DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

A Closer Look at Adobe Dreamweaver

Hello! I’m Ben Jaffe, one of the instructors for Digital Media Academy’s Adventures Program. I want to give you a closer look at Adobe Dreamweaver CS4. We use Dreamweaver for creating the web site layout in our Adventures Web Design class.

Dreamweaver is what we call a “WYSIWYG Editor” (stands for “What You See is What You Get”). This means we get to see our design as we create it. Before tools like Dreamweaver, we had to write HTML markup to create web sites, and didn’t get to manipulate it graphically. Here’s the Design view in Dreamweaver:

dreamweaver-design-view

The Properties bar (across the bottom) is where we set up links, text styles, bold, italics, and change the sizes of items like images and tables. The panes on the right are for managing files, uploading to our website, and managing the CSS. When we edit in Design View, Dreamweaver is actually writing the HTML code for us.

At the very beginning of the class, we teach the kids some basic HTML. We actually build a simple webpage, coding it by hand! This helps the students understand what is going on behind the scenes, and how to fix things manually if anything goes wrong. It’s good to be able to look at the code to see what’s really going on. This is Dreamweaver’s Code View:

dreamweaver-code-view

That HTML code is what our computers actually download when we are browsing the web. They read the code, and render out a graphical page for us to read.

After covering HTML, we talk about site design, then start on our own websites. As we create graphics in Photoshop, we integrate them into our sites. We also create a Flash animation, and add that to our site. Some students might even build a Flash animation to use as the header. (The header is the bar across the top of the page, with the website’s title).

After we build our site, integrate our graphics, and add our Flash animation, it’s time to test our sites and upload them to the internet. We test the links on our pages to be sure they all work, and upload their web pages to DMA’s web space, for friends and family to see.

dreamweaver-preview-in-safari

After this course, your child will know how to use Photoshop, how to make simple animations in Flash, and how to put it all together into a web site. At the end of the class, the students go home with a web address for their website, and a DVD with all of the original files they used to make their content. This means that if they get access to the software (perhaps through their school), they can continue work on their web site!

I hope to see you this summer!
-Ben Jaffe

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Technology at the forefront of Life Long Learning

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Janet Armstrong is a high school teacher at Adrian Wilcox High School in Santa Clara, California. She recently attended CUE (Computer Using Educators), where she learned of DMA. Seeing the importance of technology in today’s world and the importance of keeping up with and teaching the latest technology to her students, she is going to take a DMA course this summer to advance her skills. The following is her views on technology in the classroom:

Schools have seen the need to educate students to make appropriate, efficient, and productive use of available technologies. At the same time they are compelled to reduce the digital divide that exists between higher and lower socioeconomic groups of students, giving them all access to the same tools. Consequently, as the tools advance, educators must be at the forefront of life long learning.

Life long learning is a phrase that has been buzzing around academia for the last decade. It’s a mindset educators must have to stay connected to the ever-evolving technology that seems to grow exponentially each year. Teachers and administrators MUST stay abreast these advances or they will quickly find themselves fossils.

Skills once reserved only for high school students are more appropriate today for middle school students. This has created the opportunity to expose high school students to cutting edge technologies that are fun, interesting and highly engaging. At Wilcox High School in Santa Clara we are opening two new digital media courses that will employ the use of Adobe CS4 products to teach web design, digital image editing, digital storytelling, and publication design. To be a proficient teacher I must become a proficient user of these tools. This summer Digital Media Academy at Stanford will prepare me to be such a teacher. The Introduction to Web Design with Adobe CS4 – Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop course will enhance my current skills as I learn the latest version of these programs to design lessons and activities for my students.

Life today is complex and diverse. As never before, communication involves the constant use of visuals, sound, and action. The digital age is here and education has the responsibility to prepare our children to use the tools today and into the future. Thankfully, the Digital Media Academy is available to assist with this process.

Janet Armstrong
Adrian Wilcox High School

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Why take a live-instruction web design course?

