The Hingham Public Schools Art Department now has a website. In the past I used iWeb to create and update the Foster Art Room website, however iWeb ceased to be supported by Apple in 2011, and I spent my "web time" last year searching for easy to use alternatives. There are many, many posts lamenting the end of iWeb - I had mixed feelings. It was easy to use, however it did not allow some features that I wanted to be able to use. The Art Department decided to use Weebly, and after researching the capabilities, decided to use it for the main part of the new Foster Art Room website, but to look elsewhere for the additional features I thought necessary.
I reflected on what I wish I had overall as an art teacher as well as what would be most useful for parents and children - while I often would post information about the art program in various ways, there was rarely feedback from parents. Families rightly have the closest relationship with the classroom curriculum and the classroom teachers. There is only so much energy and time to spend. I wanted to focus my energies on making sure that whatever I created was beneficial to and used by families. I also wanted to be able to "see" if parents benefited from what I posted.
After professional development classes this past Fall, I decided to try Artsonia as an prequel to the Weebly website, which has been available to the art teachers across Hingham since January 9th. Artsonia has been wonderful! The most helpful to me as a teacher has been seeing the comments left for the children about the art by families and friends. I started using Artsonia in mid-November, and have posted over 1,200 pieces of art. 404 people have become "Fan Club Members" and 159 comments have been left for children about their art. Children have written 87 Artist Statements about their art. These numbers will go up as we all become more used to Artsonia. I am proud to say that we are currently the #2 elementary school in Massachusetts this year using Artsonia. There are art works posted from all over the World. The United States of America has over 23,700,000 pieces of art published in total.
I am posting a poll about Artsonia over on the "Galleries" page (big drawback; Weebly won't allow me to add a poll to this page, and it also won't allow me to add navigation to the top of this page - navigate back to the main page using the drop down menu, above.) If you would please take a moment to check off "all that apply" it would assist me in seeing a broader picture of what the Foster School Community thinks about the use of Artsonia here at Foster. If you also want to leave a comment with more detailed information via this blog, please feel free to do so. I will need to approve comments prior to their being posted - I want to avoid comments not intended for the Foster Community from being posted.
Thank you! Cynthia McKeon, Art Teacher