This has been one of the biggest side benefits from the Artsonia experience. When I started last year, I had no idea how big it would become. I thought I would upload a project here , another project there. I had no intent on uploading every image from every students. Boy was I wrong. The kids bought into the concept immediately and the parents were right there too.
I even was receiving emails from neighboring districts, asking about Artsonia. Students had moved from our district/building and the parents really talked up the program to their new district. Students are always asking, is this going on Artsonia??
Yes, it takes time if you totally commit to the concept.But I really feel has been a positive for my program. I always had plenty of support from administration,etc. But with the website and the artwork and parents contacting the superintendent and principal about what a great idea, I think we even have a stronger program. The fund raising is a side benefit. We are a small rural city district in upstate NY. Families who really struggle with just living.But somehow find a way to support their children through making a purchase or leaving a comment.
There are short cuts for adding work to the website. And you can greatly speed up the process. I use the mac program Iphoto and do all my tweeking in that before uploading to Artsonia.
I like the "new" lesson plan section for teachers. We share ideas, lesson plans, etc. with each other. Another great perk of the website.
Norwich City Schools
Perry Browne Intermediate School
#1 in NYS on Artsonia.com
Another thing to consider is that Artsonia and websites promote and advocate for your art program. My principal sent the link to my superintendent and the board. I have since had interest from the district office on my program. It does take a lot of time, although I have found ways to make it go faster, but it is worth it if it means that I will continue to get support from my principal, D.O., and families.
Art Teacher/ Beginning Teacher Mentor
Whitmore Charter School of the Arts and Technology
From: Fran Legman
I did Artsonia this year for the first time. I suggest you give the
teachers the permission slips to give out with all the other forms
the first week of school (or in the mail if they mail them). It was
a lot of work getting them during the year. Also, I never got many
of them back from the fourth and fifth graders. I found it to be a
tremendous amount of work, and I don't know if enough parents used it
to make it worth the while. I was constantly shooting, cropping,
uploading on the weekends (and I had a parent helping me). Also,
things get mixed up sometimes and it takes time to figure out who's
is who's. You can't really tell how many parents check it out except
by the "fan clubs" and items purchased.
I teach in a wealthy suburb so I was surprised. Even though its a
great idea, I'm not sure I want to spend that much time next year
with it. Anyone else feel this way?