We were sharing a shuttle bus back to the airport and I started talking about some of the things I was doing with technology in my classroom and she quickly offered me the invite. Every time I have had the opportunity to share my story with others, I hope they walk away with their thinking stretched of the role technology can play in their classrooms and how it can offer students authentic audiences for sharing their work.
The 2013 OAEA Conference Theme was "Reflecting the Standard." When I heard the title, I started thinking about what the "standard" is and who gets to decide that. As I started preparing my presentation, I decided that the standard can be something we all set through our expectations and outcomes in the classroom and it can evolve over time. It is also something that as Arts professionals we can help educate others on through research and practice.
As a part of the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project, we created a blueprint that outlines the "gold standard" in Visual Arts education. Part of the issue when doing this, is the Visual Arts is a subject area that is so used to being cut and diminished, when it came actually outlining what the standard should be, we had to do so without all of that baggage of what has been done in the past to cloud our vision. Students deserve quality Arts programs - and that means that the standard must include certified teachers with quality contact time and sufficient resources to provide that.
In the Visual Arts, we are poised in a unique position because we get to be the place where all other subjects come and play; we create learning opportunities that make those concepts have meaning through application. When we fuse technology to that mix, we can truly reflect the standard of not only what quality Arts education looks like, but what quality education looks like, period. Many look to the STEM to STEAM movement for this, but I think it is just something we need to start embracing as a part of how we interact with Art and share with the world. After giving my presentation this weekend, I began to think of how I integrate technology and created the chart below:
I had a great time sharing this past weekend and hope that it demonstrated what is possible when you integrate technology into the classroom and allow your students more ways to communicate their vision and share with others. The video below is a condensed version of my presentation that was originally created for the 2012 k12online conference. You can also find more resources on blended learning and technology integration throughout my site.