In 2010, one of my digital art students, Dalton Mills, won a national NASA competition for his 3-D animated visualization of what life on the moon would be like. I had only been teaching for a few years and had little experience writing press releases. Fortunately, our district had a resource person who handles press releases so I was able to work with her, Dalton, and our local newspaper to get the word out about his achievement. Afterward, we were invited to attend a local school board meeting to share Dalton’s work and achievement, as well as a few words about the importance of visualization in creating new dialogues toward progress and invention (much the way that Dalton’s animation opened up new understandings about engineering possibilities and sustainability issues for life in space).
It was an impactful moment, not only for Dalton, but for the art departments in our district. Dalton was utilizing technology to visualize concepts related to a myriad of aerospace, architectural, and engineering concerns. Of course, visualizing them isn’t the same as actually creating them but it is the foundational first step forward in actualizing an idea.
We all know how art education impacts students learning and interactivity. We know how important it is as its own discipline and as compliment to the core subjects. We need to continually ask ourselves, “do others know how impactful this is?” It’s our duty to ‘get the word out’ about the importance of art processes and the achievements of our students in these areas. If we don’t advocate to get the word out, no one will. Get into the practice!
-written by Lisa Ulik, WAEA Advocacy Representative, for the fall Art-etimes
Click here to access simple tips on how to write a press release or go to - http://www.wiarted.org/advocacy.html
Have something to share (news stories, achievements)? Why not share it on the WAEA advocacy blog! Email your news to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine tools so expansive in their capabilities that your students are literally finding ways to teach themselves, both in and out of the classroom. Tools so flexible they can expand definitions, promote dialogues, foster exchanges, and build new contexts. Dare we dream these tools will also promote analytical thinking through a type of dialectical learning that occurs when viewers become producers?
Technology does seem to be the tool of all tools as far as learning is concerned. However, it may be a stretch to say that technology by itself is a stand-alone, miracle tool that will solve all the world’s problems. Instead, it’s what we do with technology and how we use it in our lives and in our interactivity that really makes it a useful and expansive collection of tools. Perhaps that is why I revere it and the type of modalities it promotes in teaching and learning.
The modality principle is a research-based understanding that information is in fact better remembered when accompanied by visual imagery. In a study based on Paivio’s proposal of dual-coding and memory, Richard Mayer and his team were able to illustrate the modality principle as a significant increase in memory transfer through multimedia use in learning. Of course, multimedia learning means more than simply including images, audio, animation, and text into a presentation in our attempts to relay information into passive but receptive learners, as in the case of the split attention effect when learners’ only engagement is to decide which information is the least redundant. It’s when learners are challenged to make sense of what they are viewing that higher order processes of synthesis and analysis come into play in the form of creation and construction of both meaning and content.
One of my favorite ways to promote new media modality in the classroom is to informally brainstorm with my students about the purpose of a particular technology tool, such as youtube. I ask my students, “what does youtube do?” “How does it operate?” “How is it different than television?” Initially, they are taken aback, but after a few prodding questions they begin to form conclusions and answer, “communication,” “documentary,” “entertainment,” “exposure,” “individuality,” etc. Once we all have a collective understanding about what youtube does and how it’s used we can begin to enter into explorations and conversations about the various types of content produced and applied online and how we can work through our own processes to create particular types of purposeful content to be shared.
Other projects that promote multimedia modalities are visualization projects and research-based redesign projects. What’s great about these types of projects is they can be adapted k-12, depending on the level of reference to research. Furthermore, the redesign work doesn’t have to be done on the computer, but certainly can if computer usage skills are part of the project goals. An example of this would be to have your students research packaging design along with color theory and the idea of target markets. Then have your students redesign a package of one of their favorite products.
-written by Lisa Ulik, WAEA Advocacy Representative, for the winter Art-etimes
Thereʼs no better time than now to advocate for the arts and the relevancy of art education in our schools.
Here are some reminders to increase advocacy for the arts in our schools, districts, and our larger community.
• Know the Stakes - “Who” suffers when art education is cut and/or invalidated
in your school?
• When Opportunity Knocks, Invite it - Use opportunities and experiences in the
classroom to inform and educate others about the higher order merits of
constructed and problem-based learning. Share the learning experience with
• Donʼt Operate on Assumptions - Donʼt assume everyone understands the
relevancy and merits of art & design and art education. We all know how
important it is to “the core,” as well as creative thinking, problem-solving,
creating, and being able to visualize ideas. Spread the word,collaborate, and
• Put it in the News! - Share stories about what is going on in and outside of the
art room. Write a press release and/or publish content so it getʼs out there!
• Stay Connected - Visit NAEAʼs advocacy page to learn more!
• Share It! - Email your stories, rrs feeds, tweets, and more to Lisa Ulik,
- Examples in Action -
Blogging is a great way to get news out quickly and continually about whatʼs going on in and out of the art room.
Viewers can subscribe to your posts via an rss feed and get updates via email or through an rss reader such as google reader.
Check out what these teachers are doing with their classroom blogs:
• Lincoln Middle School, La Crosse, WI.
Art teacher, Lynnae Haerle Burns -
Click here to visit her blog
• North Sheboygan High School, Sheboygan, WI.
Art teacher, Frank Juarez -
Click here to visit his blog
Click on the pdf file below to download a basic guideline of writing press releases.
Work Together, Create an Arts Community!
Click on the image to link to Arts Wisconsin
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend Arts Day in Madison, WI. It was an incredible day of advocacy, sharing, entrepreneurship and networking. If you haven’t gone in the past, consider making it a priority in the future. I walked away from the experience transformed. Before attending I had a difficult time understanding just how much the arts impact the economic climate of our communities and why that is something we can’t afford to ignore.
If you haven’t heard of Arts Day, don’t feel bad...I hadn’t either until this year. Arts Day is organized by Arts Wisconsin, a non-profit arts advocacy organization and resource in Wisconsin. Arts Wisconsin is involved in many partnerships and arts initiatives across the state, including the ArtsBuild SmART Communities Initiative, Wisconsin Common Market, and more.
Who benefits the most from an arts community? The answer is...we all do! In addition, young children, as it provides a rich cultural experience to learning in addition to increasing problem solving skills and forming connections between various disciplines of knowledge. In addition to that, we know arts education experiences greatly effects students from lower socio-economic populations, offering experiential and cross-cultural opportunities in learning. For more information on how arts education effects students and communities visit the Arts America blog: http://blog.artsusa.org/. It is a national resource for arts education research and advocacy.
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Click here to see the Chuck Close art education advocacy video.
The Habits of Mind Studio Thinking
UCLA Lab School
Sir Ken Robinson’s writings and speaking
Keep arts in schools
National Art Education Association advocacy
Kennedy Center arts education advocacy toolkit
Arts Education Partnership
NAEA advocacy e-flyer
Advocacy Do's and Don'ts
Americans for the Arts
No Subject Left Behind
National Arts Policy Database
10 Ways Parents Can Get More Art For Their Kids
The Advocacy Toolkit
WAEA in the news