Professional Learning

Art Ed Now 2016 Summer Online Conference Recap!

Yesterday, July 14th, was The Art of Education’s seventh online conference! There were almost 2,000 registered attendees viewing from around the country/world in the comfort of their home!

People watching from home

The day was jam-packed with three special Featured Presenters as well as dozens of incredibly relevant topics. These 20+ presentations were all curated to match the needs of art teachers while presenting the freshest and newest ideas happening right now in art education. Whether you teach Pre-K, high school, or anything in between, there was something for everyone!

Let’s not forget that SWAG box this year—it was our most amazing box yet! Teachers couldn’t wait to share the pictures of their swag!

Swag Boxes

Dozens of companies provided real and digital swag—Gelli plates, canvas panels, sketchbooks, and more, plus hundreds of dollars in online discounts and freebies. And that was just the start! AOE Founder Jessica Balsley hosted the event and gave away thousands of dollars in materials and giveaways throughout the day.

Jessica giveaways

We want to give you a complete look at all the conference details, so here it is—the hour-by-hour breakdown. Check out the outstanding presenters, the best information, and some amazing tweets and photos from our attendees!

The Art Ed Now Creativity Hour started off with perhaps the most talked-about presentation of the day from Danny Gregory. He is a sketchbook aficionado and creativity guru who recently wrote the amazing book entitled Shut Your Monkey. He shared an incredible sketchbook lesson many teachers will take back to their classroom!

Danny Gregory Photo

People were drawing furiously during his talk! Check out some of the highlights art teachers shared on social media:


AOE writer Melissa Purtee followed Danny with a wonderful talk on “Teaching for Creativity.” Then Art Ed Radio host Andrew McCormick gave some practical how-to advice during his presentation, “Developing 21st Century Skills in Your Classroom.”

ANdrew copy

Andrew was GREAT! Totally connected with him – I get all kinds of power tools and have students build things all the time – we do not have shop and I “feel” how much they need to get their hands on drills, hammers, and other tools- they COME ALIVE!!!  –Dyane Goldman 

Next up was the Getting Messy: Hands-On Fun hour. This was the chance for teachers to create, and create they did! With presentations from Blick Art Materials, art teaching superstar Cassie Stephens, and ceramics guru John Post, there were multiple opportunities for art-making.

The Inspiration hour was led by another featured presenter, world-famous Pop artist Romero Britto. Britto has created a visual language of hope and happiness that inspires teachers, artists, and students all over the world. His talk on positivity and everyday inspiration was something that everyone needed.

Romero Britto copy

Britto Quote

Britto was followed by informative, engaging, and inspiring talks from AOE writer Abby Schukei, art teaching superstar Nic Hahn, and AOE’s Educational Director, Heather Crockett. Their amazing ideas left teachers with many takeaways.

Abby Schukei photo

Art Ed Now’s final hour was all about Management and Organization. The third featured presenter was Michael Linsin, who literally wrote the book on classroom management. Teachers loved his no-nonsense approach featured in his “5 Keys to Effective Classroom Management” presentation. He is a former PE teacher, so he truly understands classroom management from a specialist’s perspective.

Linsin photo

After Linsin, Jessica Balsley shared her secrets on how she starts her day to set up for success. AOE’s newest writer, Matt Christenson, talked about creating your own art and classroom exemplars at the same time, and Laura Lohmann from Painted Paper closed the conference with her talk entitled “Don’t Stress the Mess.” All of these presentations had many takeaways that teachers will be using this fall!

Jessica Balsley photo

It was a great day of learning for so many teachers, and we look forward to doing it again next year. We hope you join us, because so many teachers definitely found the conference worth their while:

This was an awesome conference! It was my first online conference with AOE. I am thoroughly HOOKED! —Lian Brehm

This was a really well-organized and, as always, very informative conference. Loved it! Thank you. —Alicia Marrano

Great information, as expected. Thanks, AOE and all of your gracious, talented, and friendly presenters. —Wendy Southwick Friesen

Thank you so much for the wonderful variety and wealth of information provided. I will be going over what I have experienced for quite some time…Great Conference!!!! —Sandra Yerger

Now it’s time to enjoy the rest of your summer. As Jessica said, “I hope you work on school, but I also hope you put it aside. And remember, spending time on your own personal and professional development is never wasted. You are growing as a person and professional. You are amazing!”

According to those who attended, so was the conference! Hope to see you next time!

Did you attend the conference? What was your favorite presentation?

Who would you like to see present at the next conference?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Timothy Bogatz

Tim Bogatz is AOEU’s Content & PD Event Manager and a former AOEU Writer and high school art educator. He focuses on creativity development, problem-solving, and higher-order thinking skills in the art room.

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