Sound and Vision

  • Get your principal on board. Both Diltz and Hewett mentioned that a supportive principal was key to implementing their courses.
  • Seek creative funding sources. Educational foundations can provide funds for technology purchases; most vendors provide a significant discount for education purchasers.
  • Look for resources beyond your school building. Hewett's Internet search for software tutorials led him to a handful of graphic design professionals who were willing to mentor his students.
  • Start small. Diltz and Hewett both began with pilot programs focused primarily on teaching kids to use the software tools. Now they're more aggressively integrating artistic expression into the standard curriculum, and vice versa.
  • Encourage students to act as mentors. Diltz's students formed "bands" of mixed skill levels. In Hewett's class, those who finished lessons ahead of time mentored their peers; students in the advanced course now mentor beginners.

Michelle Thatcher is reviews editor for Technology & Learning.