LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (THV11) — Take a trip down memory lane and think back to your school art class. You probably can picture the paint on the tables and the brushes in the sink. Well this year, things look a little bit different. The school elective is swapping paint and a brush for a laptop and keyboard.
Elizabeth Reid, the College Station Elementary School art teacher, said it's been interesting and exciting at the same time.
"It's very different than what we are used to, obviously, because we can't all use the same set of crayons and we can't all use the same paint sets," she said.
Art class, in the age of COVID, means breaking down your room into four wheels for elementary school teachers like Reid.
"I really wanted to portray that on my cart and give them a little familiarity of what they're used to seeing in my classroom on my little cart," she said.
Reid travels from classroom to classroom teaching her in-person and virtual students simultaneously on how to create art fully digitally.
"It's been a funny thing to get the kids to realize that once you make these settings that your finger becomes your drawing tool," she said.
Just a few miles down the road in Lindsey McMullin's art class at Mills Middle School, things are run a little different.
"With my curriculum, I try to really focus on art projects where students can really use any materials they have available to them," she said.
Like Reid, McMullin teaches all of her students at the same time, but since she can stay in her classroom she is sticking to pen and paper, for now.
"It's really just a matter of making sure virtual and in-class students get the same treatment and have the same opportunities for art-making," she said.
From more engaged students to intimate class sizes to art teachers leaning on one another, both educators believe this outlet is more crucial than ever.
"It's been a very emotional year for a lot of the students and for a lot of the staff and art is a really good way to channel that energy into something constructive and something beautiful," McMullin said.
Reid believes with students learning these digital art platforms, they will be able to introduce a whole new art movement.