In the Art Room

5 Things I Learned While "Attending" the AOE 2013 Online Conference

Today I “attended” the Art of Education’s 2013 Online Conference. I use the word attend loosely because, well, it’s not like I had to go anywhere. This was my first ever conference; the content was great, the presenters were stellar, and the folks over at AOE definitely deserve some mad props. I “took home” a lot of great content from the conference, but I also, inadvertently, learned, or was reminded of, some other things while participating in the conference.
1. My art room is boring.
This is something I more or less already knew, but guys, my art room is dull. Some of the presenters filmed their videos in their classrooms, and man, what fun looking places! In my defense, a lot of outside factors have contributed to my boring art room, but ultimately, the blame rests on me. Time to step things up. Fingers crossed, here’s hoping I’ll be in a bigger room next year.
2. I can’t sit still for long periods of time.
And by “long periods of time,” I mean an hour. This is one of the reasons teaching art appeals to me. I’ve had other jobs in other fields, and I’ve always done my best in an environment where a lot of change is occurring and there is a high level of energy. Sitting in front of a computer for extended periods of time just doesn’t work for me. I also do poorly in staff meetings and other professional development presentations and classes. Thank goodness the content is available for attendees online. It’s good to know I can go back and view what I missed at my pace.
3. My attention span is nearly nonexistent.
While attending the conference, I was also folding laundry, eating lunch, catching up on episodes of Fringe, window shopping online, and reapplying for my current job. And that was only during the first hour.
4. I need to become more involved.
I feel like I’ve been slacking when it comes to my level of involvement within the art education community. I need to put myself out there more. Humor blogging is one thing, but I was very inspired by the presenters, and I realized that I want to expand my involvement in our profession. Now, how do I go about doing this?
5. Students (and parents) are capable of more than I give them credit for.
A lot of you have your students and parent volunteers tackle tasks that you just don’t have time for. I’ve been meaning to put more content up online or create an online gallery, but have never had the time. Why not have a parent do it? I was very inspired by some of the presenters who used students in demonstration videos. I could have students photograph artwork for online galleries. I could have older students create samples for lessons for the younger students. The possibilities are endless. And here I thought students were only good for pencil sharpening and chair stacking.

What did you “take home” from the AOE 2013 Online Conference?

3 thoughts on “5 Things I Learned While "Attending" the AOE 2013 Online Conference

  1. I could not do the conference this year, and I'm crying over it. My district already took care of two conferences for me this year alone, plus I needed to save my money on my non-paid maternity leave. I really hope Jessica does this next summer. As for your five reasons, I disagree with your #4. The fact that you have this blog and an extremely high audience shows that you are technically involved. You may not be a blog of ideas and research, but you're a blog of understanding that many art teachers need when dealing with our situations. That alone makes you an advocate. We need humor. There are plenty of blogs, including my own, that gives advice, lesson ideas, and ways to cope with our teaching situations, but yours stands out in a unique way. And to top it off…I cannot tell you how many times I've heard teachers talk about your blog at conferences. Keep up the great work, darling. You're already involved.

    p.s. Have you looked at the number of followers you have??? I don't even have a 1/4th of that! And Art Ed blog of the year awards? I think you're doing pretty darn good. Just saying. Thanks again!


  2. I love you blog! I just stumbled across it while doing some research for a masters class on integrating technology into the classroom. I do like your idea of having parents help out and tackle tasks that you don't have time for. I have always been a “if you want it done right, do it yourself” kind of person, but have recently been able to let things go a little more and do some delegating. I have been a member of Artsonia for a while and never dreamt of having the time to upload student artwork. I had never though of having parents do it. Love this blog and how different it is. Keep it coming!



  3. I really enjoyed the AOE conference. I was so impressed with the presenters – both the content and the videos they created. Do those art teachers ever sleep? They seem like real dynamos, Jessica included of course.
    Funny – I sat through the whole thing, 5 hours straight, but my years as a young mom are long gone.
    I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work.


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