Posts Tagged ‘media arts’


Update on National Standards

July 16, 2012

Writing teams met

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) writing teams met (in person for the first time) in Reston, Virginia, June 19-22. The teams include dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. They gathered along with the leadership team of the NCCAS and had an intense productive four days.

The website to learn more is at where you will find video clips of team members providing information on the work. The meeting featured a live video broadcast session entitled Embedding Enduring Understandings, Essential Questions and Cornerstone Assessments into the new Core Arts Standards. You can view the recording of the session and learn more about the details of the development of the standards document.


Media Arts Writing Team

March 17, 2012

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   

Contact: Cory Wilkerson, 800-587-6814                             

NCCAS adds media arts writing team to Next Generation Arts Standards Project

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards has agreed to support the writing of national, voluntary media arts standards as part of the Next Generation Arts Standards Project. Recognizing the growing interest and diversity of media arts as a new mode of expression within public education, NCCAS has formed a team of media arts writers and leadership to lead the work. NCCAS is committed to creating re-envisioned voluntary, web-based arts standards that will build on the 1994 National Arts Standards (and the 2005 Standards for Learning and Teaching Dance in the Arts), that have helped guide curriculum designers, pre-professional training programs, funders, and federal and state policy makers in their PreK-12 decision making. NCCAS leadership is relying on the media arts writing team to create a set of standards that will be equal in rigor, breadth, and depth as those of those of dance, music, theatre and visual arts, while simultaneously recognizing that media arts will be embedded within each of the traditional forms as a pathway for knowing and understanding. Currently, media arts standards are included in the state standards of Minnesota, South Carolina, and in the district standards of New York City and Los Angeles. The writing team will use the research report, A Review of Selected State Arts Standards, to help guide them in their work. The report, one of five created in support of the project by NCCAS member the College Board, is available as a PDF at

“Our goal is to write media arts standards that will fully describe expectations for student learning in an art form that has the ability to serve as the nexus between the arts and other subjects in the curriculum,” said Pamela Paulson, senior director of policy at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Minnesota and one of two new NCCAS leadership members chosen to represent the area of media arts in the coalition of eight arts and education organizations. Richard Burrows, retired director of Los Angeles Unified School District’s nationally recognized arts education effort, and now an independent strategist, will serve as the other media arts leadership member.  He commented, “Media Arts plays a pivotal role in putting a strong, versatile and creative culture at the heart of contemporary learning in today’s education for young minds, and is beautifully positioned to make artistic meaning in bold new ways on behalf of the arts.”

Randy Nelson, the head of the education department of cutting-edge film maker DreamWorks Animation, and John Hughes, president and founder of Rhythm & Hues Studios (a leading producer of computer-generated animation and visual effects) praised the inclusion of media arts as its own subject area within arts education. “This is a visionary and forward thinking path for arts education,” said Nelson. “Artists who get technology, technologists who get art, managers who are creative and creatives who can manage are our future. Fail to include the full spectrum of skills, fail to treat media arts education as anything but a full partner, and get ready to find an explanation even a child can understand about why the rainbow is missing half its colors, and one for business people about why we are losing jobs to more colorful competitors.”

Said Hughes: “Media arts is relevant to today’s students because it reflects our contemporary, global culture. It provides vehicles for all students to find success and enjoyment in learning and promotes critical thinking processes while engaging, real world activities that make the content more meaningful.”

The Media Arts Writing Team Members are:

  • Dain Olsen, Chair, ArtLAB High School, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Jay Davis, Ambassador School of Global Leadership, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Steven Goodman, Educational Video Center, New York City
  • Scot Hockman, South Carolina Department of Education, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Jeremy Holien, Perpich Center for Arts Education, Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • Anne Kornfeld, Newcomers High School, Long Island, New York
  • Colleen Macklin, Parsons New School for Design, Brooklyn, New York
  • Bradley Moss, Maple Mountain High School, Springville, Utah
  • Michele Nelson, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Betsy Newman, South Carolina ETV, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Martin Rayala, Ph.D, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
  • James Reinhard, North Allegheny Schools, Wexford, Pennsylvania
  • Evan Tobias, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

NCCAS Leadership and the team chairs met most recently in Reston, Virginia, in the offices of the College Board to finalize work on a learning framework that will guide all five writing teams and to refine the project’s timeline. Writing teams are currently in the first stages of creating drafts. In the coming months, NCCAS will issue a new call for reviewers who will take the first pass over the new standards. For more information about NCCAS and the Next Generation Arts Standards Project, go to


Skowhegan High School Students – Virtual Art

December 1, 2011

Paul LeBrun – Digital Art Teacher

The following is the beginning of the explanation taken from If you want to read the rest of the description and learn more about the work Skowhegan High School students are creating please go to the link.

A Guggenheim inspired structure used to display student art work on the Maine Sim in Reaction Grid.

The Digital Art Students at Skowhegan High School in Maine display art work from the ‘real’ world in virtual museums and galleries.  Approximately 50 students enrolled in Paul Skowhegan’s (all avatars use the last name of their school) art classes are using some of the latest techniques and software to create works of art that can, theoretically, be shared worldwide.

