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Artsonia Kids Art Museum
Pros: Unique focus on exhibiting students’ original artwork; great for capturing and assessing students' artist statements.
Cons: Most useful once an artist or school has uploaded a body of work and if students include artist statements. Website's design is a bit busy and could use updating.
Bottom Line: A time-tested digital art museum where students can share work, reflect on their artistic process, and help teachers assess artistic concept comprehension.
Displaying student-created artwork is a great way to extend learning beyond the classroom. Encourage students to curate their own online portfolios with any mobile device, and send site-created letters home to parents to inform them that they can also add their kids’ artwork to the site, moderate comments, and maintain each kid’s Fan Club. The description option in galleries helps teachers show parents the assignment objectives.
Teachers can view the art online and assess assignments via the Artsonia platform, or they can connect it with their preferred learning management system to provide feedback and assign grades. The progress report feature allows teachers to quickly assess student work, especially if teachers input their favorite, commonly used phrases. Parents can access the progress reports online. Teachers can also give students a published artist award certificate for publishing their creations. Looking for inspiration? Check out thousands of lesson plans from other teachers, which are searchable by grade level, media type, cross-subject area, and keyword.
Artsonia Kids Art Museum is an art sharing site where teachers, students, and parents can upload original works of art and then give and receive feedback or purchase items featuring the artwork. Students can join classes by scanning a teacher-generated QR code and begin uploading their work immediately. Teachers can view individual works or see multiple projects at a glance. Parents can use the app or website to easily upload their kids’ artwork as well, with options to crop, adjust, or edit the photo, as well as blur areas of the image, such as personal information. If teachers need any help using Artsonia, there are videos, webinars, and other help options; however, it’s fairly intuitive.
From within the teacher section of Artsonia, teachers can download high-resolution images of their students’ work for use on a class website or in a slideshow. Adding an artist statement to each piece offers cross-curricular connections, by inviting students to explain their art and talk a bit about their artistic process. This can be fairly short and simple for young students, but older students can take advantage of this as an ELA or research-driven exercise. Family members can order reasonably-priced memorabilia with the students’ artwork on them, which provides the school with 20 percent of each sale to put towards art supplies.
The platform has many purposes — media creation, publishing, presenting, and creating portfolios — to name a few. Teachers can create a school page on Artsonia and use it to share what their students have created via galleries, which include a description of the project, materials used, and national standards addressed. Projects may include drawings, paintings, ceramics, photographs, writings, yarn art, 3D paper crafts, and other mediums. This unique approach encourages students to create not only for themselves, but for an audience as well, and because the platform is cumulative, kids can use it to track their progress and see their work mature over time. Having students complete artist statements helps them develop metacognitive and analytical skills, especially if they’re encouraged to reflect on their inspiration for a particular piece.
Using Artsonia can validate students of all ages by helping them see their own potential as artists and showcasing their creations. Positive experiences with the arts can not only build confidence and self-esteem, but it can help kids develop social and emotional skills like perseverance and self-awareness. And hopefully, these experiences will inspire them to keep creating.