DMA Central


Staying Ahead of the Students

Tom Wolsky @ CUEIf there is one thing that I hear repeatedly from teachers teaching technology, it is the dual challenge of keeping up with technology … and keeping up with students and technology. In our rapidly growing multimedia culture, companies like Apple or Adobe are constantly adding new features to programs like Final Cut Pro or Photoshop. And teachers have to stay on top of these changes in order to stay one step ahead of their students.

Recently I heard from Carla Eckland from Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista, CA (near San Diego) about exactly this concern. Carla attended two of our hour long hands-on sessions at CUE 2009 in Palm Springs. After her experience with DMA at CUE< she has decided to spend a week of her summer taking an immersive course in Final Cut Pro at one of our California locations.

Hear from Carla on her reflections about how Digital Media Academy’s training is helping her to stay ahead of her students and the technology:

Attending the Digital Media Academy is something I have wanted to do for several years. Unfortunately, I have been teaching in a year-round program. The expense of the program and the difficulty of being gone from my students the first week have prevented me from attending. This year we move to a modified traditional calendar.

I teach the advanced televideo program at Otay Ranch High School. We produce a 10-minute news show, four days a week using Final Cut Pro. Students work in groups to create news stories that are edited into a single timeline that includes student anchors reading daily announcements. The students will often ad lower thirds to their news stories using the text generator or LiveType. The completed broadcast airs to our 3000 student body. Eventually we hope to have a place on our school website where we post our broadcast.

Attending the DMA would be beneficial because I would be able to extend my knowledge of Final Cut Pro. I have read Final Cut Pro 5 by Tom Wolsky and have a copy of the Complete Training for Final Cut Pro DVDs. However, I still find it hard to stay ahead of my students. Final Cut Pro is a complicated program that can do so much more than my students can or I know how to do. Too often, we air material that could have been color corrected or needed audio adjustments. However, unfortunately I don’t always know how to make changes.

I need the opportunity to learn the material thoroughly. Too often, I attend a one-hour workshop, return to the classroom and my notes are insufficient. Attending the DMA will not only improve my knowledge, but I will have more knowledge to share with my students. Working together, we will be able to improve the visual quality of the program.

Carla Ecklund
Otay Ranch High School
Chula Vista, CA

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