Asia's Art Ed 2.0

Kendra Farrell of the International School of Beijing has just started  Asia Region Art Educators, a new network for art educators living and working in Asia. Think of it as a regional version of Art Ed 2.0. At first I wondered if there was an actual necessity for a regional network- one of my biggest reasons for looking at online tools as a means of collaboration, inspiration, and publication is to get outside the limitations of whatever region I happen to be in. However, looking around the network that Kendra created, the benefit is pretty clear. The community of international educators is pretty small- the community of art educators abroad even smaller. Creating a network for us all to... well, network - is a huge plus-in fact, a necessity to developing our own Personal Learning Networks (PLNs). Let me digress a moment-

I haven't written much about PLNs here, but I've read quite a bit in the last year.  Basically a personal learning network is the combined series of ways that you obtain and exchange information.  For example, my PLN includes, Art Ed 2.0, and about 30-50 blogs that I follow (as well as the few I contribute to).  These include art ed blogs, other educational blogs, art blogs, and blogs that simply provide me with inspiration. It also includes other online applications like Twitter and Second Life.  Of course, it usually involves colleagues and ideally it involves students. I like the visualization chart that Chris Smith created here and the stages of PLN adoption that Jeff Utecht describes here. I especially like what Karl Fisch says about mainting your personal learning networks- that you've got to constantly expand them so that all of your various sources of information and collaboration don't simply reflect your own ideas.

Now, I'm very lucky- being married to an amazing art teacher, I've got a strong bedrock of a PLN without leaving my house (or turning my computer on). However, it is difficult for art educators abroad is to create a region specific part of our PLN.  

This is why I'm glad to see a network like Asia Region Art Educators come into being. Here's an opportunity to connect virtually and collaborate in person.   This is more significant than it sounds- in organizing events outside our school, it has been amazingly difficult to connect with other art teachers - even within the city.  With that in mind, my hope is that we can begin to connect on ARAE.  I'm looking forward to opening up new regional connections (especially as we're expanding the Shanghai Student Film Festival and connecting with other festivals). 

To be honest, I just meant to log on for a few minutes to promote ARAE, but sometimes the tangent waves just carries me away...


  1. Anonymous said...
    thanks for the plug. Your my inspiration. I just started an ib art ning and the kids are loving it.


    dsgran said...
    Thanks Kendra! That's a great site that you set up for your students!
    eda said...

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