Archive for October 27th, 2011


Media Arts: Stand Alone or Integrated?

October 27, 2011

Let’s chat

Please humor me… I know you’re busy and some days you barely have time to eat lunch and use the rest room let alone read the meartsed blog. This is what I need from you… your thoughts, your wisdom, your ideas.

Please weigh in on this topic since it is important to the standards future and could impact your future arts education curriculum …. Should “media arts” be a stand alone topic, like dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, or should “media arts” be intervowen into the 4 arts disciplines as we now know them in the Maine Learning Results and National Arts Standards? I think it is a simple and challenging question that needs your best thinking, especially in Maine where MLTI has helped us “lead” the technology conversation in Maine and beyond.

Periodically I get emails and questions like these: My high school has put in a media arts course where students are receiving fine arts credit. Can that be done? Usually the teacher is upset since students who would normally take the arts courses are taking the media arts courses. My question in return is: have you incorporated any media arts into your traditional courses? If the answer is no, I ask why not? And add that perhaps the reason students are taking another arts type of course is because they are looking for something that contains more 21st century tools and opportunities.  Don’t get me wrong here I am not suggesting we eliminate those traditional experieinces however we need to do business differently.

To help you think differently about education, how you teach and how students learn… I suggest you read the following books:

Inevitable, by Bea McGarvey and Chuck Schwann, both makes the case for mass customized learning, but also lays out a vision of what it might look like and how we might do it. Commission Bowen had all of us at the Department read this book. Our books were passed on to the superitendents in the state and each group is reviewing the book and have been asked to pass theirs on to a school board member or another administration. It would be great to hear what you have to say about this easy read.

Another approach to customized learning is student-designed standards-based projects. The Minnesota New Country School is given much credit for developing this model, and their work has been recognized by the US Department of Education, and others. Ron Newell has captured this work and makes clear the student-designed project approach in Passion for Learning. I haven’t read this one yet but it is on my list.

What books have you read lately that you recommend to others? Please make suggestions in the “comment” section below. And what do you think… Media arts a stand alone or interwoven into the other arts disciplines for delivery of education?

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