Artsonia Artist Statements Solved

I love the new artist statement feature on Artsonia. There is just one problem . . . participation.  Since its rollout earlier this year, I have had some students enter artist statements from home, but not enough.  Entering the artist statements myself is another option, yet, I just don’t have the time (or want to) type out all the hand-written reflections.  Then it hit me – why not use Google Forms and have the kids do the typing!  I describe how I use Google Forms for self-assessment in an earlier post, but to be more specific for artist statements, I have created a tutorial below.  Or, you can download the artist statement template I created for my students and edit to use as your own.

Can’t see video above? Click here.

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!


  • March 24, 2011


    Thank you so much for this. I thought I was the only one having these feelings!

  • March 24, 2011

    Melissa Giglio

    This is great! Any recommendations in general when it comes to keeping the parents actively involved? I work so hard on the photos on my artsonia page …but feel that a small percentage overall actually uses it. :/ I send the ‘activity sheets’ home..and newsletters…but any other creative ideas? or better ways to get their attention about it?

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    March 24, 2011

    Theresa McGee

    It has taken years to get a full parent involvement, but I feel like I am in a really good place now. Keep sending the activity reports home, I think they really help. However, I think the key is getting the parents registered. My permission forms now include a spot for the email and a plea for one that they check regularly. I enter this myself – the parents just don’t do it even with the reminders on the activity sheets. I got the idea from Susan Bivona to include my permission form with Kindergarten registration. Granted, there will be several students added, and some dropped, but I have the forms returned to me immediately (no tracking them down).
    I love the newsletters, but not everyone is registered so I put the URL link to the newsletter on my website.
    Now, truth be told, some of it depends on your community. If you have a community with little access to the internet, then the involvement level is predictable. If your community does have access, just keep at them. It is one of those things that I think spreads as parents “talk”.
    You might like the presentation that Tricia Fuglestad and Susan Bivona gave at the NAEA converence. Check it out here. Tricia also does some really cool raffles to get the students (and parents) motivated.

  • March 24, 2011

    Susan Macumber

    Love the idea of the google form. I will have to set one up for my students. Currently, I have an ipod touch that I give to kids to type up their statements. They LOVE using it and they form will make it REALLY easy for me!
    thanks again,

  • March 24, 2011

    E Jackson

    This looks awesome! I just went through this and your earlier linked post that describes how to set it up in gdocs. Talk about data-driven (if you’re at a school like mine, that’s all we talk about)!

    I’m a little confused about the “reset form” part of the process. It sounds like if you’re students don’t click reset form then the next student won’t have a blank form? We have a fleet of student laptops at my school, and this would be great for an in-class critique session, but i’m not sure it would work if they that to fill them out one at a time. Can you elaborate a little on that reset form part that you mentioned??

    I’m completely jealous of how well you incorporate technology into your art room!

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    March 24, 2011

    Theresa McGee

    If you have a bunch of computers, your students can all fill out/submit at the same time. The reset part is only used when there are just a few computers to use. There is a “Go back to form” button that does the same thing at the end of the submitted form, but it is not something kids look for. So, I add in the url address in the edit confirmation area so that kids will just reset it for the next kid. It is certainly not necessary, but it makes it much easier for keeping things flowing without any help from me.
    Thanks for the kind words – I do love technology, but only when it complements other art practices.

  • July 19, 2011


    Thanks ! I really like the way you can set that up!! I taught at a small school where a good portion of the students did not have computer access at home and the school hads 5-6 computers in each room but the wireless Internet was weak in the furthest classrooms. I had 3rd-5th graders create hand written statements and then when we had extra time they went on the computers themselves to enter them. I was also on a cart and in their room with the computers already. They also enjoyed viewing the work of other grades online and commenting on each other’s work. I have kindergarteners come to the front of the class and share about and name their finished projects. I write it in the back of 2D work. Later I had 5th graders who already had experience with Artsonia, come and work one on one with them to get the titles and ‘stories’ about the art on Artsonia. 1st and 2nd grade I had try simple written statements and I entered them later. Once or twice I had time for them to come type one on one-

    Artsonia was alot of work, but definitely worth it-parents appreciated it and it was great when the time came for grading and i could look back at the student’s work!

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