In any arts integrated classroom, implementing arts integration strategies, aligning content standards organically with standards in the fine arts, and crafting quality arts integrated lessons is key. However, there is room to allow for open-ended, creative expression of content through the arts center media arts. With that in mind, we’d like to offer some parameters for creating centers for exploration and investigation in and through each of the arts areas.

Understandably, much of what is feasible for any given classroom is dependent on many factors: space, budget, access to supplies and materials, etc., but we offer this today in the hopes that it will spark some investigation into how you might create a space for student-driven exploration in the arts.

Through this series, we are highlighting each arts area to provide some ideas as to how you might set up each center in your classroom, as well as some ideas for how you might use these centers to provide your students with opportunities for open-ended exploration. In our final installment, we focus on media arts.

In our final installment, we focus on Arts Center Media Arts

The Intention:

Unlike the other centers we’ve outlined in this series, a media arts center is a little more resource-intensive, but with the right resources, the possibilities are endless. The idea behind a media arts studio is to allow students a space to learn to employ their creative skills to develop digital works of art to communicate a message. This skill is incredibly important in our 21st-century classrooms, as this is the type of workforce our young students will be entering someday- a workforce we can’t predict. It is essential that we instill a sense of independence in creating digital and media works in our young students to prepare them for a still-undefined field of jobs and careers.

The Setup:

A media arts center is a bit more resource-intensive. Computer, laptops, tablets, printers, 3D printers, etc.- the bottom line can really add up. You can adjust the menu of activities in your media arts center to reflect the possibilities you have at your disposal. In the event that you are lacking resources, look into options for securing grants and donations to build up your media arts makerspace.

Activities:

Depending on the materials and equipment at your disposal, the possibilities are endless. Using audio applications, students can create podcasts to highlight their understanding of a unit of study or sound stories to enhance an original written work or a known story. Using video applications, students may create movie trailers or short movies to highlight a process-based learning experience or to film an original script based on a unit of study. Students may design posters, flyers, or informational brochures. The activities are completely flexible based upon your equipment and your comfort level in facilitating such activities.

Materials:

  • Computers/laptops
  • Printers
  • 3D printers
  • iPads/tablets
  • Sound software such as Audacity and GarageBand
  • Video software such as iMovie
  • Elements of Design poster

References for Arts Center Media Arts Activities:

Teaching Elementary Students to Be Digital Media and Technology Experts: https://uei.uchicago.edu/news/article/teaching-elementary-students-be-digital-media-and-technology-experts

3D Printing in the Classroom: http://www.schrockguide.net/3d-printing.html

MakerSpaces in the Media Center: http://www.edudemic.com/libraries-getting-reinvented/

YOUmedia at the Chicago Public Library: http://youmediachicago.org/

What are your favorite strategies for integrating Arts Center Media Arts into the classroom?