AOE Conference 2013

Sorry! This event is now over and registration has officially closed. If you’d like to hear more about the event, read comments from attendees, get more details about the big day, get it right here:
Sorry, you missed this conference! However, there is good news! If you’d like to attend the NEXT AOE Online Conference, click here:


Have you attended an Art Ed conference lately?  If you’re like most Art Teachers – probably not. Hi,Welcome to the Education Sea.  Attending Art Ed conferences can be incredibly rewarding, but after attending more than I can count over the past few years and talking with hundreds of Art Teachers just like you, I came away with a several questions that I think deserve answers:

  • Why aren’t all conference presentations high quality, engaging, and relevant to me?
  • Why should Art Teachers have to spend hundreds of dollars on travel, lodging, dining, for every conference they attend?
  • Why do Art Teachers have to regularly skip professional experiences simply because they have young children at home, or unavoidable family or community obligations?
  • Why, as empowered education professionals, do we have to waste time going to presentations that aren’t relevant to us?
  • Why should art teachers settle for just one local or national PD opportutnity each year? Why can’t multiple opportunities be easily accessible to everyone?

As I considered these questions again and again, I decided that what Art Teachers really needed deserved, was an Art Ed Conference for the 21st century! The conference had to be online so there was no traveling, lodging, or dining expenses… (huge money saver!) It needed to be a conference you could attend from the comfort of home – in your PJ’s if you wanted! Secondly, the presentations needed to be Ridiculously Relevant, the price had to be affordable for everyone, and Art Teachers attending needed to walk away inspired and empowered to start their next teaching year on the right foot!


I’m proud to say, that all of those goals have been met, and I’m now very excited to announce the very first online conference for Art Teachers – the 2013 AOE Online Conference! Get all the details below. I’ll see you on June 25th for the big day!


See you at the conference!


What you can expect:

In a lot of ways, the AOE Online Conference is a lot like any other National conference you’d attend. We have great high quality presentations, giveaways and drawings, and you’ll get the opportunity to interact with Art Teachers from around the country/world.

Because the conference is held online though, there are a lot of benefits you could never get at a traditional conference! The most obvious example is that with the AOE Online Conference, there’s no reason to pay for lodging, dining, or travel expenses! You can sit back and enjoy all the great inspiring content from the comfort of home!

Eliminating the need to travel isn’t the only way the AOE Online Conference sets itself apart!  You can live chat with presenters during their presentations, you can interact in forums with other attendees, and some of your favorite Art Ed bloggers will be presenting. Plus, all paid participants will get 2 months of exclusive access to detailed printables, presentations, videos and other conference materials through a password protected website.

Every single AOE Online Conference presentation has been hand selected and curated by The Education Sea! Forget all the fluff and fillers, you’re going to get 100% ‘Ridiculously Relevant’ strategies and ideas to take back and use in your classroom.

The conference will take place on June 25th. Attendees are welcome to come and go as they please. Watch one presentation live, take a break, get a snack, come back a bit later for another presentation. Each presentation will be pre-scheduled so you can plan out your day how you see fit!  Presentations will NOT be long and drawn out.  We will offer short snippets in 10 and 20 minute increments including a mix of live presentations, video presentations and the ability to chat live in real time with every single presenter and get your questions answered.  Think of it as our very own Art Ed ‘TED Talks!’







Let’s face it, getting everything in order to attend an Art Ed conference can be a bit frustrating at times… getting a sub, writing sub plans, leaving your home for days on end, spending money on travel expenses, lodging, food, etc. isn’t exactly fun OR frugal!
The AOE Online Conference is a breath of fresh air… a simple, affordable, and fast registration, and you’re set! Sit back on the day of the conference and enjoy Ridiculously Relevant™ Professional Development from the comfort of home (at a fraction of the price!)

Conference Price





A Personal Message from Jess


What’s the process? How do I sign up?

If you’re ready to experience the first online conference exclusively for Art Teachers, breathe easy because we’ve made the process as absolutely simple as possible:

1) Sign Up and Pay - Use our simple sign-up process. It only takes about 2 minutes to complete! If you’re an individual, the entire cost of your conference will be will be $99.  Yes, we take purchase orders from your school, contact to get the details and enjoy the conference on your school’s dime.

2) Sit back and relax - We’ll send you updates each month to announce new presentations and more goodies for paid attendees.

3) Attend the conference - On the big day, June 25th, we will send you an exclusive link and access code. Using this link and code, you’ll be able to access the live conference and all of the conference-exclusive content through any internet-enabled computer. You won’t need to install any complicated software, and any modern computer will do the job. If you’re browsing The Education Sea right now, you’re computer likely has all it needs to attend the conference!

Summer is a great time to reflect on the past school year AND make exciting plans for the next. Make the 2013 AOE Online Conference part of your Summer Professional Development and get inspired all over again!








