What's a Wiki?

So many of my students have been using Wiki sites for their research and bibliographies, that I thought it was time to say, “STOP IT!”
Seriously! A Wiki site is not a reliable source for valid information. All Wiki sites are created and edited by ANYONE. That’s right! ANYONE. Any person that has a computer and the internet can put information onto a wiki site. Wikipedia is an example of a wiki site in which many people can edit, collaborate, add and delete information. There are no actual “authors” of the content. For this reason wikis are not used in schools as a reliable resource for information. Oak Meadow, like most schools, does not accept their use.
However, it may be fun to participate in the process of a wiki. It is an evolving creation by many! Here is a link to get you started:

How do I describe a painting?

“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”
~ Edward Hopper

I love this quote by Edward Hopper. It reminds me that paintings are images that are expressed, just as a poem or composition has images expressed in words. It is often so hard to describe a work of art, especially these days when everything is made so visual. When my granddaughter was born everyone asked for a photograph right away. It was as though my descriptive words were not enough for them. They wanted more of a picture. I began to really look at her and tried to describe in detail what she looked like rather than send a photograph. It was really hard to do! Before we had photography, painters had the joy of painting what they saw, felt, or experienced in their world.
In some assignments you will be asked to describe a painting or write how it makes you feel. Sometimes I get responses like, “The color is dull,” or “I feel dizzy when I look at it.” These comments crack me up! If you haven’t been exposed to how to really look at a painting or work of art, it can be difficult to find the words. It always helps to know the history of the artist and the environment in which the artist painted. I love watching Sister Wendy describe and interpret paintings. The videos are very long, but well worth the viewing. She’s funny and so interested in the paintings! Her historical summary of when, where, and how the paintings were accomplished is outstanding. Enjoy! I’ve included a sample here: Sister Wendy

Videos in your essays

ThePianoGuys.”The Cello Song – (Bach is back with 7 more cellos.)” YouTube. YouTube, 14 June 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
Recently a student found it interesting to support his ideas about the music of the Renaissance by submitting some examples of its use in YouTube videos. I thought it was a great idea! It can be very useful to include a YouTube video, in an answer to an assignment, to support a thought or idea you have.
Go ahead and give it a try! It is important to make sure that you use the proper name of the video and that you cite where it came from. Based on MLA standards for other media formats, Oak Meadow asks that you use the following format. Here is the most acceptable form for citing YouTube videos:
Author’s Name or Poster’s Username. “Title of Video.” Name of Website. Name of Website Publisher, date of posting. Medium. Date retrieved.

Here is an example of what that looks like:

Gravicembalo. “Italian Renaissance Music for Viola da Gamba Consort, La Gamba.” YouTube. YouTube, 2 June. 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Make sure you include all the quotation marks, commas, italics, and periods in the proper places.