We are going online. This is the sentence that was uttered around so many schools this week. I teach at a college, so online classes are actually a thing, but rarely in the fine art department. I do not want the spread of the Covid-19, so I’m glad the University is taking precautions, yet I feel sad for the students to have to leave their campus community. For students in K-12 schools, online education is very rare and presents some challenges, especially for hands-on classes, studio classes, service learning, internships, student teaching at schools, and anything that is a project or a group project.
I have been gathering some resources for myself and colleagues and encourage you to dig into the blog posts on this page as well as the video lessons on my You-Tube Channel.
I am hopeful that this experience will offer opportunities to emphasize different ideas in our classes and make us better teachers if we learn from this experience.
I teach future teachers at a University. In my Art Education classes, we are starting to put together lesson plans learning about Student learning outcomes, writing rubrics, and the National Visual Art Standards.
These PowerPoints can be available online, but what about the simple art supplies for the students to do those projects?
I do not want my students to have to go out and get supplies at a store with a college student’s tight budget when we have supplies in the classroom. I gathered my grocery sacks and packed a little gift bag for each student filled with watercolors, colored paper, drawing paper, pencils, erasers, paintbrush, airdry clay, and glue sticks. I figure we could use these supplies when we meet virtually online, or they will have these supplies to help fill the time during their social distancing.
I felt that was a good thing, and I encourage teachers to send art supplies home with your students, or parents to think about picking up art supplies while you are going to the store to stock up on pantry items.
Studio classes where students are painting in the studio presents a different challenge. The students would be painting at home and uploading images of their artwork to be critiqued by the instructor. The good thing here is all the one-on-one instruction.
You can meet each student’s needs. Think about a group chat or discussion board, so you are not the only one doing the critiquing. I learned so much from the other students in my art classes that I would hate for the students not to interact with each other, if only for inspiration.
I know many teachers that transition to clay at the end of the year or Ceramics teachers that are beginning to work on glazing and finishing details. Ceramics Material Workshop is offering free online content for all educators who are moving to online platforms. Glaze for Our Lives, is a 23 episode series of recorded lectures explaining how and why to glaze pottery.
Contact them at: ceramicmaterialsworkshop.com with an .edu email address, and they will get you set up.
Also, visit https://www.ceramicmaterialsworkshop.com/glaze-of-our-lives.html for more information.
Besides digging into my blog and YouTube channel to see ideas and lesson plans, I recommend two other resources that are full of good quality lessons prepared by art teachers with downloads and art production images. Although I understand that lots of people will be hitting Pinterest to find ideas, these resources are available in one place and are art teacher tried and true.
Art Teacher, Podcaster, and Author of two books I love, Clay Lab for Kids, and Stitch + String Lab for kids, has a whole of information on her website.
I also recommend Mrs. Brown.
Amy Brown is a K-5 art teacher and has a Google drive open and available with lesson plans and downloads for you.
There are many more resources available; I saw on social media that educational websites were doing free trials for the next 30 days, so please take advantage of those. Comment below with your resources, and I will update this blog as need be.
Remember, friends; this is not an ideal situation. We are trying the best we can to make it better for our students, but we are in triage. This is not "best practices" for distance-learning. Do not feel like a failure because you had to plan and move a class online in less than a week. It's ok, we are all trying to survive. Give plenty of grace to everyone you encounter and also to yourself!
Dr. Charity-Mika Woodard
Studio Potter is offering free memberships for all educational institutions, including K-12 schools, affected by Covid-19. You can get a free three month membership to their archives of over 8,000 pages of ceramics content.
I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.