Distance Learning Summit

"The Distance Learning Summit was a wonderful way to connect with other museum educators, as well as experts in other fields, and to pool our collective expertise to brainstorm new and creative ideas for using technology in museums and in schools. I came back from my three days at Crystal Bridges with many useful insights that will definitely help shape the future of our own online program at the MFA."

Susan Fonda
Manager of Teacher Resources and School Partnerships, Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) Boston

Art Museums and Educational Innovation

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art hosted the second Distance Learning Summit: Art Museums and Educational Innovation on November 1 – 3, 2015.

The Summit was an opportunity for art museum educators, technology and media specialists, K–12 reformers, and educational entrepreneurs to come together to answer the following questions:

  • How can art museums ensure that all students have access to high-quality, meaningful, and personalized arts education?
  • How can art museums have a more direct and central role in the education of the nation’s students and beyond?
  • How can art museums partner with educational entrepreneurs to create models that are sustainable and scalable?


The program began with an opening presentation on the process Crystal Bridges undertook to increase access to high-quality arts courses for high school students. With a focus on reaching rural districts and regions that have less access to specialists and electives, Crystal Bridges determined that developing a for-credit online course could have substantial and meaningful impact in the career of high school students across the region and nation. This talk focused on the conception, development, implementation, and distribution of the endeavor.

During the working session, participants learned about current trends in digital collections, K–12 policy and reform, and educational entrepreneurship. To inspire art museums to think in new ways, the Distance Learning Summit kicked off with Keynote Lectures.

This report summarizes the key findings from the Summit.

Looking to get involved in Crystal Bridges' newest distance learning initiative? Learn about our Summer 2017 Online Scholar Program HERE.