Kadenze brings arts ed­u­ca­tion to the masses

Columbia Univer­sity and Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic are the lat­est schools to join forces with the in­no­va­tive arts ed­u­ca­tion site.

Metro USA (New York) - - Education Guide - HE­LEN MUR­PHY @MetroNewYork let­ters@metro.us

In May 2015, the first grad­u­ates of Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic’s on­line bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram walked across a (real, not vir­tual) stage in Bos­ton. At the time, the pro­gram was one of the first arts-ed­u­ca­tion de­grees that could be earned en­tirely on­line, mak­ing mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion ac­ces­si­ble to a wider au­di­ence. But what about other types of arts ed­u­ca­tion?

En­ter Kadenze (pro­nounced “kah-den­zay”), a for-profit on­line por­tal that unites the best arts ed­u­ca­tion classes, re­sources and pro­fes­sors on one web­site. Pulling from uni­ver­si­ties around the globe, Kadenze of­fers MOOCs (mas­sive open on­line cour­ses) in cod­ing, vis­ual art, mu­sic and art his­tory. The web­site part­ners with 26 schools in­clud­ing Prince­ton Univer­sity, the School of the Art In­sti­tute of Chicago, Pratt In­sti­tute and, most re­cently, Columbia Univer­sity and Berklee.

Kadenze co-founder Ajay Ka­pur notes the im­por­tant role the two most re­cent ad­di­tions have played in the growth of on­line ed­u­ca­tion. In a 2013 study, Teach­ers Col­lege at Columbia found that roughly a third of all col­lege stu­dents were en­rolled in on­line cour­ses, a siz­able in­crease from 2010.

The high cost of a creative ed­u­ca­tion

Ka­pur says the idea for Kadenze stemmed from two prob­lems in arts ed­u­ca­tion: the grow­ing cost of higher ed­u­ca­tion and that the in­flux in re­search about on­line ed­u­ca­tion had been mostly geared to­ward on­line classes for math and sci­ence stu­dents. That col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is in­creas­ingly ex­pen­sive isn’t news to most peo­ple, but Ka­pur es­pe­cially no­ticed the detri­men­tal ef­fect of ris­ing costs within the arts. Cour­ses may be taken for credit by stu­dents work­ing to­ward a degree, or sim­ply as ré­sumé-builders.

“We are see­ing a lot of users who al­ready have a col­lege degree, and we’re en­ter­ing this age where peo­ple just re­ally want to con­tinue learning — some of our most pop­u­lar cour­ses are in the ar­eas of de­sign and creative cod­ing … it helps them push peo­ple to where they want to get to in the next phase of their ca­reer,” Ka­pur says.

A hands-on arts ed­u­ca­tion on­line?

Classes on Kadenze are con­ducted through video-based lec­tures and col­lab­o­ra­tion on group dis­cus­sion boards. “The thing that’s very spe­cial about Kadenze is that it’s not only the teacher that you learn from; you end up learning from the global com­mu­nity that is sub­mit­ting as­sign­ments and is re­ally part of the dis­cus­sion, and that’s what makes it so fun,” Ka­pur says.

Pre­mium mem­ber­ship to Kadenze is $10 a month and al­lows stu­dents to re­ceive grades, col­lege cred­its and build an on­line port­fo­lio, while free mem­ber­ship al­lows stu­dents to take classes in a more pas­sive man­ner.

All of the cour­ses Kadenze of­fers fo­cus on har­ness­ing in­di­vid­ual cre­ativ­ity.

“Be­ing creative, be­ing a de­signer, be­ing a creative thinker — these are all things that are nec­es­sary for in­no­va­tion and lead­er­ship in the world,” Ka­pur says.

ISTOCK

Kadenze brings the best arts ed­u­ca­tion classes, re­sources and pro­fes­sors to­gether into one web­site.

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