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20 Feb 2017
STEAM not STEM
Art of Education Conference #artednow

On Saturday we took part in a totally new experience in our education world – an online conference! We've been to many conferences, mainly art based and all have been where we have been physically present. But last year we were asked to take part in this online conference organised by American based The Art of Education (AOE), an online resource for art teachers providing online classes, teaching materials, lessons, videos and much more.

Over 2,200 people attended online from around the world – from the comfort of their own homes! We presented in the first hour so that the time difference was manageable (10am CST, making it 4pm GMT) on the subject “The Best Ways to Keep Your Drawing Curriculum Current”

"Drawing these days means a whole host of things to different artists and designers, from the tried and true pencil realism to experimental ideas like drawing with light and other 3-dimensional applications. Join Julie Read from Portfolio Oomph to explore what drawing can mean for you, and how you can use the medium in your own classroom to widen the student experience."

We created the video way back in December, 10 minutes long that was streamed on the day to the attendees. Whilst the video was streaming, I was standing by on Facebook Messenger to answer any questions, live. There were a number of questions and to be honest, it was such good fun! 

As this presentation was originally created for the AOE Conference, we are contracted not to share it until 6 months from the conference date. So unfortunately we can't link to it here, but we will do after 6 months when we have permission.

It was great to be connected to so many other individuals around the world all fighting for the same cause – to get creativity in schools really working. And I say fight, because in this climate it really feels like a fight – against STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) when all these subjects need creativity to thrive. We need STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) if our young people are to stand a chance in life these days. By studying art, it doesn't mean you are necessarily going to be an artist, but that you can think creatively, out of the box, laterally, all good skills required by many professions these days.

We had some superb comments as Twitter took off and below here are some of them. Follow us on Twitter.

We'll update this post when our video presentation becomes available.

If you were at the conference or want to comment on how you feel about drawing and STEAM, do leave a comment below.

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