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This is why I need ArtsEdNet (long)

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From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 08:25:38 PDT


I have already "spoken" with Nick Brod. He knows why I need ArtsEdNet Talk
and Web site.....but I will write him another letter when I send all of the
responses I have received from you. This is my rough draft - I am posting
mainly so Ken Schwab can see how my letter is different (he liked my middle
school one and thought it should be sent). I wish I could write more from a
teacher's point of view. I will offer my final version to anyone who
requests off list. I won't post it.

Dear Mr.Brod,

As I mentioned in a previous email, I am no longer in the classroom. I am
Web master for Incredible Art Department
(http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/ ) and my own Art Resources Web site
(http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/). I need ArtsEdNet
Talk to stay in touch with art educators to know what is important to add to
the sites. I am a member now of three other list groups, but find ArtsEdNet
Talk the most valuable to me. Through ArtsEdNet Talk, I have "met" teachers
from around the world. While I was teaching, I found it an invaluable
resource. I was able to exchange materials, get lesson plans, and get help
with discipline problems - among a number of other art related topics. There
is truly nothing like it anywhere else in the world for educators. I view it
as our own "Togo Na" (Dogon meeting place -- which I did learn about via
this list from a teacher who was teaching in Mali) where we can come
together to discuss and share ideas -- and yes, sometimes agree to disagree
on certain topics. Getty ArtsEdNet Talk was there for me through some
difficult times in my life -- and my ramblings in the archives are there to
show it. I was able to say whatever was on my mind and no one really cared.
Most didn't even read what I had to say - just let me talk. We jokingly call
it "free therapy" for art educators (a great stress reliever - one of our
popular topics).

It is funny how I ended up joining. I thought all along it was something I
would not have time for. Now I spend a great deal of my time daily
communicating with art educators. I had to join a list serve for a class I
was taking in technology. The requirement was to save a lesson from a list
serve and to post a lesson to the list. I signed up to the required School
Net list - made my post and heard nothing back (never received any mail
from the group until months later). I was frustrated that I was unable to
fulfill my assignment for the class so I asked the instructor if I could
subscribe to ArtsEdNet Talk instead. He approved. I posted my Internet
lesson on African Art and my other online Internet lessons. Within minutes I
had many posts of praise for what I had done and kind words how they, too,
could use those resources I had spent so much time developing. Within
minutes I had page after page of lesson plan ideas saved for my class
requirement. I got hooked and have been a member ever since. My computer is
now full of ideas - tips - words of wisdom - words of encouragement - lesson
plans - all sorts of information from people I have come to call "family".
Each year more come into my "family" - teachers who think and believe as I
do that through art education, we can indeed make changes in our world.
Getty ArtsEdNet Web site has so many online resources to help us make that
change for a better world. Our ArtsEdNet Talk family believes that children
are our most valuable resource.

While I was teaching, I found ArtsEdNet Web site to be an invaluable
resource. I used many of the materials on the site in my unit about Jacob
Lawrence (one of my personal "heroes"). The Animals in Art materials were a
great asset to many of my units on that theme. I used those resources with
both 6th and 7th grade and have them linked to my site in more than one
location. I included all of the Sandy Skoglund images in a PowerPoint that I
used and shared with a language arts teacher for an interdisciplinary unit
we developed. I also have those resources linked from my site. John Biggers
is also linked from my page on African American artists. I am amazed at the
wealth of information ArtsEdNet has on him. I also have the ceramics
curriculum materials linked. I purchased the Getty Sampler over ten years
ago when I was teaching high school ceramics and was very pleased to see
others could get the units for free online. I have referred others to the
world ceramics curriculum often. It has helped me to develop my own online
links to ceramics of world cultures (one of my "passions"). Over the past
several days, I have been exploring ArtsEdNet in earnest and have found so
many more materials to which I would like to provide links. However, I am
hesitant to do so as the amount of time it would take to remove the links
if Getty ArtsEdNet is removed for the web. Please do let us know via the
list - or through the Web site in some manner what Getty has decided to do.
If the site is simply revamped - please leave the search feature online so
I know how to locate some of my favorite materials so I can update my links
on the sites I maintain. I am certain sites all over the globe will want to
update their links as well.

Ken Rohrer - the creator of Incredible Art Department - has suggested I
check into moving all of the Getty ArtsEdNet Web resources to Incredible Art
Department should Getty decide to take them off line. Do let me know if this
is a possibility - and what we would have to do in order to download the
site. I know I can not manage all that is on the site- but would like to try
to
maintain some of our favorite resources.

Thank you for your time and dedication to the visual arts. I know I have
given you an "earful" here - but I just didn't know how to condense down to
a few words what I had to say. I appreciate the time you are taking to
compile all of this information into your report. I wish we art educators
had shown our appreciation more in the past. I hope our message is heard
now.

Sincerely,

Judy Decker - Ohio
Jdecker@woh.rr.com
Incredible Art Department
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/
http://www.incredibleart.tk
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/

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