grade pinhole camera project.  I needed a way to occupy the class while a small group of students scanned their pinhole images. The results were magical!


By Izzy – Inspired by Goldsworthy

I chose to focus three centers on Andy Goldsworthy, Vik Muniz, and Tatsuya Tanaka. Each of these photographers creates compositions out of various objects that they then photograph.  At each station, students watch a short video about the artist and answer three “post-it note questions.” I was delighted to hear students arguing about why one photographer was cooler than the other. They were truly analyzing the art without additional guidance from me!

The centers also include a book about the artist as well as a few laminated prints. The books I use include the following: Reflex, A Vik Muniz Primer, Small Wonders by Tatsuya Tanaka, and Andy Goldsworthy: A Collaboration with Nature.

Students are then challenged to design a photography project inspired by their favorite of the three photographers.  Depending on their plan, students are invited to bring objects from home or borrow them from the art room for use during days 3 and 4 of the photography unit.

Examples of student work can be found HERE.

Sugar Seal by Samara
Inspired by Muniz

Posted in Classroom Projects, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinhole CANmeras – Day 2

The following information will make a lot more sense if you have already read my previous post called Pinhole CANmeras Day 1.

filter added with Prisma app


Cameras begin to trickle back in on week 2 of this project.  Out of a class of 20 students, it is typical for 10 cameras to return the first week (more will come later).   Of those 10 students, it is likely that one or two will have installed the camera or paper incorrectly and need to try again. A quick peek is OK, but I generally ask students not to open their cameras until it is their turn at the scanner. While the 8 remaining students are scanning their images, the rest of the class rotates through three other photography centers.  See 4th Grade Choice Photography post.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have an Epson Ecotank in my classroom. It may not the best photo scanner out there, but overall it has been a magical addition to the art room. During the first week of scanning, I ask our tech coach to help out with the scanning center (Thank you, Mr. Goguen!), so that I can circulate the room.  By the next scanning session, students are helping each other and we are fine on our own. I preset the app to scan at 300 ppi (the highest allowed on our iPads). If you have the option for 600, you will end up with better prints in the end.

While students wait for their turn at the scanner, I ask them to fill out a scan sheet that includes space for their name, location, date, and length of exposure.

sample negative scan


If you do not have access to Photoshop, Snapseed is a great, free iPad alternative. Students use it to crop, invert, and add contrast to their images.


The workflow that works for me involves having students save all of their work for the day to the iPad camera roll.  At the end of class, they select all of their work from the camera roll and add it to the class folder on Google Drive.  I ask them to use their name as part of the file name. I keep all of the iPads logged into the Art folder on Drive so that students do not spend time fumbling with passwords. This process works for me.  As always, you have to figure out what works for your classroom.


After students scan and edit their image they have an opportunity to reload their camera with a new sheet of photo paper.  This time, I encourage them to expose their image for two weeks or longer.  4th grade students now have access to the photo/scan center for the rest of the year. This is where the choice part of the curriculum comes into play. Interested students will continue to experiment with location and exposure times throughout the year.  Additionally, they are invited to bring in containers to try different camera formats.

Posted in Classroom Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pinhole CANmeras – Day 1

Last year I had a conversation with Nicole Croy at the NAEA Convention that blew my mind.  For the last few years, she has been recording incredible images with long exposure pinhole cameras that do not require any darkroom chemicals!  I could not wait to try this with my students and even got several teachers at my school to play along.  The project takes a bit of prep, but here is how I do it…

By Wesley – 4th Grade – Filter added with Photoshop

Week #1

4th grade students begin the first 45-minute class by watching two videos.  The first TedEd video gives them a brief introduction to the history of photography. The second (made by me) gives step by step instructions on how to build a camera, as well as a sneak peek at the results. Students are given time to build their cameras before returning to the rug for a discussion about installation.  The last few minutes are spent looking at  Nicole Croy’s images.

