St. Croix Lutheran Academy

Chris Maki (West St. Paul, Minnesota USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

A graduate of Martin Luther College with a B.A. in Education, Chris Maki works in Fine Arts and Guidance at St. Croix Lutheran Academy in West St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition to teaching he coaches boys' soccer and coordinates the Stream Team.


[Conference coordinator's note: the following article appeared in the September 2022 edition of "News and Notes" from St. Croix Lutheran High School, West St. Paul, Minnesota. It is reprinted here with permission, with slight edits.]


A New Era in Digital Media Arts


The Digital Media Arts (formerly Video Recording Arts) class moved into a new room this year as part of the Strong to Serve: Fine Arts Addition and Remodel campaign.

In this class I explore with students a wide variety of creative digital media including video production, basic and advanced video editing, audio creation and manipulation, lighting design, podcast creation, music creation, visual storytelling, photography basics, foley work, and an introduction to graphic design.

The new classroom features flexible workspaces, a large-screen TV for group viewing, Mac computers, recording equipment, tripods, lights, shaders, and more.

The new multipurpose studio will allow us to work collaboratively on creative projects. The space functions as a photo studio or a video production set or a sound studio for podcast or music creation. The improved acoustics and location of this room increase the production value of student projects. The new space also allows for a slightly larger class size (15), which means 45 junior and senior students can take this course each year.

At first glance, Digital Media Arts may look like an easy course where students watch movies or create funny videos during school, but the purpose of the class is two-fold and extremely practical.

First, much of the class content is foreign to students, so it is an opportunity to learn something new in an area that is enjoyable to many students.

Second, this course is an opportunity for students to discover something about themselves. For example, a number of students have found joy and discovered talent in one or more of the content areas that we cover in a year. Graduates have pursued careers in animation and broadcast journalism; a number of former students have more informally continued creating podcasts with friends as a way to unwind and be creative. Some students have served as a DJ for their local college radio, and recently, SCLA students have created traditional Chinese gospel music for WELS China.

Ultimately, allowing a student to find something enjoyable to use in life as a hobby or career is a primary goal we pursue in this course.



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Judy Kuster (retired teacher) 2022-11-04 3:11:17pm
I’m curious, not about the wonderful opportunities you provide for juniors and seniors at St. Croix, but some basic information. Is this a credit-bearing course for the teacher load and student credit load? How many credits do the students’ earn? Is it an optional course that students can elect? Does the course “fill” every year or are there juniors and seniors who may never have the opportunity to take class because so many want to take it? Is it a pass/no credit class or how are students graded? If other schools are blessed with being able to offer this opportunity, what is the expense for space and all the equipment? Is there an extra student fee to take the class? The article said the space and material can accommodate 45 students a year. Is it a year-long course, a semester course, or a partial semester course offered to 15 different students 3 times? How do you train or recruit a teacher for this class? Or is it team taught by a group of individuals who specialize in various technologies?

Thank you for a paper that certainly highlights a terrific course for many students! I wish I could take it!!