Some of the most important subject areas and activities we want students to learn are the very ones that are left out of many schools: the arts, computer programming, and learning to making things by hand.
We know that arts integration can open all kinds of opportunities for learning and fostering creativity. We’re learning why computer science is an essential skill for every student to thrive in the digital world. And we’re understanding how allowing kids to get their hands on do-it-yourself projects shows them the value of designing, creating, and the process of making.
Until such time that schools provide these essential skills to all students, certain individuals and organizations are stepping in to fill the void. We met a few of these changemakers who are bringing these essential tools to students recently at the Big Ideas Fest in Half Moon Bay. Here are their stories. Perhaps their work and influence will make progress towards bringing these skills from outside the school system to where it belongs.
SMARTHISTORY: Making High Art Accessible
Steven Zucker and Beth Harris, the creators of Smarthistory, a huge collection of videos that take you inside the most important museums in the world, talk about how their explanations of significant art work make otherwise abstract or hard-to-understand concepts more accessible to students.