Looking for a great way to integrate technology AND art in your classroom? Look no further than Art Education 2.0, a digital database that combines social networking with a wealth of resources on how to use the internet to enhance the classroom setting. Art educators (and partnership organizations like the Greenville Arts Council) from all over the world have joined Art Education 2.0 for the opportunity to share student work, reflect on classroom successes and to collaborate on brainstorming new methods for teaching.
“What can I do here on Art Education 2.0?” I’ve been asked this question in one form or another a number of times lately. So, I came up this list of eight ways an art teacher can use Art Education 2.0. How many of these things have you done thus far?
1. Share photos of your students’ work and classroom. One of the easiest ways to start using Art Ed 2.0 is to post images of your students’ work and classroom activities on the site. These images are added to the pool of photos that can be seen by all members through the Photos page.
2. Share videos of your students’ work. In addition to sharing photos, you can embed videos on Art Ed 2.0 that are stored on other video-sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo. This requires copying the embed code that is included on your video’s page on YouTube (or elsewhere) and then pasting it into the “Add Videos” box on Art Ed 2.0. Some Art Ed 2.0 members also use educator accounts on Animoto to create music videos of their students’ work or projects in their classroom, which they embed here on Art Ed 2.0.
3. Start a forum discussion. Art Education 2.0 is global community of over 8000 members representing all types of art education practice occurring in a variety of settings from private classes in homes to public school classrooms, from museums to community art centers, and more. Being able to tap into the collective wisdom of this group makes Art Ed 2.0 a tremendous resource of professional information and expertise. If you’re struggling with an issue in your classroom or just looking for lesson ideas for a particular group of students, start a forum discussion by posing a question and asking for advise.
4. Share what’s happening in your classroom on your personal blog. Each member of Art Ed 2.0 has their own blog. Use your blog to share the progress of a new project you’re starting in your classroom, to share pictures of a recent student exhibition or success story, to make an announcement (e.g., there’s an art teaching position available in your district) or to simply share with other art teachers on the site how things are going in your classroom or studio. These stories add a personal dimension to the site that many of us (who have been there, done that) can relate to. They become a means of building a professional community of practice.
5. Join or start a special interest group. If you have a subject that you feel would interest others on the site, consider starting up a special interest group. Anyone can set up a group on this site. But, please browse through the group pages to see if the topic you’re interested in has a group on the site. For example, there is already an elementary art teachers’ group, a photography teachers’ group, a group for ceramics teachers, AP Art Teachers, and so on. If you join a group that doesn’t seem active (e.g., the last posting on the group page was from a year or so ago) it may just take someone like you to jumpstart that group again!
6. Join or set up a student art exchange. Things start to get interesting when you connect your classroom with other art classrooms around the globe. One of the easiest ways to do this on Art Ed 2.0 is via a student art exchange. The ATC Swaps group was set up for this purpose and it is one of the more popular and active groups on the site. A number of Art Ed 2.0 members have also arranged though blog postings to exchange student artwork with other schools. These exchanges may also involve email exchanges between the classrooms and in some cases connecting the classrooms via Skype or video iChat calls.
7. Join a global art project. You can also connect your students with others beyond the classroom by joining one of the global art projects that are posted on the site throughout the year. For example, Rotoball is an ongoing international animation project involving students around the world. Other popular projects on the site include Paint the World With Light, FLOAT, Haiti Houses, The Memory Project, and the I Wish Project. Anyone can propose a project to include on the site.
8. Become a sister school. Another way to use Art Ed 2.0 to expand the learning opportunities for your students is to set up an ongoing relationship with an art classroom in another country. For instance, see the blog posting by Ian Sands, a North Carolina art teacher, in which he talks about working with their “sister art school” in Canada. If you’re interested in exploring the possibilities of collaborating with another art classroom, join the Connected Classrooms group.
One of the things that would help others new to Art Education 2.0 is brief firsthand descriptions about how members have used this site to expand learning opportunities for their students or how it has provided them personally with professional development opportunities. So, if you have a brief story or description to share, please post it here.
Enjoy! And check out our page on Art Education 2.0 at http://arted20.ning.com/profile/GreenvilleArtsCouncil