Download the Official Conference Schedule, here.

One of the worst feelings ever is when you take all the time, effort, and money to attend a conference only to be left disappointed at the end of the day because A)You were only allowed to attend a select few of the presentations available and B)That only one or two of the presentations you DID attend were worth their salt.

The AOE Online Conference is different. First, you will get to attend ALL of the presentations. Since they all happen in sequential order, and there are no rooms to find, you can attend every presentation if you want to. Second, each and every presentation included in the conference is 100% AOE curated content. We’ve hand-selected each presentation and each presenter to be ‘Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development’ just for you.

Scan some of the presentations below. Many new presentations will be added periodically, so stay tuned! We have lots more to share The finalized schedule including times will be posted prior to June 1st. We are thrilled to welcome a variety of presenters, including your favorite art ed bloggers, award winning art teachers, and of course members of our AOE Team. Some people fly across the country to hear these people speak, but now, you don’t have to!

'The Empowered Art Teacher: From Surviving to Thriving!' - Jessica Balsley (Founder, The Education Sea)

 The #1 complaint of  art teachers across the country isn’t a low budget for supplies, sub-par classroom amenities or even being underpaid. The #1 thing art teachers struggle with is feeling VALUED and RESPECTED in this profession by their colleagues, administration and the community at large.  Just an art teacher? Of course not. But first you must learn to leverage the great things you are doing in order to change this mindset of society in general, who don’t innately value the arts like they should.

Though this presentation you will explore the 10 Keys to becoming an “Empowered Art Teacher” – areas all art teachers need to master for success in this profession. Learn to re-set your motivation and mindset regardless of the struggles you face on a daily basis. Get ready to see a huge difference in how your view your students, your profession, and your SELF. Attitude does matter – Become an empowered art teacher today!

'10 Easy Ways to Integrate Tech into your Art Curriculum' - Theresa McGee (The Teaching Palette)

Moving toward technology integration doesn’t mean discarding traditional art-making processes.  Technology can complement what you already do and create learning opportunities for your students. Discover online tools to help you get organized, introduce new concepts to your students, and create fun assessment games.

Pinterest in the Art Room: Donna Staten (The #1 Art Teacher to Follow on Pinterest!)

Have you ever wished for one place to store your art prints, books, slides and other visuals as well as your lesson plans and examples?  Your wish is granted!  Learn how to use Pinterest as your “hub” for everything art!  There are numerous ways for art teachers to utilize this amazing site-  make “boards” for specific lessons; link to awesome websites like ArtofEducation and your favorite art blogs; showcase your student art works; connect with art teachers from around the world; and so much more.  You can learn things to immediately put to use in your classroom.  Pinterest is not just shoes and recipes!

Creative Digital Projects that put STEAM into STEM: Tricia Fuglestead (The Fugleblog)

Get inspired to use photo booth, iPads, Keynote, iMovie, apps, interactive boards, webcams, and more to create digital art with students while exploring almost any subject you teach. Use these ideas to inspire creative writing, celebrate good character, or investigate healthy choices. With over a dozen projects and a variety of technology tools you’ll find something to use right away.

Save Your Art Program! Smart Advocacy Tricks for the Modern Art Teacher: Heather Crockett (AOE Team)

In today’s climate of budget cuts and spending restrictions, art teachers are all too aware of the potential delicacy of our jobs. At the same time, however, our world has never needed art education as much as it does today. We need creative, caring, competent students to lead the way into the 21st Century. In this presentation you will learn tips and tricks to enhance, promote, and advocate for your program. Help your students get the art education they deserve and make your program too important to be cut!

Artsonia: Donna Staten (Art Educator) is the world’s largest student art museum with close to 20 million pieces of art!  You can have a free online gallery for each of your students with this well-run site.  Uploading photos and managing your information is simple and has great customer service help when you need it.  Your students can receive “comments” from visitors and they can write artist statements to go with their art works.  You will also have access to over 4,500 lesson plans written by fantastic art teachers just like you!  Artsonia is in its 12th year and is constantly improving.  It is supported by partners NAEA and Blick Art Materials.

Ditch the Rubric! Simple Art Assessments That Work!: Jessica Balsley (Founder, The Education Sea)

The future will be increasingly filled with expectations to assess in the Arts. Jessica will demonstrate alternatives to traditional assessment methods, and provide assessment samples from real classrooms, and give examples that resulted in success and failure for both teachers and students.

Assessment doesn’t have to be a bad word, and doesn’t have to be scary for Art Teachers. This presentation will provide Art Teachers with the ammunition they need to use assessment not only as a way to measure student progress but also as an advocacy tool to promote their Art Program and celebrate student success and form important relationships with administration and the community. It’s time to think differently about assessments in Art Education – let’s discover how!

