I attended the first Los Angeles Unified School District Media Arts Salon this weekend. Dain Olsen organized the event and brought ~40 educators and professionals together to discuss the future of media arts as a new discipline in k-12 education. There were some obvious differences in opinion, but overall a lot of progress was made. I presented a short summary of my own opinions along with a few of my current projects. It seemed well received though I fear the binary glove may have come across as a bit too technical. Hopefully the meeting will lead to future collaborations with LAUSD and the other groups represented at the salon.
It was encouraging to meet so many engaged in preserving the arts as a discipline while at the same time acknowledging the shift in the mediums we use to express them. The way we communicate has changed drastically in the last 10 to 20 years. Education must evolve with it. Our kids are already out-pacing us outside of their school curriculums. Media arts shouldn’t replace existing disciplines but should be more central in the conversation of learning. At their core lies a unique power to engage minds, teach creative problem solving, and create meaning making—thus enhancing the learning process of any discipline.
“We are beginning to realize that the new media aren’t just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression.” –Marshall McLuhan, 1960