Akinpelu Babatola

Guest Writer, the Xpress Train

The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely put a dampener on education. Schools all over the world have closed and students are locked up at home. While there are efforts to continue the learning process, there are some classes that require more interaction than others. 

Art classes are a prime example of this. Asides the issues of getting supplies, being an art teacher right now is a difficult task. But all hope is not lost. 

Yes, you read that right. There is still hope for art students and teachers everywhere. Let’s talk about how art can still be taught outside the classroom. 

Setting up the class

All classes need a classroom. Art classes are not exempt from this rule. Fear not, digital classrooms to the rescue.

With online platforms such as Zoom, YouTube, and Google Classrooms, hosting online classes is no longer an impossible task. They are very useful tools for face-to-face interactions, albeit through a screen. You can go about business as usual, just like in a regular classroom. 

Sourcing materials 

While schools and faculties usually provide the materials, current events do not allow for this now. You can go about sourcing materials in different ways. One option is to reach out to parents and have them provide the materials for the children. 

A more creative option is to have your kids use materials around the home. Maybe making art out of toilet paper is one way to do this. Encourage them to be creative and you might end up wowed. 

Giving Tasks and Submitting Assignments. 

While letting students get creative is a fun thing to do, we still need an organized structure. You should give students tasks that are in line with the curriculum. Just remember, while at home, they are going to be easily distracted. 

Give ample time, simple tasks, and send regular reminders. This will help you cut down on cases of missed deadlines.  

When it comes to submission, Showbie is an excellent option. It gives you the option of creating multiple folders for your students to use. It also lets you set deadlines for submissions. 

If you want to check progress, have students, submit pictures of their work at different points. This will help you eliminate the chances of cheating and reduce laziness. 

 Music is another problem entirely. While you can send pictures with almost every other art form, you can’t do the same with music. Try sending sheet music and have them record themselves while playing.

A fun twist to this is to leave the title off the sheet music. This way, they have to learn the piece and guess the name of the song as well.  

Activities outside the classroom.

While excursions and special visits are out of the question, you can still have fun with art outside the digital classroom. One option for this is to have students visit digital museums. 

Thanks to the pandemic, virtual tours of museums are now a thing. You can have scavenger hunts or just have them write reports on their favorite pieces from the museum. 

Art is a way to express ourselves. The pandemic does not stop that. Get creative and we will get through this.