Posted on 01/20/2017 at 04:42 PM by Blog Experts

The Winter 2017 Art Ed Now Conference will be held February 18, 2017. This conference will be completely online! It is the largest online art conference in the world!

There are more than 20 sessions lined up for you to attend. Authors, bloggers, artists, and other art education leaders will be presenting. The sessions are all 15 – 20-minute presentations in the style of Ted talks about different aspects of art and art education. Each presentation provides new strategies and/or new ideas for you to implement. Once you register, you can watch your favorite sessions again anytime for an entire year with the AOE After Pass that is included in your registration fee.

Throughout the online conference, thousands of dollars of giveaways, freebies, handouts, and product samples will be given away. If you register by February 1, the registration fee is $125. After February 1, the registration fee is $149. Both fees include the After Pass. You can register here:

I attended the Summer 2016 Art Ed Conference online. One of the sessions from the summer conference that stands out was by Andrew McCormick. He titled his session, How to bring your art room into the 21st century. He suggests doing this through four Cs: collaboration, choice, curriculum, and co-opting technology. The “C” that stood out to me was choice. Included was a “Choice Continuum” that helps art teachers determine where they are with choice. Included also was an article about the myths of choice-based art. The myths are each listed and then refuted:

  1. Choice might work for that class, but not mine. The reality is, choice can work in any class.
  2. My students can’t handle choice. Reality—children live up to the expectations we have of them.
  3. Budgets are tight, and kids will waste materials if given choice. Possibly. However, students can be trained and the word “waste” is a matter of perception. Were the child’s experiences worthwhile as they used the materials?
  4. Choice is a “free-for-all”. Kids just do what they want. Shouldn’t be. Within choice there is still structure around the space, materials, and time. The difference is that with choice, students have the responsibility of applying what is purposefully for them.
  5. Choice doesn’t teach skills. Fact—choice-based teachers present skills as needed for their students.

I found the “Choice” information interesting considering the interest in Competency Based Education (CBE). Providing students with choice about how they meet the competencies is a huge part of this. When students are permitted to choose how they will demonstrate their learning of specific standards, they are empowered. And empowered students are those who learn.

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