The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2015, May 2-3

Art Educators of Minnesota

AEM strives to provide quality professional development opportunities through annual fall conferences and regional workshops, keeps members current on art education issues in Minnesota and serves to advocate for them. AEM members enjoy the benefits of belonging to the National Art Education Association, which provides abundant resources for art educators. In addition, AEM promotes visual arts for youth through its annual Youth Art Month and the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards.

What new functionality we are looking for

Simply put, we are looking for a website that works seamlessly for our leadership and our members. We also need an online presence that accurately represents the level of professionalism and artistry that our organization embodies. Our current website doesn’t accomplish this. Some elements of the web site that we’d like to have include:

-Simple page navigation

-Visuals that enhance rather than distract from the information on the site

-A cohesive organizational template that allows a user to efficiently find information on each page

-A working calendar with links to events

-Pages that are easily editable by individuals from different committees

-Integrated Paypal so users can pay for fall conference and other events

-Links to our vendors’ websites and additional resources

-An interactive comment and forum page

-The ability to host online webinars through the website

How the new functionality will help

Art Educators of Minnesota has deep roots in this state and has been serving visual art professionals for over fifty years. But for its influence to continue, it’s essential that we modernize and stay technologically on par with the needs of our members and potential members. The website needs to be the centerpiece of communication for our organization to thrive. When educators can access the resources they need in an easy and appealing way, they can more effectively bring quality art education to their students. Students will be the ultimate beneficiaries of an up-to-date and user-friendly website for Art Educators of Minnesota.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

7 Messages from Supporters

2015-04-01 03:32:57 UTC
Debra Hannu

AEM is run by a small, dedicated group of teachers who all work more than full-time. Being able to have some guidance/advice on our webpage from outside experts would make a huge difference in helping us fulfill our mission!

2015-04-02 03:15:04 UTC
Erica Ness

AEM is an essential group for art educators. In a culture of education that doesn't value the visual arts we rely on each other to give guidance and support, and advocacy! I became active in AEM in college and now that I moved back from CA I am happy to have their support as I move from high school to elementary school. Their website needs an overhaul and while we are creative people we are also SERUOUSLY overworked people. Doing it ourself isn't an option. Don't believe it, try setting up a school art show! I would love to have an easier to use website to help me be the best resource I can be for my students!

2015-04-02 03:05:06 UTC
Kevan Nitzberg

Art Educators of Minnesota promotes creative learning and visual literacy for all students in Minnesota and the programs, schools and teachers that help to support them. It has been around since 1950 and continues to grow and seek new and relevant ways to be an effective and viable organization for its members. As the only professional visual art education organization in the state that serves K-12, post secondary and museum educators, the available funding that AEM has is stretched to the max which presents real challenges to their ability to reach out to its membership and all others with effective communication resources that will provide effective and up-to-date information to support the initiatives and programs that are vital to its members and its mission. Included in those resources are the annual AEM Fall Conference that provides essential professional development training, support for the Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards, the annual Youth Art Month exhibition, the Minnesota State High School League Section Visual Arts Competitions that occur state-wide, a link to the parent national organization (NAEA) and various local visual art events and leadership trainings. That communication in this day and age is always going to have to be multi-faceted. The primary resources now being employed include an electronic newsletter, a monthly online communicatation, a presence on Facebook as well as one on Twitter. While all of these are important, they do not have the same diverse and timely impact that a fully functional, comprehensive and inviting web site can provide. The possibility of having access to the resource that the Nerdery is offering through this opportunity would be invaluable to the continued success of AEM though the re-tooling of what their present web site presently offers that is not getting the job done.

2015-04-03 11:22:36 UTC
Cynthia Gail

Art Educators of Minnesota is a place for art teachers to connect and share new ideas. It is very important with the way changes are occurring in the world today to have connectedness. We help each other to move on into the future of innovation and new technology. It is a commitment to excellence in art education. It is a major field of study that promotes creativity and is process oriented. This is a generation in which the product will generate new experiences for society to expand knowledge into understanding. Create - Educate - Explore Help be a part of those who are willing to make a difference in the lives of our children today. Everyone working together for a better tomorrow.

2015-04-03 15:49:44 UTC
Jamee Yung

Schools, museums and community organizations all around us are faced with reducing staff and programming. AEM has invested years in building powerful networks of art teachers, artists and statewide organizations that we need to maintain and continue to nurture as best we can. A newly designed website can provide a great venue for discussing how to continue to create quality educational programming and make the most of our individual and collaborative resources. We need to stay connected and support each other. A well designed website that is easy to navigate and could host webinars, discussions, networking opportunities, and sharing could help our organization stay focused on our mission, stay connected, grow and help bring the arts to the students of the great state of Minnesota!

2015-04-06 12:54:36 UTC
Jeff Lenzmeier

The opportunity that the Nerdery's Overnight Website Challenge can provide for AEM would be invaluable. I would echo all of the above comments and insights. As Ms. Hannu stated, this organization is run by a small group of teachers who spend their days with the creative minds in our schools. So, time and expertise to create a website of the caliber you could deliver, is out of our range. Connections with fellow members, drawing in new members, and being able to offer the ability to navigate for information would be a tremendous benefit to the members of AEM. As a member, I am excited about the opportunity being provided to help our organization take the next step in being present to our members all over our state. Many members are out there on their own in out-state districts - sometimes they are the only art teacher in the district. A fully functioning website would give them the professional support and connections they need to do a quality job for the students of Minnesota. Thank you for your consideration in aiding us in our cause.

2015-04-06 13:38:23 UTC
Julie Deters

The Art Educators of Minnesota has been a valuable organization to me for my 23 years of teaching Visual Arts. The yearly state-wide conference is the primary time when information is shared. That is only once per year. Outside of that, I am doing a great deal of research, reading professional journals and at various sites online to keep my teaching fresh and stay current with Best Practices. This organization relies heavily on networking with each other, sharing information, helping one another. A website that allows us to share what is most relevant to our organization in a user-friendly manner is critical to keeping AEM strong in the 21st Century and beyond.

Having an aesthetically pleasing website with up-to-date information sends a message to the public that we are serious about what we do. We ARE. It takes a lot of money and a lot of time to have a solid website that draws people to it. We have the passion but we don't have the necessary time and cash.

Clearly, the designers of this website have some class. They know and are effectively using the Elements and Principles of Design. We teach those guidelines to our students. Shouldn't we have a website that demonstrates what we expect of our students? Absolutely! :)

Our Mission

The mission of Art Educators of Minnesota is to promote and advocate quality art education for all learners by providing professional growth opportunities for all Minnesota Visual and Media Arts Educators to learn, collaborate, advocate, and acknowledge excellence in the profession.