A Region 8 art class is online

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Elementary students at one Region 8 school are logging online in their art class.

Greene County Tech Art Elementary Teacher, Rena Jackson, says she and her students are participating in an online program called Artsonia.

Artsonia is an online arty gallery she stumbled onto three years ago!

"I was just browsing the Internet and found the website when I was looking for lesson plans. I discovered it offers lesson plans for teachers and you can communicate with teachers from around the world as well as a way to showcase your children's artwork on the website."

Artsonia is the world's largest kids online art museum.

Rena thought the program was interesting and offered a lot to students to learn and explore.

"We're incorporating technology because they're using the computer to download their work. This year they've added a literacy component where the kids can make artists statements, they can write artists statements from home with their parents."

Rena says students were very excited at the prospect of friend and family members checking out their work.

"They get self esteem because they're able to share their artwork with family and friends who live in other places. Then they have a fan club where their friends and parents can make comments about their artwork."

Rena says the site is very secure.

Only people approved by the child's parents can view their work or type any notes.

"It's totally secure. The parents have to approve any comments that are made about their children online."

She says the kids are always stunned when they first view their work.

"They're usually amazed when it first pops up on the screen because I have photographed it, and downloaded it and then when we put in their name and their screen name and their artwork comes up and they see their whole gallery of everything they've done since they've been in school. Fifth graders can look at the artwork they've done all the way back to third grade."

Rena was given the Leadership Award from Artsonia.

This award honors teachers who go above and beyond the classroom to encourage family and community involvement in art education.

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