Professional Learning

Art Ed Now Summer 2017 Online Conference Recap

Did you know today marked The Art of Education’s ninth online conference? It’s true! Over 2,400 registered attendees viewed and participated from around the country—and around the world—from the comfort of their own homes!

The Presentations

The day was jam-packed with dozens of incredibly relevant topics and included a presentation from the one and only Sir Ken Robinson. All in all, there were 20+ amazing presentations curated to match the needs of art teachers and to provide the freshest and newest ideas happening right now in art education.

Plus, each presenter made sure all teachers walked away with something relevant to their practice, whether they taught Pre-K, high school, or anything in between!

The Freebies!

The Swag Box for this conference was the best it has ever been! Teachers couldn’t wait to share the pictures of the goodies delivered right to their doors. The box included Stabilo pens, a Gelli Arts printing kit, Jack Richeson tempera cakes provided by Art to Remember, and so much more!

If you missed a swag box this time around, make sure you register now for the Winter Conference! If you register now, you are guaranteed a swag box (for those in the U.S.), and this is the lowest the price will ever be!

In addition, other companies provided hundreds of dollars in online discounts and freebies–including 2 iPad Minis from Artsonia. 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.

The Hourly Breakdown

The entire conference was incredible, but we want to give you a complete look at all of the 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!

Hour 1: Starting with Something New

The first hour of the conference was all about starting with new ideas this school year, and the presenters did not disappoint. Returning presenter and amazing teacher Nic Hahn shared strategies and ideas for Sketchnotes, and inspired a lot of teachers to give the technique a try!

She was followed by AOE Writer Abby Schukei, whose presentation about enhancing traditional art projects with technology was a hit. Clay guru John Post stepped away from ceramics for a minute to talk about classroom management, and Sarah Ackermann talked us through a step-by-step way to create a Makerspace in your school.

Hour 2: Hands-On Artmaking

When the second hour rolled around, it was time to get messy. From drawing to inventive darkroom techniques to teaching clay without a kiln, there were a plethora of new ideas for the classroom! People were working on some fun things during these amazing talks!

Hour 3: Choice and Creativity

Student choice is a big topic of discussion in art education circles, and Art Ed Now covered these ideas from all different angles. The hour started with Don Masse discussing how he uses choice, constraints, and contemporary art to engage his students. That was followed by a great presentation from Johanna Russell called “How to Offer Choice Without Compromising Your Classroom or Your Curriculum”.

Melissa Purtee and Ian Sands–co-authors of the new book The Open Art Room–shared “Why Art Class Should be More Like Recess”, offering ideas on why play is so important for our students at every level. Melissa and Ian were followed by an inspiring talk from George Szekely. His inspiring stories and ideas left teachers with many new strategies for engaging their students and advocating for their programs.

Hour 4: Making Your Teaching Memorable

Hour 4 began with the most anticipated presentation of the day–Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken has the most viewed TED talk of all time, and has written multiple books. His Art Ed Now presentation, however, is the first time he has spoken directly to art teachers. They appreciated the inspiration:

Though Sir Ken is a difficult act to follow, AOE writer Wynita Harmon did a spectacular job presenting “Art Teachers as Leaders: Promoting Change and Creating Culture.” The hour finished with Ruthie Post sharing how she thrives as a traveling art teacher.

Hour 5: Inspiration and Motivation

Art Ed Now’s final hour showed how we can wrap up all kinds of different ideas in our classroom. From dealing with early finishers to summative assessments to finding the balance between skills and creativity, the last hour had it all!

All of these presentations had takeaways teachers will use the rest of this school year and beyond!

Join us this Winter!

It was a great day of learning for teachers, and we look forward to doing it all again in February 2018! We hope you’ll join us because participants definitely found the conference worth their while:

Attendees (and even presenters!) were inspired:

And they loved all of the new suggestions for their classroom:

Now it’s time to put these ideas to work! Use what you saw at the conference to inspire your teaching and inspire your students. Use this relevant PD to start the school year strong, full of energy and new ideas!

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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