Virtual pottery wheel with multicultural and historical references!
There a just a few areas where this app is lacking that, if remedied, could take it from a enrichment activity to a full-feature project activity. First, if there was a way to print the final design on paper through a printer it would allow students to have something tangible to show for their work without going through the costly ordering process. Secondly, I would like to be able to assign my own challenges to my students rather than just having them go along with the game-created designs. I suppose one other thing that could cause issues is that, in order to use all of the wonderful designs that I mentioned above, you have to play the game to unlock them using coins earned by selling your pottery in the game. The problem here is that, if you wanted to use the Chinese designs you would have to earn enough coins by playing the game. For this reason, it is impractical to buy the app and immediately expect to use it for Egyptian pottery etc. All things considered, I still think that this is a very worthwhile app to use in the art room as it gives students some experience creating virtual pottery and allows them to gain familiarity with varying styles from around the world and through time.
How I Use It
Let's Create Pottery Lite allows students to experiment with wheel throwing pottery without the mess and relevant equipment. This makes the activity very accessible for elementary school students, but perhaps a bit simplistic or too easy for high school students. In the app, you are able to shape your pottery on the wheel, add handles, lids, and decorations. If you play it as a game, you will get challenges that ask you to create pottery to fill orders. This adds a playful game element to the creation and forces the students to try new things and attempt to match the form of the ordered pottery with theirs on the wheel. While the Lite version of this app is useful to basics, the full version is much more valuable. It has many more options for the designs and decorations that can be added to the external surface of the pottery including African, Aztec, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Japanese, American, and Neaderthal. This, in my opinion, make the app much more valuable due to the connections that can be made to multicultural art and art history. I am primarily using this app as an enrichment activity for my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade art students. Because you are able to create pottery within a few minutes, it works well as a filler activity that can be used for students who finish artwork early. I believe that it will also be very effective for special needs students as well. While you can make very intricately designed and decorated pieces of pottery, it is also possible to simplify the design. There are no real barriers to success. Even my own preschool aged kids are able to create and decorate pottery using the app. There is the option to post your creation to an online database as well as order your pottery. Ordering pottery is quite expensive, but it is a unique opportunity for students to have their design produced by a 3-D printer with all of the included designs and decorations printed on the pottery. Due to the cost, it would be unreasonable to print everyone's designs, but perhaps just a few of the best as a reward. Alternatively, parents could choose to print their child's work from the online database.