Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Visit to Design Foundations

This is cross-posted from the Mercy IT Blog:

Over the past week’s time I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting Ms. Susan Smith’s Design Foundations classes.  Ms. Smith is chair of our Art Department, and she has created the curriculum for this course which is now a requirement of all ninth graders.  I visited a group of ninth graders as well as another section composed of upper level students.  Both groups were working in our new iMac Lab.
Each group had a similar assignment.  They were to take media from outside of the class and create a movie by blending other media with FinalCut ProX software.  For instance, the ninth graders had been recorded giving an informative speech in their speech class.  With Ms. Smith, they were bringing still photos, music and graphics into a short movie, using their state of the art software.
So many cool things were happening.  First, Ms. Smith was guiding students to properly licensed source material such as Compfight for pictures andMagnatune for music.  Then of course the students were all getting experience using state of the art video editing software on high performance machines.  Finally, her ability to trouble-shoot and coach the girls 1:1 was almost breath-taking.
Incidentally, in one of the photos below you will note the same image is found on her screen as well as the students’.  Throughout the lesson she would alternately control and release the students computers using LanSchool software that we have recently adopted.
Mercy is so fortunate to have teachers of Ms. Smiths’ ability and dedication.  And she and I are both fortunate to work at a school that is so supportive of both technology and the arts.
We have something very special going here.
L. Baker, Associate Principal/Operations and Apple Distinguished Educator

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