Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Experience Like No Other

Today, three art teachers from my school and I presented at the National Art Education Association Conference in New York City. We presented on the topic "Teaching Art Online: How Does that Work?"
Prior to the beginning of our presentation I was nervous. About to deliver my first ever presentation at a national conference, I was worried about how many people would come or what questions they might ask. Would they find our presentation helpful? I was worried about many scenarios but I was completely surprised by the one that actually occurred.
By the time I looked up from reviewing my notes prior to beginning our session, I saw that the room was almost full. Many people continued to enter as well throughout the presentation and by the end, we ran out of chairs. I was confident that I and my colleagues had put together a presentation that was both visually interesting and dense with information. I had no idea there would be so many interested in what we had to say. Delivering our presentation went smoothly with few questions are we spoke, mostly technology questions that we could answer quickly. The real magic occurred after we concluded our PowerPoint slides. Many people asked us questions about how we connect and relate to our students. People told us they are trying to teach online or they do teach online and they looked to us to learn how they might improve. One girl approached me because she is also researching the question, “Can we teach art online?” and she wants to interview me for her research. I hope this experience leads to more of these types of connections. I feel we presented a vibrant picture of what we do and that not only can art be taught online but it can be taught well. Never have I felt so much like I am not alone or that everyone feels art education online is somehow less relevant to the field. Our audience was excited, interested, and intrigued. Several of my professors from undergraduate school were present to support me and learn what I do and seeing familiar faces in the audience made me so proud of myself to be teaching other art educators in this forum.
I have never thought of myself as a researcher or an expert in anything but now, more than ever, I feel that teaching others about this amazing phenomenon of online learning is exactly where I need to be. I am becoming a resource for those learning about this field and I am already sharing my experiences now. I feel like a valuable part of this profession and I will definitely continue to teach others about the unique experience of teaching art online.

No comments:

Post a Comment