Matt and Laura Grundler | January 2016

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016

This New Year means STEAM in 2016

A new year is always a great time for reflection, and that’s just what we are doing as the founders of K12ArtChat.  It’s been a year filled with new adventures, great topics, amazing hosts, etc. But above all, a community of educators that not only embraces, but also promotes the arts.  For this, we are so thankful.  As we move into 2016, we commit to continue bringing the community topics, information, ideas and hosts that will motivate us as educators.  Our mission is to not only grow our own community, but to advocate for the arts. As well as, advocate for arts integration as an integral part of moving our educational system forward.  

Recently, we had a special chat hosted by Dr. Ryan B. Jackson (@ryanbjackson1) Principal of Maplewood High School in Nashville, Tennessee. We loved this chat because the topic was at the heart of our mission to advocate for the arts in our schools.

Dr. Jackson has tweeted about the importance of arts in our schools using the hashtag #artantidote, sharing images and creations from his school’s art department (@panthersart).  Additionally, he wrote a recent blog post  “The cure for Education: Art Antidote” a must read for our community.  Jackson ends the post discussing STEAM in 2016, leaving us with a profound question, “I’m now a first-hand witness of the exponential power Art brings to education’s palate. Injected into STEM’s curriculum, Art engages, empowers and enhances 21st century students desperately searching for a unique education they can call their own, thus begging possibly education’s most important question…

Can STEAM in 2016 bring joy back to education, carving a hope-filled academic identity for a generation of students clamoring to create one?”

As we jump up and down emphatically screaming YES!  We also plan to explore this question further, so K12ArtChat is kicking off the year with a series of hosts and topics connecting to the Education Closet Winter STEAM in 2016 conference.  In fact, we had a head start in December with the group from Buncee and sponsor of the upcoming conference chatting about Digital Storytelling. If you missed it, or any the chats, you can always read through the archived chats via  

To give you a little insight to our upcoming hosts, topics and their presentations for the conference we’ve asked them to share a little quote with the K12ArtChat community.  

Thurs. January 7th  Host: Nic Hahn

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

“I’m excited to be discussing Stop Motion Animation as a subject because I feel that this is a hook for most students.  I also think it’s a great way to ‘create’ with technology, to integrate, design, document, with technology… not just ‘use technology’, but rather make with technology.”

Thurs. January 14th Host: Joy Schultz

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

“I know the power of art.  If you include the power of designing an individualized program for students to seek knowledge, explore new concepts, adapt to world issues, address personal concerns, and empower the individual to find their “voice” as a young person, then you will keep young people engaged in the world.  Keeping them curious, intrigued, engaged, challenged, and feeling fulfilled by tapping into creativity these elements will help lead them to discover their ability to define their personal passions.”

Thurs. January 21st Hosts: Sean Gilliard, Natalie Kravnager & Jen Williams

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

“We believe in the power of #goodbringsgood in life and within schools. Collectively, our hope is to inspire and learn with others to trend the positive in education. We wish to shift the paradigm with learning networks to create shared experiences that are accessible and transformational, and ultimately built on meaningful relationships. By encouraging authentic sharing with #CelebrateMonday, #EdBeat, and #EdCamp, we hope to create pathways of sustained positivity within a connected culture of innovators and change agents. Through an appreciation of the artistic beauty of our world surrounding us, we hope to transform the experience for educators through inspiration and celebration.”

Thurs. January 28th Hosts: Matt & Laura Grundler

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

“We believe there must be an emphasis on traditional art techniques, skills and studio habits with a blend or extension of technology for students growing up in the 21st century. We hope to inspire and assist our community to integrate all subject areas equitably and look at the needs of the students first. We facilitate and host #K12ArtChat in an effort to support our peers and build relationships not only in the arts education community but the education community as a whole.  This chat will focus on blending or “smashing” apps together to create an awesome student created product within a process that requires critical thinking and problem solving.”

Sat. January 30th Host: LaVonna Roth

Igniting the S.H.I.N.E. in Students through Art

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

“Art is aligned with how the brain learns and how many of our students express themselves and their learning. Art should be embedded in every single content area and in all that is taught as a way to retain learning and increase engagement. Students must be provided with opportunities to express their insights. Together, we are going to help ignite their S.H.I.N.E. by creating a place where they can be proud of who they are and show it through art!”

#K12ArtChat is all about the STEAM in 2016, Education Closet

About the Author

Laura and Matt Grundler are art educators from Plano, Texas. They are also proud parents, bloggers and founders of the popular Twitter Chat #K12ArtChat. After teaching middle school art, high school art and working as an assistant principal, Laura has moved into the role of district Visual Arts Coordinator. Matt started out as a graphic designer; however after finding the commercial side of design to be unsatisfying, he soon found his niche as a K-5 Art teacher. Both Laura and Matt are passionate about raising their three creative kids, sharing their love of art education with their professional learning network and continuing to grow everyday.