You've got a great group of creative kids and someone other than you should know about it, right? Lots of educators seem to be publishing their students' work, but how are they doing it? Here's what you need to know to get your students' work out into the world.
Why publish your students' work? There are lots of reasons for choosing to publish.
Perhaps the biggest reason is to motivate your students. We teach our students that creative work is intended for an audience, whether it is writing, visual art, photography, video, theater, or dance. Students know that their work has little audience outside of you, their classroom, and their parents. Offering students a larger audience increases their motivation for creative work and often the quality of the work itself.
When you choose to publish a student's work, it sends the message that you believe the work to be valuable and worth sharing with others. Seeing a project come to completion through publishing gives students a sense of accomplishment, boosting their self-confidence, which can spill over into all areas of the students' lives.
We often think of inspiring our students, but forget our students' ability to inspire. Your students likely inspire you on a daily basis. Why not let them inspire others? Children aren't just the adults of the future, they are people in the here and now. They have something to contribute to the world around them. Let their voices be heard!
When should be publish students' work? Consider each of the following before making the decision to go public.
Can you safeguard your students' privacy? Whether publishing on the internet or in a more local forum, it is impotant that you know what information you can and can't release about a student. You should always check with your administrator before publishing.
Even though the work was created in your classroom based on an assignment you created, students own all rights to their creative work. You must have written permission (if the student is under 18, from a parent or guardian) to publish that work on behalf of the student.
The Work Itself
Is the work ready to be published? We shouldn't publish any and all student work, it must be carefully chosen. Choosing to publish sends a message to the student and others about your opinion of the quality of the work. Be sure that your opinion of the work warrants the compliment you are about to pay it. Only quality work should be published. Publishing sub-standard work sends the wrong message to students about what you expect of them.
So you have chosen student work that you feel is ready to publish. Now what? Here are some resources you can use to find places to publish your students' work.
The Worldwide Kids' Art Gallery accepts visual art submission from children of all ages.
Zuzu is an online magazine of students' creative work. The site lists specific types of work that they are searching for to complete issues.
Midlink Magazine publishes classroom projects. The site lists the current projects for which they are seeking submissions or you may propose a new project.
Magcloud allows you to create and print your own magazine, on –demand, with no minimum number to run.
Artsonia is a huge online student art museum that is in partnership with the National Art Education Association.
Cyberkids posts many kinds of creative works including music and multimedia. There is a version for teens at Cyberteens.
Carbonmade allows users to create an online portfolio. It was not created specifically for students, but it does have a limited free version that could be especially useful to older students.