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Friday, July 16, 2010

Product Review: Art Rage 3



I have tested Art Rage 3 since May on my Interactive White Board and also at home with my children.
My son's painting in artrage when he played with it the first time. I love how the paints and brushstrokes mixed together.

On the Interactive White Board
At school, I loaded this up and left it on the board to see what would happen and the students LOVED it. They painted pictures and used the intuitive interface very easily. I tested it with my second grader and up.  When on the interactive whiteboard, the students preferred to use the board as a canvas, which brought all kinds of uses.

The seniors used it to sign their names and save it to put in their senior movie. Other students used it to draw graphics to put into movies.  It is a great add-on for interactive white boards, particularly for schools that do not have art or the money for supplies as so many tools and brush strokes are allowed.

Also, if your board is not a multitouch (most aren't) then you'll have to point out to students that all of them cannot come up and draw - it is very much a one person experience or at least a one at a time.

You can also open up images to trace and it has many other features.

That being said, one tip is that you need to teach students to save the file before opening a new one as the program only seems to let you have one program open at a time. They draw and then move on and sometimes forget to save the work of another. This can be handled easily with a little bit of training. I also think this would be a great tool for tablet computing devices as well as it has a bit of the same feel as the paint programs I've tested on my iTouch.

ArtRage with a Graphic Tablet

I"ve been using artrage with the Adesso CyberTablet Z7  which I actually found a lot of uses for besides the ArtRage software.  The drawing above was by my son using the graphics tablet.  I really liked the graphics tablet and the software. One tip is that if you use the tablet at school, you have to use the special pen which easily falls off (it is a pen after all.) A student didn't know what it was and took it to "Play with" and fortunately I was able to track it down.  In fact, this tablet COMES WITH Artrage and Photoshop Elements.

So, any graphics tablet, I would highly suggest attaching the pen to the device unless it will go missing.

Where I'd use this software:
  • If you have an interactive whiteboard and don't have money for art supplies - this is a great sponge activity for all ages. (It soaks up the time.) Pull it up on your board and let them take turns.
  • If you have some computers, the graphics tablets would be good - they come with artrage and photoshop elements,so again, a great sponge activity for not so much money.
  • Tablet PC's as a definite add on for those using it in an elementary or middle school environment. Great tool.
Overall, I highly recommend ArtRage and the graphics tablet as good solid, engaging tools that students just love. I enjoyed using it myself.

Disclosures: I was sent ArtRage and the tablet to test. Below are links on Amazon. Artrage 3 is out and is NOT available on Amazon, you'll need to use the links above for that. The Cybertablet Z7 that includes artrage also seems to be through educational channels and is not available through Amazon - follow the links in the article.

Related Products:  
 

Note: I do test a lot of software and hardware and my typical agreement is that I will test it and blog it if I recommend it. I believe that companies and products are people too and typically don't write about it unless it is useful for my readers and me. If you choose to send something for me to test, please email me up front to see if I have time and am interested and know that my integrity is first. I only recommend what I like! Email suggestion@coolcatteacher.com if you have a suggestion for something you wish I'd cover or review on Cool Cat Teacher!
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