A Tale of Two Art Worlds, My Journey Through the Virtual Visual Art Classroom
I am very happy to share my virtual teaching and learning environment experience. With the advent of the COVID-19, the whole world including bigger organisations and institutions noticed gaps in their preparedness against any unforeseen calamities like what we are experiencing at the moment.
However, that cannot be said of ARIS, which rather saw a glorious opportunity in the situation and took a proactive decision to have its staff trained and piloted the virtual learning model through blended learning long before a lockdown was announced, by the time we closed, ARIS was firmly on the ground to launch an online teaching-learning environment ahead of many, including advanced counties.
Before COVID 19, I knew about Google classroom, but never respected it in any way helpful to my Visual Art lesson. I took the opportunity offered by ARIS to learn about it, and now I see how useful it has been since, for a time like this.
I organise my lessons, have them posted, students enter class by responding "PRESENT" for attendance, zoom meeting starts, students ask questions, they get explanations, teaching proceeds and works get uploaded, (though not every student, on time) but it has presented me with a great opportunity to see teaching from an angle of more engagement in learning to pass on experience and to be ready to learn from my students through the use of technology and tools for proper feedback, even with visual art.
I have learned to fail through mistakes and learned by experience to continue learning to master it. Students were adventurous to have learned in many ways through exploration and it was my time to explore, though challenges. I am therefore pleading that the marriage between ZOOM and Google classroom and allied tools, should not be put away any moment from now, even long after the exit of COVID-19.
ARIS has a great, helpful and awesome community of learners in education with smiling faces even in the face of COVID-19. Even though we are on lockdown, ZOOM and Google Classroom has made it possible to see these smiling faces and happy voices behind screens (virtually).