March 19, 2018
Imagine what it would be like to teach painting, drawing, photography, graphic design or other forms of art to K-12 students attending an online public school. Many instructors may feel it’s an exciting new education option, but wonder how they might transition their teaching skills to the online environment. Two talented Connections Academy art teachers from Georgia and Oregon will share their insights with fellow teachers next month during a special presentation at a national art conference: “Can art be taught effectively in a virtual environment?”
Wendy Aracich of Georgia Connections Academy (GACA) and Beth Bundy from Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) will join forces to speak at the 2018 National Art Education Association Convention (NAEA National Convention) on Friday, March 23 at 8:00 a.m. PST in Seattle, Washington.
“To be chosen to present at the NAEA National Convention is an honor,” said Bundy. “I am interested in building solid visual arts programming for K-12 students who attend online schools and am excited to be connecting with other arts educators around the country in hopes that we can develop a community that can share resources and support.”
Both Aracich and Bundy teach art education virtually at Connections Academy-supported online public schools, which serve students statewide in grades K–12. Aracich has taught visual arts for 15 years and Bundy for 20 years in a variety of settings, including bricks-and-mortar and online school environments.
In preparation for their session, Aracich and Bundy met regularly with Connections Academy art teachers nationwide to discuss best practices for teaching art online, including:
- How to connect with students
- Presenting and displaying student art
- Conducting critiques
- Ensuring academic integrity
- Growing an online school arts program
They also created an online group with their virtual art colleagues to exchange data and information about the field of art education.
“Our goal is to share with attendees what it's like to teach art virtually, to dispel some of the common myths and to also be honest about the struggles and challenges that we face,” said Aracich. “We want to share a real, balanced view of what we do in the online environment.”
NAEA received over 1,700 proposals for the annual convention and accepted only 45% of them, including Aracich and Bundy’s presentation discussing how educators can ensure virtual students receive a quality art education.
“Teachers like Wendy and Beth make it possible for Connections Academy-supported schools to provide high quality virtual art programs to online students,” said Connections’ Chief Academic Officer Dr. Patricia Hoge. “We are proud that they were selected to share their successful and creative strategies for online art instruction with attendees.”
The NAEA National Convention takes place March 22-24 and is the largest gathering of visual arts educators in the world. The convention includes workshops, tours, and events designed to inform, engage, and inspire art enthusiasts and educators.
About Georgia Connections Academy
Georgia Connections Academy (GACA) is a high-quality, tuition-free public virtual charter school for students in grades K–12 throughout the state. Georgia Connections Academy offers families a personalized education by Georgia-certified teachers with an award-winning curriculum that meets state standards. As an online charter school, students enjoy the freedom and flexibility of an online education, and are able to access their lessons anytime, anywhere there is an Internet connection. Georgia Connections Academy is authorized by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accrediting division of AdvancED.
About Oregon Connections Academy
Oregon Connections Academy (ORCA) is a high-quality, tuition-free online charter school that serves students in grades K–12 throughout the state. The school is authorized by the Santiam Canyon School District. Oregon Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere there is an Internet connection and with an innovative online school curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of Oregon-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. Oregon Connections Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), an accrediting division of AdvancED.