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Friday, July 30, 2021

Spotlight on Gallery Artist – Darlene Oshiro, Theta, Hawaii

We are pleased to share a little bit about one of our artists, Darlene Oshiro from Hawaii, and her interesting submission of “Tribal Spirit”.

Tell us a little about yourself as an educator, a photographer, and 2D artist.

I started teaching art in 1974 on the island of Lanai.  I was the first certified art teacher on the island. Most of the Hawaii schools I taught at had limited funds for the arts. I had to be very resourceful and creative. My art supplier was the environment and nature. This was the beginning of mixed and multi-media creativity projects. After 20 years of teaching at the middle school level, I realized my art program was not evolving or growing like some of the other schools in the state and the nation. By observing various art exhibitions and contests for students, I learned about expectations, skill levels, art media, technology, materials, composition, creativity, and imagination. This made teaching exciting, a refreshing rebirth of exploration and creativity.  Each student had their strengths, so we focused on developing them. I discovered applying strengths and creativity worked well with mixed media. It was also within our limited budget. Then, my art students started to win art awards for the state and qualified for national competitions. Students moving on to high school continued to be recognized for state and national awards. In 2015, I peacefully retired and moved on to another chapter in my life called "retirement".

Tell how your work, “Tribal Sprit”, became a reality.

My composition, called "Tribal Spirit", evolved from my love of colors, drawing, and photography. Working on my strengths and passion makes it easy to start creating, exploring, and playing with many possibilities. The tribal face was created about 10 years ago as a class demonstration sample of blending and overlapping color pencils. I always enjoyed capturing nature, animals, and people on my camera.  When the pandemic started there was a special photography course for the iPhone, and from it I've learned to use various apps: "Retouch", "Brushstroke"," Superimpose", "Reflect" and many more. The Hawaiian culture believes all things have a spirit soul or mana. The banyan tree is one of my favorite trees. Its roots and branches are so massive and strong. I saw the pencil sketch blending and melting into the banyan tree and becoming one. One soul, one spirit.


Do you have any tips on how you did this mixed media artwork?

I used my iPhone to take a photo of my tribal face.  Next, I used "Brushstroke" to manipulate and morph it.  Also, I changed the color values of the original sketch so it would blend with the photo of the banyan tree.  Next, I used "Superimpose" to place the tribal face over the tree and blended it in.  Now the tree and face are one spirit. To make it more interesting, I used "Reflect" to have a reflection of the image in water.  

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Since I have started this photography course, I've created over 100 different compositions.  Art stimulates the mind, creativity, and the imagination.  Endless possibilities...I will never get bored.




 

The Arts & Humanities Jury looks forward to you returning often to view exciting new content and to share in the joy of creativity.   

We invite you to view the Art Gallery, click here. 

Keep the conversation going, please use the comment section below to suggest new topics, ask questions, or give us your input.  

 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Better Safe than Sorry!

When publishing texts and pictures on any platform it is better to be safe than sorry. Copyright, fair use, and public domain will be topics for upcoming C&M blogs. Watch for and participate in the blogs. Goal: promote the knowledge of all members in this critical area. Let’s start with copyright. 

Copyright 

  • Check your national copyright laws before doing anything. 
  • Look for the signs or CC markings. 
  • PHOTOS 
    • Is it your own photo? Good! 
    • Has it been taken in a public place? Ok!  
    • In a private meeting e.g. a chapter meeting? Do you have the permission of all the persons in the picture?  
    • Do you wish to use free photos? Okay!  But when using online sources, read the fine print. 
    • Credit to the photographer and reference the source.  
    • ALWAYS check the source of your photos and the copyrights! 
  • MUSIC: Probably best to play directly from a link – not attached to your presentation or your publication if you have not asked for artist(s) permission. Always credit the artist(s) even if permission has been obtained. 
  • TEXTS: This is complicated. Check the copyright and always mention the author, writer, poet, etc.  

Have you experienced a copyright situation that you believe others need to hear about? If so, give us the highlights. 


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Bang #11 WORLD FELLOWSHIP


How often have you contributed to the World Fellowship Fund and wondered who would benefit from your donation? It is likely that many DKG members have asked the same question about the way World Fellowship funds are distributed, and this blog post should highlight the details of this important program.

The theme of the World Fellowship Fund sounds like a very lofty goal, but there is truth in every word. “Impacting Education Worldwide” is exactly what the program provides in opportunities for women from all over the globe to further their educations.

