So Many Resources, So Little Time

Posted by Jessica Wilt, Jan 20, 2012 5 comments

As an arts administrator, I'm constantly bombarded with information coming from all directions every minute of every day.

With endless emails, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed.

Having the "let's get organized!" attitude that a New Year brings, I thought it might be nice to highlight some of the good work our colleagues are doing in the field with a condensed resource guide.

Which makes me wonder: Has anyone designed an app for this yet?

Arts Education Listservs: Two of my favorites are Kristen Engrebretson's Arts Education Roundup from Americans for the Arts (an exclusive benefit of membership – join here or ask to be added to the arts education listserv if you are a member), and Arts Education Partnership's ArtsEd Digest. The Center for Arts Education, Education Week, and Public Education Network's weekly NewsBlast are also great sources of information.

Blogs:  It seems everyone is writing a blog these days! Who should we be reading? Americans for the Arts' ARTSBlog and are terrific resources. Richard Kessler’s Dewey21C and Art Education 2.0 are good ones too.

Websites: The buzz this year will continue to be about Common Core Standards. I recently attended a two-day professional development training about "Mapping to the Core" with curriculum expert Heidi Hayes Jacobs and her organization's website, Curriculum 21, is a fantastic resource for education and technology including a free upcoming "Mapping to the Core" webinar series.

Others of note: The Association of Teaching Artists, TED Talks, The J. F. Kennedy Center's ArtsEdge, and Quadrant Arts Education Research.

I also recently came across two “best of” articles that relate to the arts. Chris Unitt’s blog post and Hannah Rudman’s article highlight some of the great ways artists are using technology.

Anyone interested in a free eBook about arts assessment? Visual art teacher Jessica Balsley offers The Pocket Guide to Simple Art Assessments with a fully downloadable, 65-page version for $9. 

People: Here are some great resources in the form of arts education superheroes and their work--Eric Booth’s Everyday Arts, Russell Granet’s Arts Education Resource, Sir Ken Robinson (and his inspiring TED Talk), and Diane Ravitch’s book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.

Finally, I present must-attend events for the new year.

2012 Conferences/Events:

NYC Arts In Education Roundtable’s Face to Face Conference, February 22-23

AEP National Forum, April 12-13

National Arts Advocacy Day, Washington DC, April 16-17

Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, San Antonio, TX, June 8-10

National Guild For Community Arts Education, Dallas, TX, Nov 14-17

Feel free to add your own favorite resources in the comments below!

5 responses for So Many Resources, So Little Time


Mr. Gregory Fiedler says
January 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I can identify with Jessica Wilt's dilemma. As President of our county's arts council (Greater Flint Arts Council), I find that my work follows me every waking hour of every day. Even in my free time my attention is drawn in and out of my work.

I have made the following resolution so I don't miss out on the important things in life: "I don't need to know everything about everything in order to be good at my job."

Some day soon there will be some new AA groups including TAA (Twitter Addicts Anonymous), TXTAA (Texting Addicts Annonymous, FBAA (Facebook Addicts Annonymous) and BAA (Blogging Addicts Annonymous).

These are all great programs and I use them in moderation. Moderation is the key word. I am not sure I want to live in a world where there is no longer time to relate to people face to face sharing quality time because every available person (friends, family, co-workers) is attached to some electronic device communicating with everyone but the person standing right next to them.

With that said, I agree that knowing the most important sources of information can help us all live more fulfilling lives. I believe that the people we serve face to face can sometimes be the most valuable source of information and I plan to give them equal time.

Greg Fiedler
Greater Flint Arts Council, Flint Michigan

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January 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Thanks so much for your comments Greg! You are so right - with everything that technology brings we are missing that important face to face connection. I am trying to be more aware of when I am using my phone and I no longer respond to anything that is not important after 5pm or on the weekends. People get so used to immediacy that “I don’t need to know everything about everything in order to be good at my job” is such fantastic advice!

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Mr. Gregory Fiedler says
January 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Thank you Jessica,
Your blog has given me the courage to speak out. In fact it prompted me to begin a dialogue between my best friend and my partner when we were out for breakfast last Saturday morning. I was surprised how passionate they were about the subject, defending their need to respond to texts during meals and at those intimate times of the day when you should be having alone time. I am finding out that not only does this affect our work lives, it also affects our personal lives, discouraging intimacy by making us available to the world at times when we should be sharing one on one. I hope more people join this blog because I think some very interesting conversation will ensue.

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January 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm

You are welcome Chris and thanks for your list! I really like the "artist-entrepreneur" concept that especially holds true for teaching artists in the arts education field. It will be interesting to see how 2012 unfolds...

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January 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Hi Jessica and thanks for including a link to my blog post. I always find January's always a good month for weeding out a few RSS feeds and replacing them with some new ones. There were a couple of interesting-looking sites I'd not come across in your list, so thanks for linking to those too.

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