Media Arts

Participants will develop media arts and media literacy skills, becoming critical viewers– responding and connecting to works of media arts, and becoming intentional creators, using and refining different mediums to convey story and content, individually and collaboratively. 

Media Arts in the Classroom

What You Will Find In Media Arts 

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Teaching Youth Media Arts

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The kind of media you integrate into your classroom is your choice. The important thing is that you have a good understanding of how it will deepen learning and how it fits into the larger schematic of your curriculum.  


We have focused on Photography and Graphic DesignFilmmaking, and Podcasting. These sections of the website include fundamentals designed for both your personal and professional growth. You will also find a media gallery dedicated to each media type to inspire your creativity as well as your students, along with activities that scaffold to more advanced projects as you become a better media artist and facilitator in your classroom. 


Click on the "dig deeper" icon above to read more about media arts forms.


Why Youth Media Arts?

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"The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today's world." - National Association for Media Arts Education


In 1999, Times Warner was heading up the youth media efforts across the country and held a round table, bringing key national youth media players to New York to discuss the purpose behind engaging youth in media-making. A consensus was reached and three main goals surfaced: 


Ven Diagram


Perhaps the most obvious benefit of media production is that young people will learn valuable technical and creative skills that will later serve as qualifications for future jobs and careers.



When we talk about the importance of teaching students media literacy skills as a necessary for 21st century education, we are talking about helping students build critical analysis skills to skillfully navigate media they watch and create.  It is helpful to explicitly address the term media literacy with students so they understand how the skills they are gaining are useful as they learn to construct and deconstruct various media forms. 



Teaching students how to produce media with social impact and integrating media arts to enhance civics education is one of the key reasons to engage young people in media making.  Media activism is a broad category of activism that utilizes media and communication technologies for social and political movements. Civic media literacy learning experiences can be integrated into a variety of curricular areas and across grade levels where students can customize and contextualize content they are learning in the classroom, making it relevant and meaningful to issues they are facing in their lives. Furthermore, the exhibition opportunities allow for the proliferation of student voice. Watch No More Waiting in the media gallery and for more examples visit the social issues category under Filmmaking in the Classroom.


Media Gallery

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Media Arts Organizations

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Research on Media Arts

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A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one's creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.  . .  .  A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection.

A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these forms of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.

Access to this participatory culture functions as a new form of the hidden curriculum, shaping which youth will succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and the workplace. To read more click here.

Excerpted from Henry Jenkins paper  "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, 2007".



  • Engaging digital content and technology-enabled professional development are critical building blocks to create learning models that support personalized learning pathways.
  • There is growing evidence that dynamic technology-based solutions can lead to more effective teaching and learning.
  • Intelligent use of technology, in combination with new and emerging evidence-based models of innovative teaching and learning, can dramatically improve college readiness and completion in the U.S - and meet the standards that our students deserve and our economy demands.

Excerpted from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation white paper "Next Generation Learning: The intelligent use of technology to develop innovative learning models and personalized educational pathways", 2010.



While new technologies have been largely absent in arts education curriculum, they offer opportunities to address arts integration, equity, and the technological prerequisites of an increasingly digital age. In the past decade, there has been a growing commitment to educating learners with diverse needs and especially in underprivileged communities. Though some research has been gathered and established regarding the effectiveness of media arts integration into these classrooms, it is still an emerging field and a lot remains to be seen as a way to design a 21st century K-12 arts education curriculum.


CommonSense Media: inside the 21st Century classroom. This group examines building digital equity in schools as well as breaking down digital citizenship.

Media Arts Standards

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In keeping with the National Core Arts Standards, media arts standards are based on the artistic processes of Creating; Performing, Producing & Presenting; Responding; and Connecting. 


National Media Arts Standards (NMAS) serve as a conceptual framework for media arts learning and outline the philosophy, primary goals, dynamic processes, structures, and outcomes that shape student learning and achievement. 

Below is a sample of these standards. Click here to see the complete K-12 set.


media standards


Assessment for Media Arts

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One of the most common challenges for teachers integrating media arts into the curriculum is understanding how to evaluate both process and product. Below are some tools that you can use to assess media arts projects:



National Media Arts Standards serve as a conceptual framework for media arts learning and outline the philosophy, primary goals, dynamic processes, structures, and outcomes that shape student learning and achievement. You can use these standards to guide your media arts project design and to assess the end product.

A great assessment tool is the National Core Arts standards site for Media Arts Model Cornerstone Assessments. Here you will find strategies for embedding media arts into instruction, detailed assessment procedures, strategies for inclusion, task-specific and product assessment rubrics, and benchmarked student work. 



Think of positive youth development (building leadership, life skills, self-esteem, critical thinking, and pathways to employment, etc.) as the overall goal when working on media arts projects. It is useful to incorporate rubrics to serve as a framework for personal and skill development goals and learning outcomes.