Teaching Art in “The Cloud”

I’ve been using “The Cloud” for a few years to host my web bookmarks on Delicious and gather digital resources in Livebinder making them accessible from any location and any computer or mobile device.  More recently, I have adopted two other cloud computing tools to manage class schedules, supply orders, and lesson plans: Evernote and iCal.



My “must have” cloud application is Evernote.  I keep a running list of supplies needed, track students who need to complete artwork, and use images to organize and plan for future lessons.  The video below shows how I have used the Evernote desktop application to sort out and sync all the details of my teaching life.

iCal and Google Calendar

Since I have hundreds of students and lots of classes to track, keeping a planning calendar is essential to my sanity.   Instead of using one calendar, I create a separate calendar for each grade level as well as one for school events that can be viewed individually or all together.  Like Evernote, a “cloud” calendar travels wherever you are, viewable from any computer or mobile device.

Here is an example of my iCal calendar.

Another great option is Google Calendar.  Here is an example:

While I don’t exactly teach painting or ceramics in “The Cloud”, my schedules, lesson plans, and “to do” lists certainly do live online.  As a result, I am a more organized and thorough teacher ready to get my hands dirty with art supplies.

How do you use the cloud? What works best for you?

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!


  • February 26, 2012


    I love the way you have organized yourself! I appreciate seeing tips from another art teacher, looking at the way you use new resources and plan for time. Thank you!

  • […] teachers everywhere have figured this out. Check out this interesting blog about teaching art in the cloud. Most of us will automatically start thinking about how to use this […]

  • February 26, 2012


    I just started using Google calendar this year for my schedule and I LOVE IT!!! I recently downloaded Evernote on my iPad and am looking forward to using some of your suggestions! :)

  • February 26, 2012


    I have been using Evernote all year for everything… I love it.
    I use for my sub plans, my curriculum for the year by grade level, and I record my thoughts & take photos of great ideas when I’m out and about. I use it on my phone, iPad & laptop!

    I just set up my iCal for lesson plans… LOVE THE IDEA!
    Thanks :-)

  • March 20, 2012


    THANK YOU, thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your experiences on teaching with the help of technology. Finally I can show my fellow teachers that this is a good thing. I have been trying to convince them. Showing that also other teachers make it work is a strong argument.


  • June 24, 2013

    heather castle

    Thanks, I’ve been avoiding evernote for quite some time and due to your video intro I will be exploring and using it starting this summer. Thanks so much!

  • July 4, 2013


    The video on how you use the app Evernote I found very useful. I have had the app on my mobile devices but have only used it for order supply lists. I will be using the sharing feature and embedding videos and images into notes! So many times I have had an idea for a lesson plan at home or out running errands and forgot them. I also enjoyed your examples of Google Calendar. While I also have this app on my devices I am not using it for teaching. I love the idea of having your schedule and plans at hand. Also, as a fellow art teacher, I am a very visual person. This layout is so easy for me to read quickly. I have recently started using Dropbox to save my SmartNotebook documents. This way I can use work on them at home!

  • October 30, 2014

    Brenda Sosa

    I rely heavily on Google Calendar (to be honest any Google product) and can create separate calendars just like iCal and invite or grant certain people access to specific calendars. For example, my family calendar is separate from my summer art camps calendar. I can view both at the same time (each calendar has its own unique color) or I can view one calendar at a time. If I have events my husband needs to attend, I can invite him through Google Calendar. He can choose to accept the invitation and add it to his own Google Calendar or deny and it will automatically send me an email (I know, I know…what has this digital age come to when I must communicate with my husband through email. He works nights, I work days, totally opposite schedules and very little face time!). I have access to view his Google calendar, without editing rights, and can see if he is available on a certain day. I love using Google Calendar the best and it links directly to my phone (MotoX).

    Art Teacher 101

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