Students get directions for a specific project, incorporating the standards-based requirements and artistic techniques along with instruction in using the software and hardware.  The results are 3D structures that reflect a unique aesthetic filled with artwork that each individual student selects.

As a visitor to the sim on Reaction Grid,  my tour consisted of several student-constructed galleries, the Surreal Gardens, and a build that is being constructed in collaboration with an English teacher whose class is studying The Great Gatsby.

Thanks to Frank Chin for sending me this information.


National Core Standards and Vacation

November 15, 2011

Beautiful Arizona

The first three days in Arizona were very warm but the weather was dry so it didn’t feel like 92 degrees was terribly hot. The hotel was about 5 blocks from Arizona State University so I had a chance to walk before moving to the air conditioned room where the meetings on the National Core Standards were held. We ate lunch outside and met in small group work outside as well so it made the work even more pleasant.

Thirty one of my colleagues from othe states part of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) organization attended the three day meeting in Phoenix the first week in November. We met with our partners from the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards who are:

  • Lynne Kingsley, Executive Director, American Alliance for Theatre and Education
  • Amy Jensen, Advocacy Director, American Alliance for Theatre and Education
  • Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership
  • Michael Sikes, Senior Associate for Research and Policy, Arts Education Partnership
  • Nancy Rubino, Director, Office of Academic Initiatives, College Board
  • James Palmarini, Director of Educational Policy, Educational Theatre Association
  • Michael Peitz, Executive Director, Educational Theatre Association
  • Michael Blakeslee, Senior Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, The National Association for Music Education
  • Scott Shuler, President, The National Association for Music Education
  • Deborah Reeve, Executive Director, National Art Education Association
  • Robert Sabol, President, National Art Education Association
  • Barry Shauck, Past President, National Art Education Association
  • Jane Bonbright, Executive Director, National Dance Education Organization
  • Susan McGreevy-Nichols, President, National Dance Education Organization
  • Deb Hansen, President, SEADAE, Delaware Department of Education
  • Linda Lovins, National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education Tri-Chair, SEADAE, Florida Department of Education
  • Marcia McCaffrey, National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education Tri-Chair, SEADAE, New Hampshire Department of Education
  • Lynn Tuttle, National Expectations for Learning in Arts Education Tri-Chair, SEADAE, Arizona Department of Education
  • Cory Wilkerson, National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, Communications Co-Chair, SEADAE

One of our tasks was to help determine who the writing teams would be for dance, music, theatre, and visual arts. Ten teachers for each team will be selected. I was proud that 9 Maine arts teachers applied. Thank you to those who took the time and made a commitment to help with this important work.  The chairs of these groups are listed at

We had an extensive discussion around “media arts” as a 5th discipline in the national core arts standards document. Thank you to those who contributed their opinion on two meartsed blog posts. You can read what your Maine colleagues think about the idea on the two posts. And you can learn more from what the “media arts” investigation committee learned at

Much of the discussion in Phoenix was streamed live for those who were available and for those who weren’t the videotapes can be accessed at

College Board is a full partner on the leadership team and they have done some interesting research for our national core arts standards work. You can read their findings that is already helping to inform the work at

As the work progresses you can continue to check the latest development by going to the wiki that has been created to house all of the links above and other information and resources at

Botanical Gardens

At the conclusion of my three day meeting I had a chance to vacation for a few days in Arizona. For a state that only has on average 7 inchCaes of rainfall each year I was surprised that it rained twice while we were there. Phoenix has a population of 1,445,632 as compared to our entire state of Maine with 1,318,301 people. For a city with such a large population it didn’t feel crowded like other large cities. The city is laid out on a grid with nearly every street straight. Numbered streets go north & south, named streets go east-west. There are “washes” where there are low spots and when it rains (not much even) the water rises in the wash and you guessed it floods the roadways. We ran into one of them and also freezing rain, sleet, and snow. In spite of the weather we hiked in some beautiful places where the saguaro cactus grow perhaps as tall as 50 feet and may live to be older than 200 years.

Joani and Mark

We spent time with old friends and met interesting people. I met Joani, who teaches art at Arcadia High School in 2000, while we were on the Fulbright program in Japan. Joanie’s husband Mark is a Director of Technology in the Kyrene Elementary School District. We traveled north from Phoenix and saw about 8 inches of snow in the Flagstaff where people ski the area mountains, the tallest about 12,000 feet. We traveled northeast from there to Canyon de Chelly National Monument arriving in time to drive the rim as the moon rose. The rich orange rock was beautiful at dusk and the next morning with sunshine, brilliant blue sky and 18 degrees. We traveled by jeep down into the canyon to view and explore the history, culture, artifacts, that are sustained today by a community of Navajo people. It was one of those moments in time when I realize how tiny I am in this great big universe.

Canyon de Chelly

We stopped while traveling back to Phoenix at the Painted Desert, another amazing site at dusk. The next day we hiked in Sedona and were treated to another beautiful blue sky and sunshine day. If you haven’t visited Arizona I recommend it. The landscape is so interesting and provides plenty of inspiration for artists.

Young Navajo artist whose grandparents live in the canyon during the summer

Young Navajo artist whose grandparents live in the canyon during the summer



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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