Archive for Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Genesis art teacher honored by Web site

October 24, 2007

Gaining access to a virtual gallery of budding artists is now just a click away, thanks to Amy Lawson, art teacher at Genesis Christian Academy.

Recently, Lawson was honored with a Leadership Award by artsonia.com, a Web site that allows teachers to post their students' artwork online in a virtual museum.

The award was given to Lawson for helping Genesis Academy rank 10 out of more than 100 Kansas schools participating in the program.

"It seems to be a big hit," Lawson said. "The younger kids like it. They are very excited about it."

Artsonia.com allows teachers to post their student's artwork on their Web site for free, giving friends and family a place to see the kinds of art projects that are being done. The Web site also allows the creation of fan clubs where parents, friends and family can join and get art specifically from a student.

Jim Meyers, CEO of artsonia.com, said the site was created to allow family members to keep up to date on what children were doing in school.

"In general the parents love it, teachers love it and principals love it, and the families love it, too," Myers said.

Myers said the criteria for the award was based on technology integration and community involvement.

The criteria is split into four different categories: total amount of artwork published, total number of fan clubs, total number of comments and, finally, the amount of funds raised by the school as part of the program.

The site states that Lawson has posted more than 220 pieces of artwork and there are about 149 fan clubs.

Gail Schuck uses the Web site to keep up with what her two children, Rachel, 9, and Grant, 6, are doing at the school.

"It's easy and convenient and lets me know when my child has new artwork before it's even come home," Schuck said.

Schuck also said artsonia.com was a great way for relatives in Brooklyn, Iowa, to keep in touch with the children and make comments on their artwork.

"The kids love it," Schuck said. "(Family) is able to make comments on the Web site to the kids like, 'great job.' The kids love to get on (the site) and read what they wrote."

Lawson said she tries to upload the artwork whenever she gets a chance, sometimes spending hours taking photos of the student's art and posting it online.

She said she didn't mind the extra work because the students like it and other faculty does, as well.

"They appreciate it," Lawson said. "They think it's really neat. I know a couple of teachers last year would show the kids in their classroom the art that was on the site and ask the kids to remind their parents to go to the Web site to check it out."

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