In 1972, the World Fellowship Committee became a standing committee of the Society but has been in existence since 1960. Contributions and bequests to this fund determine the number of awards given each year. Your donations are critical to the ongoing work of World Fellowship.

All recipients are non-member women educators who reside in countries other than the United States or Canada. Delta Kappa Gamma receives applications from the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the United States. IIE screens the applicants and then helps students with enrollment, visas, insurance, and travel. Students wishing to attend Canadian universities submit their requests to members of the World Fellowship committees in Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Evaluation and ranking are completed by the International World Fellowship Committee.

Contributing to World Fellowship can be considered your own personal mission work as you reach out beyond your local sphere of influence. After logging on to the Society website, you can click “Resources” on the black banner and then choose “Brochures and Flyers.” You will find a blue tab that allows you to view the current World Fellowship recipients. Names, addresses, birthdates, and fields of study are available. Seeing the names of individuals who are currently reaping the benefits of funds donated to this cause will certainly change your perspective about giving money to World Fellowship.

Members of DKG have touched the lives of many students during their varied careers. With World Fellowship, there is a new opportunity to support women who have traveled many miles to fulfill their dreams of education in America and Canada. In addition to your monetary contributions, please consider choosing at least one current World Fellowship recipient to contact with words of encouragement. “Impacting Education Worldwide” will then become a true mantra for each of us.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Building Leaders in DKG

Willing, capable leadership is necessary on all levels of the Society: chapter, state organization, and international. It’s important to build leadership from the ground up and to support the development of future leaders. Here are some ideas for doing that.

  • Identify future leaders early.
  • Personally reach out to chapter members to encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. Don’t give up on members too easily. Support and mentor!
  • Challenge members to go beyond the chapter level and to attend conventions and/or conferences on the state organization and international level.
  • Encourage chapter members to apply for scholarships and grants, for Leadership Management Seminars (on the state organization and international level), for state committees, for state officer positions, etc. Spotlight those who are successful in those endeavors.
  • Forward articles in newsletters from the state organization and international to chapter members to keep them aware of opportunities for personal and professional growth in DKG.
  • Provide opportunities for leadership development. Involve all chapter members, even if it seems minor (hostess, inspiration, program presenter, project chair, etc.)
  • Stress the importance of members’ responsibility to the chapter. (In other words: We need you!)
  • Encourage chapter officers to be very visible in their leadership roles.
  • Remember that your passion is contagious so inspire others with your passion.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Spotlight on Gallery Artist – Priscilla Humay, Nu Alpha, Texas

Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Balancing life and learning with my four distinctly different and amazing children wove a surprising path for me.  I completed my formal education with post-graduate study at Charles University in Prague.  

Learning didn’t stop there. My education continues as each day provides me with the joyous opportunity to teach, learn, and discover.  

What is your preferred medium and why?   

My passion is drawing, painting, and mixed media. I love to experiment with colored pencil, graphite, and acrylic paint on 100% cotton paper, canvas and wood. My cameras are always on the alert to photograph a special moment that could have passed unnoticed.  

What plays an important part in your artistic process?   

At different seasons, I was twice awarded the Artist-in-Residence at Big Cypress National Preserve. Each month-long residency offered me solitary time to explore its natural beauty in reality. This experience inspired my artworks created and formulated there. 


 

 

“Cypress Strand” was created during this time and is now in a part of  the USA National Parks Collection through the US Department of the Interior.  

What is the best piece of artistic advice you’ve been given?  

The best advice that I ever welcomed was to create from what I know, see, and feel……. then to work in a correlated series of visual expression.  

What does the value of Art in Education mean to you? 

The History of Art through human endeavor and the knowledge of the basic Principles of Art can provide us with a vast understanding of our beautiful world.  

Is there one more thing you’d like us to know? 

Every human has the choice to open their realm for learning, creating, and teaching what they know. 

When photographing both “Shadow Play” and “Sisters”, I sought to compositionally capture a slice of emotion in time. 

“Shadow Play” A hot day in this little girl’s Arizona backyard. When she put her feet into water to make footprints that were drying as quickly as she made them. 

Sistersattend an outdoor performance. The early desert evening becomes chilly. The sisters cuddle closer for love and warmth. 

 


 

The Arts & Humanities Jury thanks our Texas sister, Priscilla Humay, for sharing her artistic insights with our international sisterhood.  Remember, there is talent within all of us; just finding its pathway is the key to unlocking yours!

The Arts & Humanities Jury looks forward to you returning often to view exciting new content and to share in the joy of creativity.   

