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[teacherartexchange] HS digital photo and computer art classes


From: Scott Harrison (harrison360_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Feb 17 2008 - 08:09:53 PST

        I teach 1 period of Digital Art at the high school level and we
currently have a lab of 24 computers which are a mix of newer iMacs
and Dells. I have a stable of 12 Canon A70 cameras that I loan out to
kids without one. I asked the Rotary Club in town for help in
purchasing these and found other donations also. Our class is funded
(my salary for the period) by Mendocino Regional Occupations Project
which also provided the site license for Photoshop. The students who
put in the required hours and work receive a certificate. If you are
teaching for vocational reasons then Photoshop is the way to go,
otherwise Photoshop Elements is an affordable alternative. There is a
freeware program called GIMP which is a good resource for the
students who can't afford the other programs. One of the things I
might incorporate into future classes would be video editing. I have
a group of 8th grade students and we do a claymation project with our
still cameras and iStopMotion software which is lots of fun.
        As for projects, I have them do a bunch of compositional and styled
images including Rule of Thirds, Diagonal Lines, Different Point of
View, Motion, Close Up, Framing, Hand Coloring, Shadows, Silhouettes,
Mandalas, and a Self Portrait Arcimboldo style. They also do a
Keynote/Powerpoint report on a famous photographer. The students have
a project a week and we show and critique with a digital projector.
The first 3 weeks they are learning Photoshop before any photo
assignments are even given. I use stuff intermixed with my
own Keynote presentations to present content. We are on a block
schedule which gives me 80 minutes a day so I spend about half of
this period in my room with the projector and their notebooks,
without the distraction of computers. Then we go over to the lab to
practice what was presented. The 80 min period gives us time to go on
mini field trips (we are in the middle of Humboldt Redwoods State
Park) if we need to.
Scott Harrison
South Fork High School
Humboldt Redwoods CA

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