Saturday, January 25, 2014

Why an Online Art Ed Conference is Awesome!

Many of you have probably seen that I have not been posting as often as I used to.  Trust me... I wish I could!  I have so many ideas to share with my readers, so many thoughts to write about, and projects to post!  So far, this has been a very challenging year, and I'm sure many of you can relate.

Back in July, we had a new addition to our family.  As a mother of one, it was a change of pace, but after a few months, I managed the school year, leading the national Student Chapter for NAEA, and creating my own artwork.  My time management improved as my first child became more independent, and I was able to start this blog!  Baby number two brought a bigger change.  All that time I had to write had disappeared, babysitters are scarce, and traveling to conferences is now a challenge.

Thanks to the Art of Education, I was able to attend a conference…in my bedroom!  My 6 month old baby is napping next to me while I watch recorded presentations from some of our nation's amazing advocators for arts in education…fellow art teachers!

Similar to conferences, there were many perks to attending: freebies, relevant pds, collaboration with fellow art teachers, and advocacy!

There are things I miss from attending the state and national conferences, like meeting colleagues face-to-face, choosing your own sessions, talking with the vendors, and sitting in on guest artist super sessions.  However, here are the perks that make an online conference much easier to handle, especially if your a parent that has little or no time:

1. The ability to revisit the presentation.  Sometimes, connectivity issues can happen with internet providers.  Instead of sitting in on presentations and possibly forgetting what you just heard for the past 50 minutes, you can re-watch the recorded presentation to refresh your memory as long as the presentation is posted online.

2. Not having to look presentable.  Yes, I was in my pjs, drinking coffee, and I was comfortable.

3. The ability to multi-task.  I was able to clean our bedroom, do laundry, take care of the baby, entertain my older daughter, tweet on my phone, all without distracting anyone else!

4.  Free stuff you don't have to pack away in your suitcase.  Instead, AOE mailed "swag boxes" with free supplies for registered attendees, plus we had access to free digital handouts, apps, and e-books!  I didn't have to figure out how much my suitcase weighed when packing up to go home!

5.  Everything was relevant.  The AOE conference had presentations that were focused on current trends in the art curriculum, like student growth, common core, and technology use in the art class!

I was so inspired by this conference, I will try to apply to present at the next one!

Keep your eyes open for the next online conference!!!


  1. Heidi! Exactly! We can't always travel with little tikes (and oh the laundry is always there, isn't it!) so it's great to see you making the most of the day. Can't wait to work with you in the future! (and thanks for the great thoughts on the conference) -Jessica Balsley

  2. I loved this conference! Coffee and PJs! quick question-how did you get the Pinterest widget on your page? I can't figure that one out! thanks!

    1. Hello! When Pinterest updated their main page, it made it harder to find. On the top bar (where it says Pinterest), there's a plus sign, just click on that and you'll see where to go from there. They offer how to install the pin it button for your browser, and the widget for your websites!

  3. So glad you came! I am checking out your blog for the first time! I'm so outta the loop! Love Banksy anything! Great connection

    1. Thank you Erica! What a great way to network! I'm visiting your blog now!