Keep the conversation going, please use the comment section below to suggest new topics, ask questions, or give us your input. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

DKGIEF: Foundation Outtakes #4 – July/August 2021


Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and even volcanic eruptions are just a few of the natural disasters that may face DKG members throughout the seventeen countries that make up our Society. When DKG members, no matter their location, are confronted with destruction brought on by a force of nature, they know that help in the form of a 500 USD check to assist in moving forward is available. It’s a unique practice and a benefit of membership that has been in effect since 1948! 

Where do you begin when a natural disaster occurs? That is a question that at least 124 DKG members have asked during the last year and to which they have received an answer from our Society. A simple notification from their state organization president to the executive director in Austin netted 500 USD for each qualified request. While this sum will not address the full expenses tied to a natural disaster, it begins the process of rebuilding. More importantly it comes with a message of HOPE and CARE. DKG members regularly contribute to the Society’s Emergency Fund knowing that it will make a difference in the lives of members when they most need it. It may even, in turn, make a difference in their own lives in a similar situation. We never know when a force of nature may wrack havoc any more than we know to whom that disaster may hit. 

Over the last year and a half most DKG members have not been meeting as often in face-to-face gatherings at any of the three levels of the Society – chapter, state organization, international. That means that there have been fewer opportunities to collect for the Emergency Fund. Even though collections will be taken at each international conference this summer, the numbers attending those events will not be as great as in the past. It is imperative that we make the effort to donate to this fund to keep this unique and meaningful activity available for our members when needed.  

While natural disasters can occur at any time, it is the summer months when property-destroying storms most often occur. Don’t let the 2021 storm season be the one when DKG falls short in helping members facing the aftermath of a natural disaster. Give to the Emergency Fund today and make a difference tomorrow! 


Friday, July 2, 2021

Award Concepts – Our Society Jeweler

Have you had a chance to order from Award Concepts?

An online shopping store found on the DKG website, Award Concepts has been in business since 1985 and is a leading designer of successful employee and organization engagement programs and products.

If you have been to an international convention, you probably have seen the Award Concepts booth. They design our convention pins and so much more for our organization. They have been a long-time partner of DKG.

When you log in as a member to the DKG website—www.dkg.org—choose DKG store > shop now. Award Concepts is listed on that page. Take a minute and look at all the branded products that have been designed for Delta Kappa Gamma. Check out the new bangle bracelets, too. Ordering is easy via the order form provided on the website.

Intrigued? Click here to go to the site quickly: Awards Concepts

After looking over the items, if you have suggestions for new products that you would like to see in the online store or have questions about Award Concepts, respond to this blog. You can also talk to the representatives at convention and offer your suggestions.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Spotlight on Gallery Artist – Michele Contala, Lambda, New Jersey

An Open Artists’ Discussion on Creation, Technique & Opportunity

1. Briefly, tell me a little bit about yourself as an educator and as a photographer?

I am a retired sixth grade classroom teacher in the middle school. When our sixth grade was transferred from the elementary to the middle school, we began an after-school club originally titled The Videographer’s Club and later renamed the Technology Club. The pandemic did not slow us down this year. With access to Zoom and breakout rooms we completed our thirty-first year!

In the elementary school we borrowed a VHS camera (even an extension cord on our shoestring budgets) and filmed in real time Great Lives of Great People, Time Travelers to Ancient Rome and Greece, and Just Say No to Drugs. When we moved to the middle school, we were able to edit on a VHS system and continued with curriculum inspired projects through a grant from Eco-Lab. With a grant from Tech 2000 our new creative life began with an eMac.  We added an iMac with a gift from the George Link Charitable Trust.

The focus of our club has been an orientation film for fifth graders and recently the township has added a district wide film festival.  Bringing my love of photography to the students has enhanced our learning experience and created a bond. Students researched, wrote scripts, filmed, and edited their work. We work primarily on iMacs and iPads but all others are encouraged.

 
In 2016, I applied for a grant for a community project through DKGNJ. We were able to preserve the legacy of our men and women who had served our country by filming their experiences as part of the Veteran’s Day Program.  The DKGNJ grant enabled us to purchase two iPads and accessories. We continue each year and add to our archives. Thank you, DKG!  The iPads allow us to continue to explore the art of film making with our Tech Club students.

2. As a photographer, where do you find your inspiration?  Do you search for a particular subject or seem to just have the camera ready?

I find inspiration in the beauty of the seasons, the innocents of a child, the wisdom of our elders, the smiles of loved ones, and in whimsical moments…. truly the world around us.  If I am out and about I usually have my camera and always my phone.

