Jul 6, 2011

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Blogging Class Reflections

Our first AOE class is over, signed sealed and delivered!  Blogging for Art Educators ran this June and I thought you’d all want to hear how it went!  Some of this reflection has been bottled up inside of  me for a month, as I watched my hopes for the online course unfold – and when they did- it was better then I could have ever expected.

First of all- I was overwhelmed by the quality of our participants.  The rich culture, ideas and diversity of our class was so neat.  From an art teacher who travels between 4 schools out West,  to someone living in the heart of DC, and even a former art teacher turned administrator, our group was diverse and spread all over the country, but with one thing in common: Art Teachers who were ready to learn how to blog!

Taking the class gave me the framework, deadline, and especially support, help and encouragement to get it up and started. Breaking down the process in a thoughtful way that made it approachable made all the difference. I’m looking forward to keeping up with my blog, and my classmates! (And instructor!) What a great group of people! -Ingrid

I also teach for other institutions and happened to have run this course before, but not for art educators.  The difference between a group of art educators getting together to learn is VASTLY different then a hodge podge of teachers from all different disciplines trying to connect to each other.  In other courses I have taught through other universities and through my district, sometimes there are word requirements.  It can be painfully obvious when someone is simply trying to fill space to meet a requirement. Not here. No word requirements and the responses were still longer then classes I have taught that included requirements! Imagine that! I think in the education world this is called “Bringing back the joy to learning”… or  “Learning for learnings sake, not just for the A.” Isn’t this how we should all view our learning?
See below in our Community Builder alone we had 74 replies back and forth!  Why? Because it was actually interesting to talk with each other. Isn’t this how PD should be?

So much went unsaid.  Everyone just “got each other” and was instantly supportive in every way to help the others succeed at their blogs, formulate their ideas, and even share some best practices in art education along the way.  Content specific PD was at their fingertips.  I know the work was rigorous, especially learning a new form of technology, but participants were able to work at their own pace, on their own times.  No sitting around waiting to log on at a specific time.  Work when you want, as long as you meet the due dates.

I was remembering how I first started out as an Art Teacher and would wait for months for local workshop or year for the NAEA convention to come around.  Not anymore!  -Paige

Many art education graduate programs are moving online.  These programs offer degrees in art education, which is great. However, if you are just looking for a single course or a couple affordable of credits to move up on the salary schedule, renew your license or learn more about the profession and don’t have time to spend 3 weekends away doing it, online courses are for you!  Why take something that isn’t in your area and that you’ll never apply to your teaching?  Some participants didn’t even take the class for credit at all, they just needed a jump-start to learn how to blog.  How Cool!

How often can you sit in your PJs discussing aspects of art education with other art educators?  How often do you sit through professional development training and really feel connected to the entire audience?  How often do you feel like you are taking classes that make sense to your field?  My answer to these questions is all are possible through AOE classes.  I wasn’t just a student during my class.  I was an active member of the community, learning and applying what I learned. -Julie

Missed this course?  Summer to busy and waiting for the school year to take some classes? We’ll be there!  Big news is coming next week with brand new courses, a new course schedule that allows you to plan ahead for your online PD through AOE.  You’ll also have opportunity to take all of our courses again!  Stay tuned.  As you can see we are pretty jazzed up over here about the positive community we have created with the courses. Man, where was this when I was needing credits? :)  We also still have spots open for our August class “Creativity in Crisis” – Check out the classes page for more on this course.

Until then, enjoy the fruits of the Blogging classes’s labor- Here are the blogs they worked so hard on during the course.  Add them to your reader and ENJOY – fresh off the press!

Elementary Art Moments

Art Ed on the Run

Art Says That

Hawk’s Pride (principal resource)

Popcorn Trails

Target Art

The Only Ingrid

Art in the Middle School

Breathing Artsy   

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  • http://educationcloset.com Susan Riley

    Congrats to ALL! The blogs look fabulous – you all worked so hard and it shows! You should be so proud of yourselves! And Jessica – what a great teacher and facilitator you are for guiding this process. Wonderful!

  • http://cathy1art.wordpress.com cathy1art

    I enjoyed looking at the blogs! There is just so much information and visual stuff to post in my “mental notes”….I just love it! I could literally spend hours online just perusing all of the great material.