Palm Beach Schools Technolog Mini-Conference

mini-conf-LogoI’m very excited by the opportunity to present at the inaugural Palm Beach Schools Technology Mini-conference.

The title of my presentation is

Digital Media Arts Integration: Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating the Creative Classroom, a subject that I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this summer as we continue to promote the use of creative technology processes in the classroom.


For those attending, here are links to the resources and references used in the presentation.

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity

Center for Creative Education (West Palm Beach)

Kennedy Center for Arts Integration

Relevant Literature

Arts Integration Connections to 21st Century Skills

Creating Arts Integration Topics

Grant Wiggins on Assessing Creativity

ASCD on Assessing Creativity

Eleven Classroom Creativity Killers

This article from Marvin Bartel has some great tips on the kinds of classroom activities to avoid. Among these creativity killers are:

  • Assigning grades without feedback
  • Demonstrating instead of helping students do hands-on practice
  • Showing an example instead of defining a problem
  • Encouraging freedom without focus.

As the author states:

This is my confessional as a teacher.  Most of what I learn in art and in teaching is direct result of mistakes I make. I become aware of problems after something happens.  I get into habits that are hard to break.  It is hard for me to see an issue until it presents itself in the form of failure.  Every student is different, so teaching is never an exact science.  I am tempted to be pleased if a few of my students do well.

Read the full article here: Eleven Classroom Creativity Killers.

PBC School District Students Can Download Microsoft Office 365 Suite Absolutely Free | District News

The more than 183,000 students of the Palm Beach County school district now have a new set of tools that they can add to their learning supplies, and it’s all free.

Thanks to Microsoft’s Student Advantage Program, students can now download the full Microsoft Office 365 suite which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Lync, Outlook and Access on up to five devices at no charge.

Learn more here:

PBC School District Students Can Download Microsoft Office 365 Suite Absolutely Free | District News.

Assessing Creativity

Here’s a great set of standards that can be applied to the evaluation of creative works by students. Can creativity be assessed and should it? The companion article from Grant Wiggins makes a compelling case that it can and should be evaluated.

….it is vital when asking students to perform or produce a product that you are crystal-clear on the purpose of the task, and that you state the purpose (to make clear that the purpose is to cause an intrinsic effect, NOT please the teacher.

This article from ASCD also delves into the question of assessing creativity and makes additional points on the necessity for providing feedback to students on whether their work is “creative” (read engaging, interesting, varied, and original.)

Finally, Sir Ken Robinson also has some thoughts on creativity and why it should be assessed and evaluated. The big takeaways:

  1. Creativity is a process.
  2. Creativity involves breaking new ground with original work.
  3. Creativity ultimately is about value. Is the creation any good?

Integrating Arts into the Curriculum from the Teaching Channel

The Teaching Channel Arts seriesLearning through the arts is a dynamic way to engage students. But arts integration is more than just an engagement strategy — it’s a powerful way for students to gain and express understanding. Teaching Channel is really excited to present a new series of 19 videos on arts integration, in partnership with The Getty Museum. In this series, we see teachers engage their students in learning through the arts in a variety of grade levels, subject areas, and contexts. It’s inspiring to watch teachers use arts integration with English Language Learners, students in Special Education, and in conjunction with the Common Core.

Learning About Greek Mythology Through the Arts

In David Cooper’s sixth grade social studies class, we see students learning about Greek mythology through the arts. After studying Greek gods and goddesses, David has his students apply their knowledge when looking at artwork in the classroom and then later at a field trip to the Getty Villa. As a final performance of understanding, David’s students work together to plan and perform a Greek or Roman talk show. This performance of understanding shows students applying their knowledge of Greek mythology in a new and creative context.