Everything Arts + Education + Technology in 2014

Posted by Jessica Wilt, Jan 08, 2014 4 comments

Jessica Wilt Jessica Wilt


It’s the start of a New Year and technology will continue to be a hot arts education topic in 2014.  Since launching my own ArtsEdTechNYC venture last spring, I’ve immersed myself in many conversations exploring ways in which technology – I admit, a super generalized term – is being utilized within the scope of arts education. In meaningful, effective ways including K-12, higher education, distance learning and special needs populations, I remain continuously inspired by so many people doing amazing work.

Here are a few things I’ve discovered where technology will continue to change the way we teach, educate and inform our arts education field this year and beyond.


The Wallace Foundation released two critical pieces of research late last year. As access to technology for learning, communication and art making grow among our youth, self-directed, connected, and digital learning opportunities are expanding as well.

These reports are a must-read:


The EdTech movement is the driving force behind development of so many new online learning platforms, apps, and software being created at lighting speed.  Here are a few arts, creativity, and innovation sites that I think are great:

  • Susan Riley’s STEM to STEAM focused Education Closet provides a wonderful platform for art integration ideas and professional development, while also offering a unique annual virtual conference. The STEM to STEAM conversation will continue to be an extensive one.
  • The educational arm of TED: Ted ED is a cool opportunity for teachers to submit lesson plans to professional animators that bring curriculum to life beyond the classroom.  Ted-ED is a great platform for “flipping” or the “flipped” classroom concept.
  • Project ED puts out regular contests for students to submit videos that succinctly teach educational concepts, vocabulary and mathematical equations.  I have to remind myself every time I watch these videos that they are student-created and not submitted by seasoned professionals.
  • Massive Open Online Courses, otherwise known as MOOCS, are higher education-focused online learning platforms that continue to be of great debate.  Websites like Knewton, Coursera and General Assembly offer an array of online courses, a mix of free and tuition based options.  I’ve registered for several Stanford University MOOCS on creativity and innovation in education, but will be completely honest – I have yet to finish one.  Online learning, especially when not engaging and interactive, can be challenging learning environments.  The jury is still out!


School districts big and small are exploring – and struggling – with ways to effectively implement technology on a mass scale.  Whether you agree with Los Angeles Unified School District’s epic iPad rollout with Apple, Amplify’s mass tablet initiative in Greensboro, NC, or a multi-year federally funded Arts Achieve assessment and evaluation model the New York City Department of Education is exploring using technology – it’s time to get with the program, technology is here to stay.

Los Angeles’ Music Center recently provided it’s Artsource Curriculum online for free, and I foresee in the near future many more arts education programs who have the funding and capacity following suit.


I’m really excited about the opportunity in a few weeks to meet Mark Coppin, a recent “Champions of Change” awardee by President Obama and the White House, who works with special needs populations using Assistive Technology*. I’ll be featuring more of my ArtsEdTechNYC at Apple SoHo talk with Mark in my Jessica Says column for the Clyde Fitch Report at the end of January. I’m happy to announce this column will take a new focus on all things #ArtsEdTech in the coming months.


I’ve written before about the impact that social media, particularly Twitter, can have on growing your professional networks and community.  I can’t speak enough about how much rich information and discussion can be found via social media on arts education and tech related topics. I would also include Meetup.com as a more in-person way to meet others in your local community around a common interest.

*Check out this interview with Mark Coppin on YouTube:

This post barely touches the surface of the plethora of information available. I encourage all of you to add your own favorite arts, education, and technology related sources to the comment section of this ARTSblog post!  And, like always, feel free to drop me a tweet on Twitter! @JessicaLWilt

4 responses for Everything Arts + Education + Technology in 2014


January 09, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Thanks for your kind words Kathleen! You have been one of my arts education and technology inspirations and greatly appreciate your contributions to the field! I look forward to featuring some of the incredible work you are overseeing with your students at the Arnhold Dance Education Graduate program at Hunter College with ArtsEdTechNYC!

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January 09, 2014 at 7:59 am

Thank you for this comprehensive report. It has been very exciting to see the fusion of your experience in arts ed administration, advocacy, artistry and technology merging and informing the development of ArtsEdTechNYC. Congratulations!

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January 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I would have to completely agree with you that the utilization of technology is generalized in the arts education. Yes, there are unlimited ways that classrooms (whether virtual or in-class) can take advantage of technology.

However, it's also important to understand that technology is a mere assistive tool to education. I've seen enough examples where technology advancement overrides the basic needs of teachings in classrooms: using apps that are too complicated/expensive and interfaces that are difficult to navigate.

I think in the age of rapid growth where technology is rushing to enter the classrooms, it's a good time to take a step back and reassess whether the technology is really doing what it's supposed to: teach.

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Andy says
February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

Wow, this article includes a lot, if you'd like to read up more about why arts and education is important, check these links!

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