3. When you start framing your subject, is there a process that goes through your mind? As an example, your photograph in the Spring gallery called ‘Mac and Cheese’ is of two super cute donkeys.  How did you get them to hold still and how many photographs did you shoot before you settled on one?
 
‘Mac and Cheese’ are two rescue donkeys that are part of a retired teacher’s dream filled with many rescues and much love. We were visiting the ‘farm’.  Mac and Cheese were in the barn waiting for a treat and a nose rub. They were contained within the frame of the barn door.  I shot about a dozen and did a short video.

4. Your other entry, Saco River Bridge, shows a very different subject. Is there a story behind this one?

We were enjoying New Hampshire’s leaf peeking for the week. With NH known for its covered bridges we were on a mission.  The Saco River Bridge is operational, so off we went exploring, parked the car, and with an easy walk we were at the river’s edge.  It was a magnificent, clear day…. the beauty of the season.


5. Do you have any tips for others looking to take still photos?

Clarity and composition are the two fundamentals of photography that I strive for. Lighting is key. Capturing action requires to be aware of shutter speeds and aperture settings reflect the depth of field.  With today’s cameras and phones and built in editing capabilities, great photos are a click away.  I do read my manuals and search for tutorials on You Tube.  I’m just learning about a newly purchased camera, a computer in itself.
Enjoy the moments…click joyfully.  If we are lucky, we have captured a magical moment in time.

6. Have you entered your work in other competitions?

Personally, I entered a dachshund on the bow of a boat wearing a life jacket for AAA’s Pet Calendar.  Rosie’s parents loved it. AAA not as much.

As a teacher I was involved in a two-year Home of the Free Photojournalism project sponsored by Canon, the New York Historical Society, Washington Mutual Bank, and Pulitzer Prize photographer, David Hume Kennerly.  The project centered around our civil servants, and we were on locations throughout the township.  A worker feeding a pig in the park with a sign that clearly stated, Do Not Feed the Animals, captured the judge’s attention year one. Three police officers talking to a group of kindergarteners was selected the second year and hung in the Corcoran Gallery of Art with 19 other photographs from the tristate area.
It was an opportunity that I embraced with my students and their parents. As the students researched civil servants, subjects were photographed, selections were made, and I documented their journey. Each student received a bound photo book that captured the many facets of the project, from the moment we began to the thrill of seeing our photo hung in the museum in Washington, D.C. It was an exciting, magical, and unforgettable experience.

 Michele Contala


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Teacher appreciation in the example of Estonia, Netherland, Iceland, Finland and Sweden

 Part 2

Schools are so much more than just schools. Teachers serve many roles, especially during the recent pandemic times. Teachers are mentors, psychologists, crisis teams, coaches etc. Teachers inspire, motivate and guide students through their school time. We all know how under paid teachers and other educators are all over the world, but fortunately there are also other ways to show appreciation to the outstanding educators. In this two-part series of articles we are introducing how educators are recognized in Estonia, Netherlands, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. In the first article we introduced the examples of Estonia and Netherlands. In this article we will focus on Finland, Iceland and Sweden.  

Example of Finland - Eija Liisa Sokka-Meaney

Several societies award a prize for teachers every year like the Finnish Foundation for Teachnology Promotion (Universities), The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters give a teacher prize and some others. Many Universities give a good teacher prize usually every year to some teacher in that university, e.g. at the University of Eastern Finland or the Young Teacher of the year prize, University of Oulu.

Many subject societies give an annual prize to a teacher in their subject such as physics teachers, textile teachers, the Textile Teacher of the Year, the Technical teacher of the year, the teacher of mathematical subjects, technology teachers, biology and geography teachers society and often these teachers work at schools for example Globaalikasvatuksen opettajapalkinto the Teacher prize of Global education given by Plan International.

International Teachers’ Day is celebrated on the 5th of October and it is noted in many schools, news and also the The Trade Union of Education in Finland, OAJ (https://www.oaj.fi/en/). The Trade Union of Education in Finland has chosen recently the prize winner - i.e. the Finnish education influencer - and it is the Finnish teacher. This is due to the work teachers have done in the pandemic situation. 

Finland also has a very good example how to use social media for recognising educators. Kiitos koulu – Thank you school campaign launched by Studeo, teaching materials publisher, in January (https://www.kiitoskoulu.fi/kiitosseina/). Studeo started a link “Thank your teacher – Kiitä opea” just by pressing a button on an app and writing your note on a wall. It has been tremendously popular, there are already over thousand thanking notes on the wall. 

