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If you want more information about my goals here, read on.

Please allow me to introduce myself:

I grew up on a little dairy farm in Wisconsin. After high school, I left the farm and became a veteran, and now I am married to a Presbyterian pastor and we have three kids. After college, I started teaching in a little charter school in Minneapolis, teaching middle school science.

Changing education for the better is my core mission. There is so much potential for positive change that I have been dreaming about a future where joyful learning has replaced beat-down compliance. This had lead to me creating Innovative Arts class and using maker education to teach students about important personal, mental, and academic issues.

This is a personal mission: I am building the class that my own twin boys will start in 2023. I am glad you found my site, hope that you found it useful. I am working on this every night, weekend, and over every break!

Someday, I hope to have a community of supporters

Starting Innovative Arts has taken a long time. It has been difficult to create a class where students learn how to think for themselves and develop their skills. For now, I need time to develop resources, figure out what works with students, and refine my curriculum.

Someday, I hope to be able to provide free resources, material grants, and even 3D printers to other teachers who want to start up their own Innovative Arts classes. There is just so much to do and so much potential for change in education. I will be working for years to bring a new vision to life in my own classroom and then other classrooms.

I don’t have time to actively update supporters

For the time being, I will continue to self-support the site. It has cost thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to create the site you see here. Currently the traffic to the site is still low, so the server costs are also low. When thousands of students are using the resources here, the costs will grow and I will need to help keeping it free for anyone to use.

When this site is well developed, I will have time to actively show supporters what I am doing and where there funds are helping. With a network of supporters, I can purchase materials in bulk and distribute materials, tools, and machines to other Innovative Arts classes myself. Too many teachers are limited by their budgets and I want to support talented, motivated teachers.

By buying in bulk, I can set up a new Innovative Arts class for just a few hundred dollars. I’ve been working with suppliers for years to buy in bulk for my own classroom, larger orders can cut the cost much more. I just have so much to do before I can give grants to other teachers.

Support is still welcome

If you still want to support this site, please use the link below. You can see the resources being added to the site by following on this twitter account, Facebook page, or YouTube channel. Feel free to connect!

More information is below.

I am developing the class I want for my own children: “Innovative Arts”

All kids can be creators. We can teach them how to use all the free resources online to pursue their curiosity and develop their own passions. To this end, I’ve created “Innovative Arts” class to replace our middle school technology class. 

Innovative Arts class sections:

  • How to think like a creator
  • Manage your projects
  • Become more creative
  • Document your projects and process
  • Represent yourself as a creator

“Puzzle” “Shift” and “Create” are the three ideas that help students become creators. 

Puzzle” is understanding how our mindsets and attitudes come together. A poor mindset will defeat you before you start.

Shift” is about shifting technology from a toy into a tool. We can harness technology to work faster, learn more, and be inspired daily.  

Create” is to bring to life the creator in each middle school kid. Most schools have activities that let kids be creative in this way or that. The kids do not get to choose how they create, however. Innovative Arts wants kids to become a creator of their own type.

Kids can choose designer, engineer, entrepreneur, digital creator, wordsmith, or hacker creator types and start creating as one of those creators.

The goal is to help kids become creators of their own type. 

This looks like many things:

  • Customizing projects to get hands-on experience
  • Using online tutorials and videos to learn new skills
  • Using real tools to make real projects
  • Using the three ideas within “Puzzle Shift Create”
  • Growing within the “Innovative Arts” curriculum

The first Innovative Arts class replaced the middle school technology class in Pine Island Middle school in Minnesota in 2018.

The resources on this website are free for students and other classrooms to use. The Creator’s Co-op was started to bring bulk resources to classrooms.