As of mid-November, 2013, I began to upload student art into galleries hosted on Artsonia. Artsonia offers many benefits for our Foster School community.
(Click on the Artsonia logo to take you to our galleries.)
1) When families sign up through the Foster account, they receive automatic notifications as to when another of their child's art pieces has been uploaded (every child brought home an individualized sign up pass key - if you did not receive it, please email me);
2) Children's families can invite others to be "Fan Club" members. All "Fans" receive notification when a new piece of a child's art is uploaded (which is wonderful for people such as grandparents/aunts/uncles, etc.) - (Here is a video tutorial I created on how to invite others.)
3) Comments can be left for children on the site about the art work (the security of the children is taken very seriously at Artsonia, as children are listed only by their first names, and those comments must be approved by parents prior to being posted);
4) Parents can see growth over time in visual arts as it relates to their child; and
5) Parents have the ability to purchase items if they wish that feature their child's art. I have been asked about this possibility in the past, and have received many compliments about the ease of this ability through Artsonia.
1) Students are able to enter written statements about their art - some of the students are really enjoying creating artist reflections;
2) Students are excited to share their work at home, many times on the same day that they created it - in art class many times work is saved for portfolio review and reflection, and does not go home as often as the children would like to see it;
3) Students are very happy to read what others have written about their work; and
4) There is a wonderful dialogue about their art - comments posted as well as statements that they wrote themselves can be re-visited. This gives the children the opportunity to reflect upon their past learning; and
5) As I have become more familiar with Artsonia, students are being introduced to the uploading features available on the Art Room iPad, which was kindly funded by the wonderful Foster PTO three years ago.
For the Art Program
1) I am able to see that people are actually visiting the art work - on my old web galleries, using iWeb, I was unable to see if people were actually looking at the art;
2) I LOVE seeing the comments left for the children about their art;
3) It is a huge benefit how each child ends up having his or her own gallery - When adding art to a project gallery, Artsonia links each piece to a specific student (first name and identifying number, for student security.)
4) Many parents have been positive about this part of the art learning for their child/children - I have had parents stop me in the hall or email me to praise this new endeavor; and
5) An unexpected benefit is fundraising - Artsonia gives 20% back to the art classroom of any items purchased by parents.
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