TedEd Intro to Photo:

How to make a CANmera:

The first time I tried to have students complete steps 1-11 below.  It was a disaster!!!  We used dollar store can openers that left sharp edges, and it took them FOREVER to trace and cut the circles.  Everyone went home with a camera, but I had to load the paper for a number of students after class.  With a little extra prep, the next class ran much more smoothly. Now I cut the circles and open the cans in advance. That leaves enough time to load the cameras, and have a discussion about installing them at the end of class.

Preparing for week #1

Before students enter the room, I run around and place strips of gaffers tape on the end of each table.  Gaffers tape is a bit pricey, and this is the only way I can share a single roll with a class of 20 students.  While they are watching the videos, I set up each table with scissors, sharpies, sandpaper, black cardstock circles (2.5 in.) and rectangles (2.5 x 8.5 in.), small lunch bags, and installation instructions.

It is not required, but I also spray the inside of the cans with a matt black spray paint to help reduce the effects of light bouncing off the bottom of the can.

For our “darkroom station,” I set three stools on top of one table.  The stools are covered with black contractor bags.  Inside the bags, I place a box filled with 3.5 x 5 photo paper and a red LED light strip.  I mark a small x on the back of each paper to help students insert the paper correctly.  When students are ready to load their camera, they put their heads inside the stool and try not to let light in. 


After the cameras are loaded, I ask them to cover the lens, tape the lid shut, write their name on their cameras and bags, and take them home with the installation log. I also send an e-mail to parents so they know what to expect.

Pinhole Shopping List (approx. $0.70 per student)

$7.98        Cardstock  (enough for 150 students)

$23.99     2” Gaffers tape  (55 yds = 100 students)

$36.79    5 x 7 Semi-Matte Photo Paper (2-3.5 x 5 sheets per 100 students)


Other items you will need:

ScissorsSharpiesSewing pins(the size of the hole matters! Safety pins and tacks are too wide) black contractor bags, sandpaper (150 grit-ish), a decent quality can opener

Red LED “safelights” the ones I have are no longer available: These LEDs are similar:

And of course, a scanner.   At home, I use an Epson photo scanner.  A high-quality scanner will make a huge difference.  In my classroom, I have an Epson Ecotank All-in-One.  The image quality of most “all-in-one” printers will be lower. However, it is important to me that students learn to scan their own images.  With the Ecotank, students are able to scan directly to iPads.  You have to use whatever works for you.


Matt spray paint (for the inside of cans), lunch bags, popsicle sticks (for sanding sticks)






Posted in adult ed, Classroom Projects, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flipped Classroom Videos for Gelatin Prints

I am getting so excited about the National Art Education Association National Convention in New York this week.  I am presenting a hands-on workshop on Thursday, March 2nd, called: Homemade Gelatin Plates. How to Make it Work for 20+ Students. If you can’t make it to the workshop, you can follow along at home by watching the following videos.  I will attach a supply list at the bottom of this page to help you get started.

Start by making a plate.  My 3rd graders helped with this video:

Then do a little experimenting:

Explore printing with more complex stencils:

(Stencil for above video can be found here: gelatin doll pattern)

Take it into the third dimension:

…or turn your prints into a SQUASH BOOK:

More of my blog posts about gelatin prints can be found here, or by clicking the gelatin tag on the right side of this page.


All of the above projects were created with craft paints similar to Apple Barrel Acrylic.  Many of the better quality acrylic paints need to be thinned a bit with water.  If your budget allows, Golden Open are the best out of the tube for professional artists. Tempera paints work well in the elementary classroom.  You can also use screen printing inks, on fabric. If you have any other favorite paints, please share in the comment section.

Gelatin Recipe:

1/2 cup Vegetable Glycerin (you can find small bottles @ CVS or Walgreens)

2 tbsp. Unflavored Gelatin

Mix the glycerin and gelatin together in a 5x5ish GladWare container. (Stop and Shop has store brand ones that are nice and cheap)

Then add 1/2 cup boiling water.

When you are ready to print, collage trays or paper plates make a handy, portable surface.

