Opera Ups Its Presence in Schools

According to the Washington Post citing a recent study by the National Endowment for the Arts, "The audience for the performing arts is slipping nationwide. But opera has proved to do slightly better than other classical forms -- orchestral music or ballet -- in terms...

Arts For All

Given California's budget woes, it is amazing that this program, starting as early as it did, survived. Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading arts advocacy organization, recently awarded the Arts Education Award to Arts for All June 16 at their annual convention, held in...

Americans for the Arts Talks Creativity

Increasingly, many states are talking about our "jobless recovery" and the vital role the arts can play in preparing the 21st century workforce. Indeed, the California Alliance for Arts Education and The California Arts Council are in agreement: "creativity and innovation...

Closing the Digital Divide

John M. Eger – Huffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy, San Diego State University

Posted: Posted: 06/7/11

As globalization spreads, it is imperative that we not only close the “digital divide” in hardware and infrastructure, but also use technology to dramatically confront the world illiteracy problem in developing nations today.

In many parts of the world, a system of education either does not exist or girls, for example, are not privileged to get an education. Cyber education may be the only alternative to providing the basic skills for economic survival.

UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics provides a rough estimate of the world budget for education in the world, and comes up with the figure of about two trillion dollars. This of course, does not include money spent for tutoring, private schools, museum visits and the like.

But every child needs basic math and science and language skills, at least the three R’s and then some. So like payroll software, which every enterprise needs, why can’t we provide these forms of instruction through Cyber-Schools? Why can’t we develop the best, brightest and most practical methods of learning and make them widely available using the technology we have before us?

The Economist magazine recently teamed with Innocentive, an award granting corporation, as it advertises itself, connecting ” seekers with solvers” to enable other corporations the “shortest, most cost-effective path to finding a solution. “

National Science Foundation Slowly Turning STEM to STEAM

John M. EgerHuffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy, San Diego State University

Posted: Posted: 05/31/11

The STEM Initiative more and more looks like its morphing into STEAM.

Thanks to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the tireless effort and vision of Harvey Seifter, CEO of Seifter Associates and a principal of Learning Worlds, three conference were scheduled this year — in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois and San Diego, California — to look at what business, education, and communities across the U.S. were doing to merge the “two cultures” of art and science.

In the process, Harvey Seifter with support of the NSF is putting the arts into the STEM formula (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and more precisely, exploring a framework for sparking creativity and innovation in our schools, our workplaces, and in our nation.

Two of the conferences have already been held:

• April 6-7: Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

• May 16-17: Chicago, at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The San Diego Conference scheduled June 14-15 at the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology at the University of California, San Diego held in collaboration with the San Diego Science Alliance remains.

In a sense, the San Diego event is a culmination of the larger effort to forge an agenda for more in-depth research leading to action that in a matter of years will change education in America.

The data points for moving STEM to STEAM are becoming clearer, and the urgency of revisiting the current pedagogy used in pre-schools, K-12, and our universities, obvious.

Blame It All on Globalization 3.0

John M. EgerHuffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy, San Diego State University

Posted: Posted: 05/23/11

The challenge America faces in the wake of global competition is daunting.

We have lost our prowess in manufacturing, and in the provision of services like banking, accounting and insurance because computers can be found almost everywhere in the world, and any country can provide such services at a fraction of the cost, and ship it via telecommunications.

Globalization 3.0, first coined by The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, is here. Yes, as Friedman says, The World is Flat. Outsourcing and offshoring have entered our lexicon of new words. We are currently suffering what economists are euphemistically calling a “jobless recovery,” and our communities and schools are facing challenges not well understood by politicians, policy makers or parents.

We don’t know exactly how many jobs are lost from offshoring. But this shift of high tech service jobs will be a permanent feature of economic life in the 21st century.

While CEOs, economists and politicians are telling us that these are short-term adjustments, it is clear that the pervasive worldwide spread of the Internet, digitization and the availability of white collar skills abroad — where the labor cost alone may justify the move — mean huge cost savings for those global corporations.

President’s Committee Makes Strongest Case Ever for Arts Education

No doubt Obama was the first candidate for election to the Presidency to have an art and humanities plank. Early on he championed the idea that, "To remain competitive in the global economy, America needs to reinvigorate the kind of creativity and innovation that has...

The Right Brain Initiative

Many of us have been talking about the right brain and the whole brain and the urgent need to nurture both hemispheres in our young people. Our kids need to have the new thinking skills so in demand in an economy crying out for creativity...