Art VS Education: Ian Sands (Art of Apex High)

Art teachers are creative beings. We teach a creative subject with creative materials. However, the bureaucracy of education; pacing guides, standards and even the curriculum can jab, punch and often KO an art teacher’s creative endeavor. In this presentation we’ll toe the line with the issues that put art teachers up against the ropes and we’ll learn how to knock those concerns out of the ring. Let’s get ready to rumble!

5 Adaptations for Art Students with Autism: Heather Crockett (AOE Team)

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Autism currently affects 1 in 88 children in the United States. This means more students are identified with autism in the classroom and the art room. In this presentation, you will learn more about autism and leave with 5 easy ways to enhance the art experience for autistic students.  These tips are simple, practical and can be applied to your art room immediately. Get the resources necessary to meet the needs of your students!

Kindergarten Solutions for the Busy Art Teacher: Erica Stinziani (Art Project Girl)

In this workshop I will show you my best tips and tricks for teaching Kindergarten artists. Many people assume that teaching art to Kindergarteners would be as easy as pie. . . but for anyone who has tried to make pie you know how difficult it can be! I teach in an urban school with 28-30 Kindergarteners/class and a jam packed schedule. I’ll show you proven successful strategies and lessons that I use to meet the needs of my Kindergarten artists. With class sizes in Kindergarten on the rise (and paras on the decline), this workshop will share tried and true solutions to creating independent and successful Kindergarten artists in your classroom. 

Equipping Kids for Career Success: How to Convince Parents that Arts Education is What Children Need Most: Lisa Phillips (Author, The Artistic Edge)

 As a society we are preoccupied with the idea that the arts are reserved only for those with talent. However, in the reality of today’s job market, we need to change this idea. There is a significant gap between what children are told is important for their future career success and what business leaders actually want from the emerging workforce. Creative individuals are actually in demand. Not just for arts careers, but for careers in business as well. In an era when businesses are constantly struggling to find creative ways to stay at the top of their market, arts education can be a powerful tool to nurture the creative abilities of our young people, ensuring they are ready for the skills that are in demand. Join me to discuss the ideas in my new book, The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World, and explore the leadership skills that young people learn through the arts that give them a competitive edge in life. The job market is now global and advances in technology and marketing are changing the game. Leadership skills learned through the arts will be the way to rise and stay on top – let’s teach our kids how to play.

Peace Building Through Arts Education: Erica Stinziani (Art Project Girl)

 The arts are an integral part of building communication skills and community in our schools. Learn ideas that build emotional literacy, compassion, and communication skills through simple activities and art projects that you can use in your art room tomorrow.  See for yourself how your art program can be even more effective as a peace building tool than many character and anti-bullying programs out there! In light of the most recent tragic events in our nations schools, we are all looking for a way to heal from our classrooms out. Art can unify us all- Find out how!And we can add Erica Stinziani is currently an elementary art teacher in an inner city school in Connecticut. She is a RISD  graduate and currently pursuing her masters in Conflict Transformation from The Graduate Institute.

Getting Started With Cross Curricular Planning: Amanda Heyn (AOE Team)

Are you interested in having classroom teachers and administrators become the biggest supporters of your art program? If you said yes, cross-curricular planning is for you! In this presentation, you will learn a variety of quick, easy strategies to incorporate cross-curricular lessons into your existing curriculum without sacrificing your students’ creativity. Walk away with an assortment of useful templates to get you started, as well as three awesome lesson plans.This presentation is best suited for the elementary level.

Art Techniques: How to Produce Great Art with Basic Supplies: Patty Palmer (Deep Space Sparkle)

Creating dynamic art projects doesn’t mean investing in expensive papers and paints. Using the basic three: paper, pastel and paint, you can create amazing art lessons for every elementary grade level. Watch as I show you my favorite budget art supplies and the techniques that makes them fabulous.

Paying it Forward…Providing Student Teachers with the Best Experience: Ted Edinger (Art with Mr. E)

We have all been influenced by our cooperating teachers.  Some have influenced us for the positive by their amazing skills, and others have shown us what not to do.  These pre-professionals can be an amazing asset to your classroom if you are prepared to receive them.  After 16 yrs of teaching, 10 student teachers, and countless practicum students, learn from my mistakes & successes on how to be the best cooperating teacher you can!

Masterpiece Mosaics: A Collaborative Art Project for All Ages: Cheryl Trowbridge (Teach Kids Art)

This session will explore a collaborate art project you can do with any age level. It’s easy to set up, smooth to run, and the results are fabulous. The final pieces can be used for art auctions, community connections or to promote your art program. Collaborative projects can be daunting in the art room, and are often overlooked, however are an important way to teach 21st Century Skills in the art room. See how this can work for you!