PLEASE SHARE!  I’d love to see what you are creating with gelatin.






Posted in adult ed, Classroom Projects, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gadget Prints, Pronto Plates, and Chine-Colle. So fun!


I’m running a workshop at the MAEA Conference this weekend, and I wanted to get these video links up before I go.  If you want to try the gadget printing method, the key ingredient is Pledge Floor Care .  Stay tuned for images of student work…

Hand Colored Lithograph with Chine-Colle By MCP

Hand Colored Lithograph with Chine-Colle By MCP




Posted in adult ed, Classroom Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pronto Plates in the Classroom


I’ve been using Pronto Plates in my own work for the last few years.  I’ve taught a number of photo-lithography workshops to adults and high school teachers, but it wasn’t until my proposal was accepted for the MAEA and NAEA conventions this year that I was willing to give it a try in my elementary art room. The process for a typical photo-litho workshop can be found here: Pronto Plate Tutorial

If you are new to Pronto Plates (also called polyester plate lithography), the following video talks a bit about imaging them:


My last adult class managed to get ink EVERYWHERE. I knew this time that the challenge was going to be finding a way to make it as simple as possible and easy to clean up.  I started with cleanup and worked my way backwards. A bit of trial and error led me to the “tin foil method” that you will see in the video below.  Plexi was too expensive.  Saran wrap was too clingy. Wax paper stretched when wet.  Tin foil was just right 🙂

Another major concern was trying to share my press with 20+ students.  I tried running a print through a pasta machine and was thrilled to find out that it worked as an etching press.  When they went on sale for $12 at a local craft store, I bought one for each table in my room. I sewed two pieces of craft felt together to make “blankets” for my mini press. I practiced with some willing co-workers, tweaked the process, and ended up with the following method:


Clean up is as easy as I could make it.  Basically, you need to clean the brayer with vegetable oil, then an alcohol wipe.  Everything else goes in the trash.










Posted in adult ed, Classroom Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wet Felting with 4th and 5th Graders – Challenging but worth it!


My first experience with wet felted vessels was during the MAEA Convention in North Adams last fall.  I took a workshop with Carolann Tebbetts and was immediately hooked. I wasn’t sure how to break the process down for elementary students, so I went home and started practicing… first with friends, then with family over the holidays.  I couldn’t help it, but every vessel I made ended up with eyes and hair and something stuffed into its mouth like candy, erasers, paperclips, etc.  My students were going crazy over the sample projects in my classroom, so I finally decided to give it a try.

If you are lucky enough to have hour long classes, most students could finish the process in one class period.  Since I only have 45 minutes, we had to break it down into two:

During the first class, students watched the following video while I set up their supplies:

I posted the following guides on each table on Day 1:

wet felting steps 1 wet felting 2 0f 4







And these on Day 2:

wet felting 3 of 4wet felting 4 of 4








I’m not yet comfortable using felting needles with large elementary classes, so at the end of Day 2, I set up an embellishing station with tacky glue and googly eyes, buttons, wool scraps, etc.  It didn’t seem to matter that the projects were still damp.


If you are a first timer, there are many nice kits to get you started.  This is the one that I used:

For 60 students (20 per class) using a 5″ round foam resist, I needed the following supplies.  I am including more affiliate links for your convenience:

4 lb. wool roving (you can buy colors, or dye it with Kool-Aid – post coming soon)

20 sushi matts

20 pieces of 8″ x 16″ bubble wrap

20 pieces of 8″ mesh/tulle (I bought mine at a local fabric store)

box of rubber bands

fun foam cut into 5ish” circles (I had enough scraps lying around)

spray bottles (mine came from the dollar store)

A bag of plastic grocery store bags for stuffing your forms (4 per student).  I asked students to bring these in.


Here are some of the beautiful and permanent colors you can make by dying wool with Kool-Aid. Just add about 2 cups boiling water to a packet of Kool-Aid and add wool. Enjoy!


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment