[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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