Sometimes we wonder how advanced technology, which we have closer and heard repeatedly in different media, can really help us in our daily or work life.
That question, I think, is even more difficult to answer when your profession consists of being in a classroom and teaching children who are between 9 and 16 years old.
Like Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning or simply robots can really contribute and add something to our classroom, so that the experiences or methodologies used in class are really useful.
To answer this question I am going to tell you about a classroom experience that I have carried out at the European School in Madrid and which is called "Art-FaceFeeling".
What is Art-FaceFeeling?
This project is born from working the expressions of the portraits in our Art class. We not only explain the history of paintings such as La Gioconda, Las Meninas or El Grito, but we also try to see the expression or feelings that that painting shows when it was painted. A way to work emotional intelligence in the classroom so that students learn to detect their own and others' emotions, understand them and use them in a positive and beneficial way.
For this project, help me with an idea like facial recognition by means of a device. If we are able to identify a face, it is also possible that technology helps us to know if it is sad or happy.
A mobile application was developed, based on MicrosoftEDU PowerApps, that through the recognition of Patterns in the face, was able to play with the percentages of Happiness, Sadness, surprise and fear. Something very intuitive for our students!
This technology gave us a great opportunity to perform a totally different activity, objective and above all fun to try and show emotions in the classroom.
With my partner Ruth Botto, Professor of Art and Drawing, we decided to carry out this activity using our App. The activity was that our students had to choose a portrait of a painter they had studied before.
The next step was to document that painting and the character that was painted on it, this gave us the focus of what kind of person and character it could have. Once this step was done, we analyzed the picture with our App to see the emotions that AI showed when it was painted.
After this part of History and Art, the Drawing came into action, we asked the students to take a picture trying to show the same emotion as their painting, even imitating the posture.
Thanks to our App they could repeat and analyze their photo as many times as they needed, to get closer to that "percentage" of emotion they were looking for.
Finally, the final part of the activity was to draw on a blank page his picture, and playing with different drawing techniques that my partner Ruth explained to them, to be able to make that also the drawing analyzed by the App had the same level of expression.
The minimal expression of sadness that shows us "the Knight with the hand on the chest" painted by El Greco.
Draw that surprise or fear that reflects "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
This is a way of showing how complex technology we can take to the classroom, not simply with the objective of showing it, but as a great tool for join different subjects or methodologies in a single class activity.