Subject: Re: teacherartexchange digest: October 09, 2008
From: "Casey McCullough" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 09:14:42 -0500
I teach elementary and one 7th grade class at the junior high and am in a
new district this year.
I got involved in Artsonia about 5 years ago and think its great. Its a
great way to "perform" (with no need for masking take or staples!) and the
activity reports you can print out and send home has always generated a lot of
interest in the student art. For those of us that deal with a great many
children once a week for a short time, we feel sometimes like we are being
stretched thinly to encourage and praise the artistic expression and creativity
enough! Artsonia made up for that with many students who saw their work on the
internet, read the positive comments made by family and friends, and felt
excited about their own fan club and joining those of their classmates and
friends. Grandma in Florida can see what their doing with just a few clicks! Not to
mention some gifts for birthday or holiday. The site is user friendly and
directions to get involved are easy to learn. Any questions I have I just email
them and they are back to me in a day! I only had one parent in all the
students works I uploaded (4000) and he just chose not to be involved. I never
had to get permission slips as my district didn't require it. (That would have
been a deterrent for me) Check about your district policy for internet
publishing. Print out the materials to give to your administrators and they will
see the positives about it.
I made a few hundred dollars each--which I feel was good for the
socioeconomic environment my students came from. I see by looking at the ratings that
many schools make hundreds of dollars and more , so I know its possible. I
don't do it for the money, but the year I got no supplies from my district due
to money problems, I got to spent my Artsonia money and was happy!
My best success seems to be with elementary up to grade 5. Although I
haven't been able to test it yet, I have heard from others that middle school age
students don't seem to care about seeing their works on the internet. I am
in a new district this year, so will be able to test it with one 7th grade
class I have at the junior high. In my main building classes are grades 1-4,
and so far its going well.
The downside of it is the amount of time you need to spend. I have spent
more hours than I could ever count. (Your hours, though, could be documented
for CEU's etc., depending on your district's requirements.) But I love doing
it and enjoy the steps of the process, not to mention seeing the excitement in
the visual arts that it generates. Advocacy! Once you've got it going,
engage a parent or two to help take the photos and even make the files and upload
them. This could also be done by a high school student too.