Since Artsonia started allowing students to photograph upload their own artwork this year, I wanted to make sure that the quality of the photographs wasn’t sacrificed. The number one mistake kids make (especially the younger ones) is to photograph their artwork at an angle instead of squared away for accurate cropping.
This iPad photo stand was created by my awesome custodian using repurposed materials. The only thing that he bought was the plexiglass.
As it turns out, Artsonia is also working on a way help kids take good photographs of their artwork. Tiffany from Artsonia sent me some pictures of the iPad photo stand they created using only a cardboard box and two under cabinet lights.
Here are the details so you can make your own for about $20!
- Find a strong cardboard box. (The box dimension in the photo is 18″x16″x12″).
- Three of the four flaps are extended as “legs” reinforced with duct tape in the corners and the 4th flap is taped up inside the box to allow room to slide artwork in/out.
- The two under-cabinet portable lights shown in the picture are made by Lights of America, Model 7108 (13″, 8 watts). I found them online for about $10 each.
Artsonia Classroom Mode (is awesome)
Getting kids to take their own photos and add artist statements has been fantastic experience this year. Not only do I get a ton of time back by the kids photographing and uploading their own artwork, but they also learn some basic photography skills. Since artwork is uploaded immediately, the students can also write their artist statement at the same time instead of waiting until the following class for their artwork to be published. The video below shows a student going through basic upload process.
Important QR scanning tip – use a QR reader that will redirect you to Safari automatically. Staying within the QR reader can cause issues with upload. I prefer the QR reader NeoReader that allows you to go automatically to Safari in the settings.
But, I only have access to one iPad
If you’re in a one iPad classroom (or using your own), have the students take the picture and skip the editing and artist statement. The key to saving huge time is to get the artwork photographed and assigned to the right student. Once the photo is submitted by the student, as the teacher you can access the submitted work to crop the image after class. And if you have access to computers, the students can photograph with the iPad and then go to a computer to finish the artist statement using the class code provided.
Do you use Artsonia Classroom Mode? What are your tips?
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.
If you’re an art educator, chances are that you have heard of or even have been using Artsonia as a place to “digitally hang” student artwork. When I started using Artsonia six years ago, I knew it would be good for my students; what I didn’t know at the time was how it would become an amazing art advocacy tool.
Artsonia has become better than any student art show I could host; it reaches more family and friends, regardless of geographic distance or busy schedule, communicates art concepts in project descriptions, reinforces student technology use, and generates funds for your program. It does all that . . . without all the staples and tape.
The benefits breakdown:
Ok, sounds good but. . .
. . . well here are some of the nuts and bolts to help you get you started.
Can’t see video above? Click here.
Permission slips. Depending on your school policy, you may be required to get permission slips for participating artists. Make your own or download and customize one of these templates: Casual or Formal (Microsoft Word format). Be sure to include a space for parent email addresses on your permission slip. Increasing participation from family and friends is the key to success in Artsonia. It is worth the extra time to enter emails – parents get an email each time artwork is published or comments are posted, continually keeping them in touch with the learning going on in your classroom.
Volunteers. I started using volunteers to help me last year (I don’t know why I waited so long). I keep a bin to hold artwork ready to photograph along with a binder holding class lists, and a camera (with extra batteries). When artwork is ready, I send out an email to my volunteer list. The first volunteer to “Reply All” agrees to photograph and digitally crop the artwork. The only step left is uploading – something I still prefer to do myself, but certainly doable for a volunteer. In the fall I do a training session and provide this Photography Tip Sheet and Guidelines for volunteers to reference.
Start slow and set a goal. My first year participating in Artsonia I promised to put up one piece of art for each student. I ended up adding more, but I felt like I didn’t raise any expectations too high for the students or myself.
Do you use Artsonia? Please add your school page and any tips in the comments area below.