Teaching Art from a Distance

David Leshaw
2 min read
Graphic purple laptop, pot plant, scissors, colored papers, and set of paints.

When art teacher Cynthia O’Reilly realized that her school would be closing due to Covid, she had to make some big decisions fast. She needed to figure out how to teach a very hands-on (and often hands-in) subject remotely.

So how did she do it?

First of all, she realized her greatest challenges were classroom continuity and connection. To solve this problem, she turned to a virtual platform solution in the form of online newsletters. Sending an online newsletter allowed Cynthia to deliver the class lessons, as well as provide a platform to virtually display student work.

In her newsletter, Cynthia gave step-by-step instructions for classwork plus showcased her students’ artwork – all in one easy-to-access location.

Another challenge Cynthia faced down in style was figuring out how to post YouTube and Vimeo videos as outsource-able links to lesson instructions. For Cynthia, this added a “reliable and accountable layer to Google Classroom.”


Through all of this problem-solving, Cynthia discovered an unexpected benefit: she realized that with all of the online social platforming taking place — due to the shift to virtual learning — that, “students truly begin to see themselves and their artworks as a part of the world and in their local communities surrounding their home base school.” Wow! Talk about applying lessons from school to students’ real lives.

We hope this provided some helpful ideas! Here’s to all your future remote art teaching adventures!

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David Leshaw

When David isn't making pour-over coffee or running up mountains in search of an ultra-marathon PR, he oversees B2C marketing efforts for Smore, the world's most-loved newsletter software.

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