Using iPads in the Art Room: Theresa Gillespie (Splats, Scraps and Glue Blobs)

Whether you have one iPad, a handful of iPads, or a whole class set, you can successfully integrate iPads to enhance your art curriculum. Explore ways to use apps to take artwork created in traditional material to a new level of creativity. Learn how to use iPads to help students add a language art element to their artwork. The iPads are great for collaborative projects. Group stop-motion animation is a breeze with the use of iPads. Perfect when you only have a small number of iPads to use in your classroom. See successes with a learn-do-teach cycle when using a limited number of iPads for a project in small groups. The possibilities are endless! 

Knofolio: Creating Online Portfolios for Serious HS Art Students: Andrew Coyle (Founder, Knofolio)

In this presentation you will hear from the founder of Knofolio. You will learn about how this digital platform can enhance your student’s online critique experience and how you can use it in your classroom.  

Communicating with Parents in an Online World: Nic Hahn (Mini Matisse)

 Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to authentically communicate to ALL of the parents of your students in a given school year? I find the task is overwhelming. In this session I will show you ways to teach your Middle School students communicate for you. I have piloted (with rave reviews from parents) several successful ways to share information with parents at home, both online and face to face. These ideas will bridge the communication gap while getting Middle School students to talk about art, which is not an easy task! 

Repurposing Items for Organizing Your Art Room: Michelle Hoile (Art Educator and Department Head)

 Whether this is your first year of teaching art, or you are a veteran teacher, you should always be looking for ways to work smarter, not harder! I am always reassessing how I “do” things to see if there is a better way. Organizing your art room in a way that fits your schedule or your style decreases your stress level, and allows you to spend more time focused on your students than looking for the art materials. I will share with you ways to use “freebies” or very inexpensive containers or objects to help manage all the tools that I need for projects of all ages. I will also share ways that I organize seating charts, student helpers, project examples and more! 

Conquering the Research Beast - Practical Ways to Conduct Research as an Art Educator: Kelly Berwager (AAEA President Elect)

 Research in the art room does not have to be a dirty word! You may not know it, but you conduct research every day, you just call it “surviving the day”. Learn how art-based research methods can be practical, timely, and beneficial to strengthening your art program. Learn to not only talk the research-talk, but to understand it as well. Walk away with ideas to get the ball rolling and the data flowing. 

A New Way to Introduce the Color Wheel: Cassidy Reinken (AOE Team)

Teaching the color wheel is a must for any art educator. I use this creative color wheel activity with my Middle School Students to refresh their color knowledge and understand color in a fun and practical way.

Arts Integration Strategies: Sarah Dougherty (AOE Team)

Though this presentation you will learn the basics of arts integration and new ways to support everyone in your school to use the arts as a vehicle for learning, all while keeping art at the forefront of integration endeavors. Here are your first steps to getting started with arts integration and the data you need to back up the idea of arts integration to decision makers at your school.  






Will I be able to receive documentation of PD hours for AOE Online Conference? Yes. The Education Sea will provide documentation of hours you spend participating in our online conference. At the end of the conference you will have the opportunity to request a Certificate of Conference Attendance which will state the hours spent participating in the conference in it’s entirety. This is also how our ‘no credit’ class participants log their time spent in our online classes. You can use this certificate to present to your school to translate into PD points or log PD hours. We know each state and school has a different system, but the main point is, YES, the time you spend on the conference can be used for your individual PD documentation needs. I must note this conference is not eligible for GRADUATE credit or a transcript through our educational partner. I would advise checking to see what you exactly need in order to renew in your state.The exact amount of hours the conference will be worth will be determined as we finalize presentations, but once you sign up you will be sent correspondence updating you on this, and how you can obtain your certificate. Be sure to fill out the registration form so you can get regular updates. 

What if I can’t attend the conference live on June 25th, but don’t want to miss out on this amazing event?  Will the content be available to me after the conference?  Everything will happen on June 25th, with a mix of live and video presentations. There will be LOTS of content.  You will have the ability to access everything in a special password protected community after the conference if you can’t make it for the entire conference. We are planning on recording all of the live presentations, posting the videos, as well as posting any handouts, printable resources, etc. You would also still have access to any conference “swag” – coupons, freebies, etc as well. We are doing our best to meet the needs of every art teacher, regardless of location and circumstances. We also realize some teachers are overseas or still in school sessions during this date.  

I am a secondary art teacher and I am worried there won’t be content that is relevant to me! Rest assured, the conference is geared to K-12 art teachers.  We will have a variety of sessions presented by secondary, middle school and elementary experts and many of the sessions will be applicable to K-12 art teachers.  Meeting the needs of every single art teacher is not an easy task, but making sure the conference is appropriate for all art teachers is very high on our priority list.  



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