About the Arts & Digital Literacy Intiative

Overview

This Initiative, which bridges fine arts education and technology, is a program of the Texas Cultural Trust in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts. The initiative is a project-based, fine arts curricula for high school students that establishes the connection between traditional fine arts education and digital media. Digital literacy is the future of communication and commerce and these courses create learning experiences that develop students' capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination, and innovation. The courses are based on a combined set of fine arts and technology standards, resulting in arts instruction that is rigorous and designed to specifically develop students’ media literacy, providing integrated, relevant skills that will prepare them for the 21st century workplace. The Texas State Board of Education approved the new student standards for the Fine Arts -the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS). These new standards include all of the Trust’s courses (Art and Media Communications I & II; Music and Media Communications I & II; Theatre and Media Communications I & II; Dance and Media Communications I & II). Once the new Fine Arts standards are implemented in the 2015 school year, each of these courses will count as a fine arts credit. Currently, all Texas high school students are required to have one fine arts credit for graduation. Until the implementation of the new Fine Arts TEKS, these courses can be offered as a statewide elective credit.

Timeline

2008
TCT receives funding from AT&T to develop curriculum

2009
TCT receives stimulus funding (ARRA) for curriculum and other projects
Development of Art and Media Communications I

2010
Art and Media Communications I piloted (first course)
TEA approves AMC I as innovative course

2011
Partnership with UT Austin College of Fine Arts begins

2012
Art and Media Communications II implemented
Music and Media Communications I pilot
Receive funding from the Meadows Foundation for Professional Development
TEA approval of innovative courses

2013-2014
Theatre and Media Communications I pilot
April, 2014 Kennedy Center partners in Education Institute
May, 2014-May, 2015 Partners in Education Professional Development with MINDPOP and Austin ISD
UT Austin COFA partnership renewed by Texas legislature
TCT receives grant from CH Foundation

Summer, 2014
Revisions to Theatre and Media Communications I curriculum
Strategic plan development
Implementation guide development
McCombs board fellows to develop technology cost model & student evaluation tools

August, 2014
Teacher Training-Dance and Media Communications I pilot
Dance and Media Communications I pilot (2014-2015 school year)
Development of Dance and Media Communications Ii
Edits to Music and Media Communications I
February, 2015 Partners in Education annual conference

Fall, 2015
New fine arts TEKS implemented, all courses available for fine arts credit
Development of Theatre and Media Communications II
Development of Music and Media Communications II
Pilot of Dance and Media Communications II (2015-2016 school year)

Fall, 2016
Pilot of Theatre and Media Communications II (2016-2017 school year)
Pilot of Music and Media Communications II (2016-2017 school year)

Resources for the Curriculum

1. Curricula
2. Professional Development
3. Pilot program (training and support)
4. Teacher Observation Guides
5. Implementation Guide
6. Technology Cost Implementation Model
7. Student & Teacher Surveys
8. Website user surveys

Schools Offering Courses: 2014-15 School Year

Dance & Media Communications 1 Pilot
Sam Houston High School, San Antonio ISD
Lake Travis High School, Lake Travis ISD
J.P. Stevens High School, Northside ISD
MacArthur 9th Grade School, Aldine ISD
Mesquite High School, Mesquite ISD
Moises E. Molina High School, Dallas ISD
Brennan High School, Northside ISD
John Jay High School, Northside ISD
Manor High School, Manor ISD
Holmes High School, Northside ISD
Audie Murphy Middle School, PSJA ISD

Music & Media Communications 1
Harmony School of Innovation Fort Worth, Fort Worth
James Madison High School, Houston ISD
C.D. Fulkes Middle School, Round Rock ISD
University High School, Waco ISD
Southwest High School, Fort Worth ISD
Cedar Ridge High School, Round Rock ISD
Stony Point High School, Round Rock ISD

Art & Media Communications 1
Girls and Boys Preparatory Academy, Cypress
Ann Richards School, Austin ISD
Round Rock Christian Academy, Round Rock
Williams High School, Plano ISD
Travis Middle School, Port Lavaca, Calhoun County ISD
Three Rivers Jr/Sr High, Three Rivers ISD
Alief Hastings High School, Alief ISD

Theatre & Media Communications 1
Yoakum High School, Yoakum ISD
New Diana High School, New Diana ISD
Canyon High School, New Braunfels, Comal ISD
Westwood High School, Round Rock ISD
Island Pacific Academy, Kapolei
North Forney High School, Forney ISD

Undetermined
Hudson Bend Middle School, Lake Travis ISD