A Design Experiment
IAD is beginning an experiment. Beginning May 5 the site began being designed "on the fly" by a computer and will change automatically to accommodate viewer preferences. Because of this, many visitors won't be seeing the same design. Initially, the layout of the site will be pretty rough but throughout the next few months, the computer will be adjusting layouts according to viewer preferences. There are currently about six layouts being served at a time. Each week, a new set of layouts is presented. If you aren't happy with a layout, access the site from another browser, and the odds are you will get a new layout. The system uses site visitor's actual responses to the layouts to determine the 'winning' layouts. So, if a layout is encouraging a longer time on site, more page views per visit, and lower bounce rate, that layout will eventually win.
I am closely monitoring the process and know that there have been a few bad layouts that some of you have complained about. I ask that you give the system a little time to adjust. The entire process should be complete in June. If you find a bug let me know. The advantage of this process is the computers will also be creating mobile and tablet versions of this site automatically. These are also being tested. This is a time consuming process if done by a human. I simply had no time to do this myself. The company doing the automation promises to "increase the user experience" through time. Thanks for your patience!
The Incredible Art Department is 20 Years Old!
The Incredible Art Department was born in November, 1994. It is one of the oldest art and education websites on the Internet. The site began as a showcase for elementary art students in a school in Indianapolis and has grown to serve the international community.
When the site first went online, Yahoo was two college students collecting links and Google didn't exist. It's been fun seeing how websites have changed through time. Very few still exist from the early days of the web. At the time, IAD was the only known art education website in existence. Most art teachers weren't really familiar with the web and turned to IAD for help. You can read some early media coverage of IAD from the Lassen County Times and the Needham Times.
Shortly before this time, the Internet was comprised of "gophers" called Archie, Jughead, and others. These allowed you to download documents, files, and applications off the Internet. With Mosaic and Netscape browsers, the Internet was off and running. At the time this site went online you could count the number of websites in the hundreds. Now we count them in the tens of millions and that number grows every day.
The site is a compilation of the work of three art teachers and a high school student. The site began with only 40 pages. The site has now grown to over 30,000 pages! Many art teachers have submitted their art lessons for the world to see through the years. You can see what this page looked like in 1994-1995. It was an ugly design, but back then you couldn't create tables and not until 1995 could you center any images on the page (See the 1996-2001 version, for example). As you can see, much has changed through the years. To read more about the site you can visit the history page.
I am saddened to report that a frequent contributor to the Incredible Art Department, Bunki Kramer has lost her battle to cancer. (May 1st). Bunki submitted her website to IAD last year and was a powerful force in the art education world. You can find her posts on many social media sites focusing on art education. Many of her lessons have inspired other lessons by art teachers across the world. You can find her obituary online. Bunki's school website is still online and when it is taken down, it will be hosted on IAD.
Welcome to the New IAD!
The newest section of the site is our new gallery section with over 20,000 paintings and drawings displayed. You can even buy a painting if you wish. Paintings not in the public domain are not included. There are other sections that may interest you:
The Art Teacher Toolbox is a resource for homeschoolers and new teachers. You can read about art curriculum and instruction, discipline strategies, special education, NCLB, best practices, school law, view contests, and create rubrics.
There are literally thousands of art-related links in the Art Stuff section. See artists from around the world, visit international galleries, see student art work, blogs, art videos, and much more!
For about 11 years, Princeton Online provided free hosting for the Incredible Art Department and we are grateful. Due to events beyond our control, we were forced to move to our own domain.
Feel Isolated in Your Classroom? Join the Community!
IAD hosts two list groups with many members who are art teachers, students, artists, and homeschoolers. Each list group is searchable and you can post a question to many art teachers across the world to get your answer. To sign up for the art education listgroups, visit this link. To sign up to see art jobs as they are posted, visit this link.
T-Shirts / Hoodies
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The Incredible Art Department has been featured in many national publications and received various awards through the years. Pardon us for bragging.
Before you go, sign our guestbook by clicking on the book on the left!