CyberARTS dmms

Innovation in education. Arts and technology. Critical thinking and world changing vision.

Monday, November 26, 2007

CyberARTS DMMS launches new site

We've updated our school website and added a link to a new gallery site.
Hope you like it.

Don Mills Middle School CyberARTS Page

Don Mills Middle School CyberARTS NEW INFO SITE

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Arts Matter Banners May 2004 - Metro Hall Exhibit

An example of how teaching English and Art compliment each other. This poem was created to inspire a banner artwork. The three banners from our class was exhibited at Metro Hall, Toronto and highlighted on the Visual Arts web page of the Toronto District School Board.

– An Urban Girl Poem

Wind, sweeping down the streets,
Sky high buildings enclose,
Stop signs, streetlights and wheels,
No one seems to notice,
No one seems to care.

Environment is a virtual world,
Media staring, watching every move,
Influenced by technology, pressured…
There’s no escape,
No love, no emotions, no faith.

Time's running out,
Trapped in the "perfect image",
Trying to survive,
Holding on to ourselves,
Showing backbone to fight the inconclusive.

- Letitia, Elise, Humayra, Becky, Arthur, Jordan, Stacey

SHOES are a technology that are virtually indispensable in our climate. Around the world, the materials from which they are made and how shoes serve their makers are linked to the CULTURE, the PURPOSE and the ARTISTRY of their time.

The TEENAGER of 2005 is as complex as ever. They have a developing sense of themselves and the big ISSUES for them are how they fit into their CULTURE, how they come to understand their PURPOSE and how they make sense of and express themselves with the ARTISTRY of their times.

The Grade Eight CyberARTS version of CREATIVE SOLES

iSHOES (pronounced ISSUES)

was a layering of three things:


The phrase iSHOES was one I would use to remind them to go beyond the purely aesthetic, beyond the pretty, the painted, the decorative. It was a call to action – iSSUES – personal, or global, as long as there was deeper thought, planning, reflection and expression.

A view of the ARTWORK shows the issues range from interpretations of storybook poverty, like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, to portrayals of the Great Tsunami of 2004 and environmental commentary of oil slick afflicted shore birds. Themes such as escapism, like in Alice and Wonderland, ethics, as in the wounded animal target, and being “captive”ated by the media, as in the arm handcuffed to an iPOD, are metaphors for what these teens are going through at this stage in their lives.

Today’s thirteen and fourteen year olds are on the edge of innocence in a very visually, politically, ethically and morally complex world. These artworks testify a truth that is rarely seen with such lovely honesty – just think about the teddy bear slipper with the leopard skin high heel. It is an object not of a child, nor of an adult – it is pure adolescence; a pure expression of childhood culture in conflict with maturity, with a confused purpose and artistry that quotes rather than invents. Even the artworks that are unique and creative present us with a na├»ve passion hidden among the delicate details.

We are lucky to be reminded of these stages of life and how important it is for our children to pass through them. I am very proud of all of my students and the strength of their artistic expressions of iSHOES (ISSUES).

- Sebastian Hergott, CyberARTS Coordinator, Don Mills Middle School

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Project Based Inquiry

Every year, we challenge ourselves with a project or two that require inquiring about and learning something new about the world (that includes me, the teacher).
We combine learning a new technology, applying collaborative problem solving and authoring, with innovative ideas that usually try to involve personal or world issues:
  • LEGO Robotics - 1st place in Robot Design and 2nd place overall in the Ontario FIRST LEGO League Tournament of 2006-2007, Nanoquest
  • litho printmaking on an etching press - Ex Libris Family History multimedia etchings
  • Opensource object oriented authoring software like Squeak - Tutorials for others
  • Opensource 3D design software like Blender - Cities Project
  • art installations for public gallery spaces:
    • iShoes for the Bata Shoe Museum
    • Headlines sculptures for the Art Gallery of Ontario
    • The Education Economy for the Massive Change Student exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Flash animation
  • stop motion Claymation and 2d paper animation
  • video editing and song writing
    • Teen Issues video
    • Music videos
    • Flash animated poems with a soundtrack about the theme of Blue
All these projects require sustained attention to detail, a focus on artistic and creative processes and an integration of curricular subject areas in terms of instruction and assessment.

CyberARTS promo video 2003

This video is a compilation of 2D and 3D traditional and digital artwork created by grade seven and eight CyberARTS students taught by Sebastian Hergott at Don Mills Middle School, Toronto. This work represents the years 1997 to 2003. Further information about this specialized program can be found at

CyberARTS @ Don Mills Middle School

CyberARTS at Don Mills Middle School began in the 1996/7 school year in Toronto. Two other schools, Don Mills Collegiate Institute and Northview Heights Secondary School also began their high school level CyberARTS programs at the same time.

Over the years, CyberARTS has produced extremely successful graduates in all industries, especially design and engineering. The work these students create during their school career is often compared to much older and experienced designers and professionals. It is really that well planned, scripted, edited, designed and presented.