A new arts portfolio space for children and young people
The brand new and shiny Artsbox has been rolled out by Trinity College London as an online portfolio space for children and young people working towards an Arts Award, or who simply want to record their arts experiences, and for that they deserve a big hug.
It’s a simple but canny idea: artists from as young as five can create an online portfolio presence and upload their work, ideas and experiences, sharing them with their friends, teacher, Arts Award adviser or others in their Arts Award centre or school. Images, photos, pieces of text, videos and audio clips can all be posted in one place for others to see and add comments. To make the experience even more dynamic, there is a linked app so you can collate and share whilst out and about as well. Evidence sharing has just become a doddle… and a whole lot of fun too.
Is it tried and tested? Yes it is - in the autumn of 2013, 500 young folk from 25 Arts Award centres helped develop the design and functionality of Artsbox, so we can rest assured that it doesn’t come to us without input from the people that matter.
Young people, or ‘Artists’, have their own profile where they can start to make pages and share their work with others. Using simple editing, young people can add a picture of themselves or an avatar, select a banner, and write a few words about their ideas and interests. Then it’s down to business - and pictures, videos, sound recordings or word files can be uploaded to a personal library space (young people working towards an Arts Award have to be given the okay by an adviser). To view what your friends have been up to is a simple process too, and can be accessed very easily via your centre or organisation’s page. One of the best features of this innovation is the opportunity to offer feedback and share positive comments and constructive responses.
So what’s in it for teachers? Well, Artsbox will help transform the way you can assess and support students. You can access work online and give feedback from one place, and you can easily track both individual and group progress. To Join Artsbox, you can either train as an Arts Award adviser at a course which are offered throughout the year in different locations and are reasonably priced, or alternatively you can join as a teacher.
Once you have joined as an adviser or teacher you can create your own profile page and add some of your own media or a ‘make page’ to profile a piece of work. Setting up a group is simple enough. You can ask your artists to sign up via the Artsbox homepage or add/manage users yourself. You can control who can see what in the settings section, where you can decide whether content is made visible to Joe Public or other Artsbox members. You will of course be concerned how secure Arts box is. Well, rest assured it is very safe. Students can only share work once they are linked to you as their teacher or adviser.
As an adviser, you will be able to invite users to take part in a particular Arts Award level and this can be managed from a dropdown menu in a couple of clicks. Arts Award is a nationally recognised qualification that helps young people develop as artists and arts leaders and is really something to strive for, with five levels to aim at. As Artsbox is open to anyone, there are no set rules on how to present your work and no time limit for completion, for artists under 25 this is a golden opportunity.
Although Artsbox is very intuitive, help is at hand should you need it via a ‘Help’ tab where further support and guidance awaits your perusal.
A big draw of Artsbox is that it’s not going to cost you a penny. It saves space, it saves time and it could quite possibly save the day if you misplace a piece of creative genius or it gets damaged or lost. The site is easy to use, user friendly, intuitive and flexible. From a user point of view, you can see what you have done and track your efforts in an exciting and interactive way and from a teacher point of view this will help you become more organised.
Artsboxing is a fun, free and very secure way of recording and sharing creative arts experiences, and a communication tool that is dynamic, immediate and exciting.
Get started now at www.artsbox.co.uk