Example of Iceland - Ingileif, Ingibjörg

The Icelandic Education Award.

Last year the Office of the President of Iceland with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry of Transport and Local Government, Universities, Unions, other education authorities and interest groups established The Icelandic Education Award. The agreement between parties is for five years. The goal is to draw attention to ambitious and excellent school and leisure activities and encourage reform in education for children and young people. The award applies to pre-schools, elementary schools, upper secondary schools, art schools and leisure and youth activities. The award is granted in three categories: Excellent work at schools or education reform, Excellent teacher, and Excellent development project.

In addition a Motivation Award is handed out to an individual, group or society that has initiated education reform or shown excellence in their work. Nominations, 3-5 in each category, are announced each year on the 5th of October, the International Day of Teachers. On the 13th of November 2020 the Awards were handed out to the winners for the first time:

1. Dalskoli (dalskoli.is), a Primary school in Reykjavik, was awarded the prize for excellent work in their school or school reform for the development of interdisciplinary creative teaching methods in so called work-shops and job development projects where teachers research their own work (Forsíða - Dalskóli (dalskoli.is)). 

2. Birte Harksen, a teacher at the Health pre-school in Urdarholl, Kopavogur, was awarded the prize as an excellent teacher for outstanding teaching and an initiative to strengthen creative and play-centered activities in pre-schools by creating the web-sites: Children and Music (Forsíða (bornogtonlist.net)), A play with books (Forsíða (leikuradbokum.net)) and The magic of letters (Stafagaldur - Forsíða).

3. Workshops in Langholtsskoli, Reykjavik, were  awarded the prize for Excellent development project for increasing interdisciplinary activities with emphasis on creativity, key-competences and the use of information technology in the studies (Þróunarverkefni - útikennsla - Langholtsskóli (langholtsskoli.is)).

The Motivation Prize was handed out to Ingvi Hrannar Omarsson, teacher and entrepreneur and the group UTIS that is a learning society of pioneers in teaching methods. The prize is for outstanding support to job-development of Icelandic teachers by sharing progressive ideas about creative schools, innovations and information technology where the student is in the center. Ingvi Hrannar Omarsson was a key-note speaker at the DKG International Conference in Reykjavik 2019 and was very well received by the participants that thought highly of his contribution. Shortly after the conference he started studies in Design and Technology at Stanford, USA (http://ingvihrannar.com/).

 Example of Sweden - The teacher gala  Marianne Skardéus

November 2020 was the fifth year in a row that students from all Sweden nominated their favorite teachers from five different categories of educators; then the teachers were appointed by a jury. Normally there is a big gala evening but as the COVID-19 stopped this; The program presenter, Mark Levengood, took a grand tour around the country to give praise to our skillful teachers in their local schools.

Quote:

“My teacher has changed me to the better and that is why I started the Teachers´ Gala in order to have the spotlight on the teachers of our country”, says Beata Kull, the founder of The teacher gala.

Through the gala we recognize the important work made by the teachers of our country and can at the same time highlight all the good school results, and this is done through the participation of the students.

The purpose of the Foundation Lärargalan is to strengthen the teachers´ corps and is also of great importance as it provides in-service training, networking, contacts with students and with working life.

Our Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel are supporting the Gala through their Foundation with the purpose to counteract exclusion and support good health for children and young people in Sweden.

Quote:

"The teacher gala is an excellent initiative" – Nobel prize laureate: Tomas Lindahl

Quote:

”The most essential for children of today and thus also for the future of the world are two things : what values they get from their parents and that they have good teachers at school,” said Martin Lorentzonm founder of Spotify, supporting the teacher gala.

“The best we can do for the future of Sweden is to support our teachers,” said Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype and a supporter of the teacher gala.

” Being a teacher is about leadership.  Having the ability to make every single individual to believe in him/herself, to make decisions and to develop individually and in a group. A good teacher is a person that is involved, spreads knowledge, is clear and shows respect,” said Carolina Klüft, former Atletico with Olympic medals.

 

Carolina Klüft

These qualities are also those who are mentioned in the nominations from the students. Often being mentioned is the encouragement the students get and the feeling that the teacher also is a mentor and a friend to whom they can turn with all kinds of problems.

It is a great pleasure to share such stories where educators are valued and highlighted for their immense work and role in the society and these are only few. I invite you to also share your stories about how educators are recognized and appreciated in your institutions, home towns or countries.

 

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