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.
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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.
I try to organize all the paperwork that lands on my desk, but somehow sculptural forms (OK . . . I’ll just admit it, piles of paper) take over. I’m not sure I am going to change the way my desk looks anytime soon, but I have found a great tool to get my electronic resources in order.
LiveBinders is a free service that helps you gather and organize your web links, documents, and videos into one tidy place. A LiveBinder is particularly useful when you want your students to access specific web-links for research or you’re teaching about a particular media, technique or artist and need to gather all your resources together. I created the following two LiveBinder links to use as extensions for early finishers and at home engagement:
The video below explains how easy it is to create your own LiveBinder :
(can’t view video? click here)
Create your own LiveBinder and share it with us in the comments area below!
Tool Name: TT-O2s by Elmo
Grade Level(s): All Ages
Category: Technology and Gadgets
Product Review: One of the most powerful pieces of equipment in my art room is the document camera. It has really changed how I present to the kids. Gone are the days of a class crowding around a large table so I can demonstrate a new technique. Now I never hear “I can’t see” and “He touched me!” I simply paint, draw or model clay under the camera and the real-time video is projected onto a large screen. Students pick up the techniques faster and with more success.
The Elmo automatically self adjusts to the changing light conditions in the room. The arm can be re-positioned to project a still-life from a side view as well as a birds-eye view. Compared to other document cameras I’ve used, the Elmo picks up more colors in artwork such as the often hard-to-see yellows. The camera can project a standard piece of 12″ x 18″ drawing paper. No more trimming paper to fit an image. It connects to my computer so I can record images from a lesson to use at a later time. And there are many more technical features that I won’t list but you can check them out for yourself at the Elmo website.
Now every seat in my classroom is a great seat which helps maintain classroom management and focuses student attention. Needless to say I love this product! I’ve used three different brands of document camera and the TT-O2 is by far the best.
Bucket Rating (out of 5):
Click here to learn more about the bucket rating system or to submit your own review.
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Check out MTV Engine Room as the visual creators of a new generation battle for top bragging rights. International teams of young artists compete in a series of multimedia challenges for the chance to control the famous New York Times Square billboard. A great way to show students real world applications of art.