Research at Nebraska 2021-2022 Report

Inspiring Innovation with Arts, Emerging Media

Nobody knows how media technology will evolve in the coming years. But helping educators and others understand, embrace and teach innovation is key to future generations’ success in using it.

A Husker team is doing just that with a five-year pilot project to promote teaching innovation through arts and emerging media in Nebraska public schools. Guy Trainin, professor in teaching, learning and teacher education, leads the interdisciplinary team that is collaborating with K-12 educators, artists and administrators.

Guy Trainin in an art classroom
Guy Trainin

Recent media advancements range from virtual reality and social media apps to video creation technology and wearable media, so the team has its work cut out for it.

The Teaching with Arts and Emerging Media (Art TEAMS) project is funded by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education and is a collaboration between Trainin’s team and the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. The project is based in the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools.

Art TEAMS will establish a professional development curriculum for 40 Nebraska teachers to integrate arts and emerging media into their curricula. Researchers aim to foster inclusive, arts-based classroom approaches that embrace students’ cultures and voices.

colorful foam numbers and letter in a pile
The project uses a variety of materials to integrate arts into the curriculum.

The team recruited the first cohort of 20 teachers in summer 2022, starting with an intensive, two-week curriculum on campus. Participants from different disciplines are paired to “develop ways to integrate the arts across all content areas,” Trainin said.

Other project researchers include Kimberly D’Adamo, TLTE lecturer and artist; HyeonJin Yoon, research assistant professor at the Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics; and Lorinda Rice, Lincoln Public Schools art curriculum specialist.

Trainin calls the rapidly evolving technology a “fourth industrial revolution.”

A classroom with two teachers wearing masks, talking to students
Art TEAM teachers reflecting on their learning.

One goal is to help teachers who are “digital natives” — those who have grown up in the digital information age — envision the skills needed for students graduating in 2030 and 2040.

As the professional learning model matures, the goal is to share it with more teachers across Nebraska and the U.S.

+ Additional content for Inspiring Innovation with Arts, Emerging Media

Nebraska news release: Researchers, teachers, artists collaborate to envision future of emerging media instruction


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