I developed an original Digital Media class curriculum for at-risk, truant youth while serving as the technology teacher at South Brooklyn Community High School in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The two-semester program, called Digital Expression, utilized multimedia content creation as a vehicle for teaching young people essential computer skills for future employment.
– Sep 2008
Digital Expression’s curriculum consists of three major components, each increasing in complexity: basic photo editing, audio engineering, and videography. Students are not expected to have basic computer literacy upon entering into the class, so primary skills like typing, OS navigation and hardware/software operation are woven into the lessons in each component section. In this way, students leave the class with a high level of computer literacy without the tedium or stigma of a traditional computer class – but rather excited about the practical use of their skills to create original works.
The class is taught on both MacBook laptops and Windows desktops. The primary applications used are, in order of increasing complexity: MS Paint, Word/Pages, iPhoto, GarageBand, Keynote/Powerpoint, iMovie. Hardware is also introduced along the way, much of which I worked to secure for the school through private donations: audio microphones, MIDI instrument controllers, USB drawing pads/styluses, a host of musical instruments, digital cameras, digital videocameras. The program was so successful, and demand for the class so high, that a paid after-school internship program was developed to allow students to take their skills to the next level. Frequent class trips to Google and Apple HQ’s in Manhattan were established as well.
–Teachers Network Leadership Institute MetLife Fellowship