Thursday, July 17, 2014
Online Professional Development for Any Art Teacher!
I am no stranger to online PD as my school occasionally offers it instead of face-to-face PD. However, the awesome website The Art of Education now offers online PD for any art teacher several times a year. Today was the first AOE conference I have attended. In previous years, I have attended several NAEA national conferences as both a presenter and attendee and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. However, high cost of travel and registration are preventing me from going this year, but the low cost of the Art of Ed Summer Conference makes it reachable for practically any teacher! Here are my observations from today about what it is like to attend an online conference:
-The first 1000 art teachers to register for the conference received a "swag" box in the mail full of the samples one would normally obtain in the vendor room at NAEA. This is a big perk to me as though it is fun to run around the giant room and create art projects with different supply companies, I always feel I need to spend more time there than I want to. Also, the swag box offered many full samples such as a set of 25 oil pastels, lesson plans with sample materials, block printing ink and block, sketchbook, an issue of Scholastic Art with discount code (great common core resource), re-usable color mixing palette, drink koozie, and an "Art to Remember" mug. I am really impressed with the amount and quality of items in the swag box!
-You might not think you'd make many connections when attending an online conference. However, I had so much fun today connecting with art teachers from all over the world via social media. Using the tag #aoeconference I could see what everyone was saying about the conference in real time. Also, the Art of Ed community offers the ability to discuss the presentations any time after the conference. This means I can ask questions to the presenters after the fact all in one easy place.
-Wow, what a wealth of information! The topics today ranged from incorporating contemporary art, use of tech, specific clay techniques, organizational tools, to breaking down barriers between students and colleagues...etc. There were so many great pieces of advice from art teachers with all different experiences. I felt like each presentation brought me an idea or two that I am excited to incorporate into my classroom.
-Dynamic, fun, and quick presentations! Each presentation was about 10 minutes long and were shared via video that was prepared prior to the conference. This allowed for the most important information to be highlighted (and expanded upon in handouts) and the video format allowed for demos, views of classrooms, and even guests (children of several presenters helped with their videos). As a video-nut myself, it was fun for me to be able to share snippets of videos I've made and screen recordings of my classroom in my video.
-Holy handouts Batman! The conference offers an Afterpass which allows attendees to watch all of the presentations and download handouts from each presentation for 6 months after the conference. The handouts and blogs posted in this resource are so great! I will surely be using them for this coming school year, and of course I have started following all of their blogs!
Today was a great day and I am so honored to have been a part of it. Thanks Art of Ed!