Building an Online Community for Arts Educators!


Don’t forget to register for our free webinar on Wednesday, November 2, at 3:30 -4:30 pm.  Rob Westerberg and I will be hosting a discussion with guests, Jay Collier, Technology consultant with the Maine DOE; Ann Marie Hutton, MLTI Technology specialist, Shannon Campbell, K-8 Visual Art Teacher, and Mary Ellen Schaper, Dance Specialist.  The topic:  Building an Online Community with You.  To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

We will discuss:

  • Creating an online network of support for ongoing work
  • Providing tools to use for assessment and integration into teaching
  • Providing resources on arts assessment

Hope to see you there!


New Arts Assessment Courses Coming!

Why Arts Assessment? An Overview of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative – Our First Webinar






Rob Westerberg, music educator from York High School, and I just completed our first webinar on September 7.  We had over 50 people attend, from all over Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont!  The webinar is archived, so anyone can listen to it online by clicking on this Link. This is the first of a series which will address the many components of this exciting new initiative in Maine in arts education.  Subsequent webinars will be on the following dates, all occuring from 3:30-4:30 pm.  All of these will also be archived.

So if you’d like to join us for a conversation with our Guests, please do!

November 2, 2011 – Building an Online Arts Education Community with You.  To join the meeting, go online to  (Sign in as “guest”).  Conference Number 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893.

December 7, 2011 – Standards-Based Assessment in the Arts. To join the meeting, go online to  (Sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

January 4, 2012 – An Elementary Discussion: How in the World Can I Possibly Do This? To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

February 1, 2012 – Leadership and the Arts.  To join the meeting, go online to (sign in as “guest”). Conference Number: 1-866-910-4857, Passcode: 140893

Hope to see you there!


Webinars on Maine Arts Assessment Initiative

This is just in from the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) website:  I’m very excited to be doing this webinar series with Rob Westerberg!!  Stay tuned.

September 7 – Maine Arts Assessment Initiative webinar

August 31st, 2011 abby No comments

The MLTI and Department of Education will be hosting 5 webinars throughout the 2011-2012 school year on the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative and how it impacts teaching and learning in our schools.  Please join Catherine Ring, Rob Westerberg and guests for the first webinar, a conversation around Why Arts Assessment? An Introduction to the Maine Arts Education Assessment Initiative on Wednesday, September 7th, from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. Instructions for joining the webinar can be found below.

Subsequent webinars will be held November 2, December 7, January 4, and February 1.  Mark your calendars now!  Each webinar will be recorded and added to the MLTI Archives for future viewing. Attendees will be eligible for two contact hours for their participation in the live webinar, just follow the feedback link at the end of the webinar and you’ll be prompted for your contact information to receive your contact hour certificate.

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) has been designed to create an environment in Maine where assessment in Arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to deepen student learning in the arts. MAAI includes professional development opportunities, regionally and statewide, to share and expand on arts educators knowledge and skills. Teachers will be invited to contribute tools, resources, and examples of quality assessments and supportive standards based curriculum documents for all to access.

Please follow these steps to connect to the webinar:

  1. Click on the link
  2. Enter your name in the Guest box when prompted.
  3. In order to listen and speak during the meeting, you will need to be connected by telephone as well as the Internet. To help you connect by phone, a box will appear asking for your phone number so the Connect conference room can call you back. If you have a telephone with a direct-dial phone number, please accept this option, enter your phone number, and we will call you right back.
  4. If you have a telephone with no direct-line phone number (if your phone is only reached by a switchboard), please click on CANCEL when the call-back box appears, then dial-in to the meeting using this access combination:
    1. Dial-In: 1-866-910-4857
    2. Pass-Code: 140893
  5. To participate in the webinar, you will need:
    1. a computer with a broadband connection to the internet (Cable, DSL, or WiFi); Dial-Up will not work!
    2. Adobe Flash Player 10 installed on your computer; most computers already have the Flash Player installed – however, if yours does not, or if your Flash Player is in need of updating (version 6 or older), you can download the player for free from Adobe by clicking on this link; this is a safe and quick download.
    3. An open phone line; we recommend using a hands-free headset or speakerphone.

Illustrated instructions for logging in to the meeting can be downloaded here.

Maine Arts Assessment Institute – A Great Success!

What a Team!

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative has been launched!  Eighteen teacher leaders from around the State of Maine gathered at the Maine College of Art for four intensive days of professional development in arts assessment.  Workshops on Assessment, Leadership and Technology filled the days, along with building a team, rich conversations, and planning and strategizing our next steps.  These teachers will be presenting workshops (in visual art, drama, music and dance at the elementary, middle school and high school levels) at our October 7th Conference on the Arts at USM. Stay tuned for more details!  These same teachers will also be presenting workshops in regions all over the state.  What a team we have!  Rob Westerberg (Music Teacher at York High School) and I will be conducting webinars in the next few months on various topics on arts assessment.  Argy Nestor and I are joining a small team, headed out to Aroostook County on October 11  to meet with the region’s arts teachers.  This is so exciting, because it really will impact teaching and learning in the arts in our state!    —   Catherine

We’re Here!

Last August, Argy Nestor, Rob Westerberg and I attended the New England Arts Assessment Institute in NH and outlined our vision for Maine. A year of planning later, we launch the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative tomorrow with 18 teacher leaders and 4 days of professional development in Portland. We’ve got the support of our new Commissioner and the Dept of Ed… a massive milestone for us this week!!! Tomorrow, we begin~~~~

Arts: The Heart of Education

I just spent a wonderful day at the 2011 Positive Youth Development Institute where I presented  a workshop to educators, social directors, arts council directors and others, along with Argy Nestor, the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist from the Maine Department of Education.  The keynote speaker at this event was Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap.  Tony spoke eloquently about the seven survival skills the business world is saying they need from our students in the future:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurship
  • Effective Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination

This was the perfect introduction to our workshop on the Arts at the Heart of Education because these are exactly the skills that the arts inherently teach!  Research shows, without a doubt, that the arts have a positive effect on academic scores, on school climate and on student engagement.  Argy and I created a wiki for our presentation with lots of information, and research to back up these claims.  Did you know that the No Child Left Behind Act includes the arts as core academic subjects – on an equal level to mathematics, language arts, social studies and science?  It is, indeed, true.  Now it is up to us to ensure that the arts get their full recognition in classrooms across the country so that students get the best we have to offer in a rich, quality education.