By Mike Johnson, Lead Web Design Instructor -DMA @ UC San Diego

With so many web sites, video tutorials, books and pay-to-view resources covering just about every aspect of web design, why invest in a week-long instructor-led course? Ask yourself: when was the last time you threaded 40 to 80 hours of focused hands-on study into your busy schedule? Who did you turn to when you hit a snag? Moreover, how did you decide which resources would most effectively equip you to build web presentations for your organization, clients, students or customers?

When you attend Introduction to Web Design wth Adobe CS4 – Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop at DMA this summer, not only will you begin to get your head and mouse around these three power tools, your instructor will focus on helping you leverage your existing creative skills and learning style to complete a significant project. DMA instructors purposely schedule one-on-one time during each day to individualize your experience to the greatest extent possible. Two years ago, an accomplished artist and college instructor found herself uncomfortable with Dreamweaver as a creative canvas but she was an Adobe Illustrator expert. We strayed from the script and used Illustrator as her starting point, then easily brought her work into Dreamweaver where she gave it legs for the web. As Adobe continues to integrate its professional applications, students have become better able to approach web design from whatever angle their past experiences bring them. Whatever your background, there is an approach that will work for you. Warning: once you begin enjoying the heft of your favorite digital tools and techniques, you’ll want to spend another week with Advanced Web Design Techniques with Adobe CS4. Click here for course information or register now.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have Comments (2)

DMA Returns to CUE March 5-7 with the John Lennon Bus

Every year since 2002, DMA has presented hands-on sessions at the annual Computer Using Educators Conference in Palm Springs. The thing I appreciate most about this conference is the reception we get. Every year, hundreds of teachers from across California visit our 60-minute hands-on sessions, getting a taste of our 5-day immersion courses. While there is only so much you can learn in 60 minutes, I am always amazed at how much content our instructors cover, and how much people take away. This year, we will be doing sessions Thursday through Saturday in topics including Final Cut Pro, Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop and iLife. And, for the first time, we will be joined by our new partner, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

dmamacworld21

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit 501(c)(3) mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. Since 1998, the Bus has provided free hands-on programs to hundreds of high schools, colleges, Boys and Girls Clubs, music festivals, concerts, conventions and community organizations. Working together with some of the biggest names in music, the Lennon Bus encourages students to play music, write songs, engineer recording sessions and produce video projects using the latest audio, video, and live sound equipment. As a partner and sponsor of the Bus, DMA trains and supports the Lennon Bus staff, ensuring they are up-to-date on the latest digital media applications. In the summer, we co-teach (in collaboration with Lennon Bus staff) a summer computer camp course for teens called Music & Video Production at seven prestigious universities across the country. We also exhibit alongside the Lennon Bus at various national conferences like MacWorld and NAB.

At CUE, (in addition to the 60 minute hands-on session) DMA will offer short software demos, followed by Q & A, in an area adjacent to the Lennon Bus in the Exhibit Hall. It is a great opportunity for teachers to interact with our distinguished DMA teaching staff in a more intimate setting. We will be utilizing content created on the Bus in the demos.

If you are attending CUE this year, there will be lots of surprises, including an “special” invitation to attend DMA this summer at a discount. Hope to see you there!

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Using Training Courses for Art, Web, Film, Print, Marketing : Improving my business!

Written by Artist / Designer Robert S. Lindsey : DMA Alumnus

WOW! I had an amazing and intense learning experience at DMA! From the moment that I stepped onto the Stanford campus I new that this event would change my life forever. Digital Media Academy gave me the ability to create my own website (www.bettermurals.com) and portfolio. After returning for multiple years I have been able to design all my new art on my iMac that I bought through DMA for an amazing discounted price.I don’t wast any time or supplies when I am working on my art due to my expertise with Photoshop and Flash

Last summer I spent a week invested in learning Final Cut Pro and mastering my HD camera so that I can introduce streaming video onto my site with time-laps promos of my murals. This video technique has been a feature that my clients love. Clients can now see how I work, and my company has the professional, impressive edge that I need in this economy.

I actually spend most of my time in front of my Mac. If I am not designing… I am designing. I am also a partner in the very successful marketing and  design firm : www.redefinedesign.com. We specialize in building and maintaing company identities and ongoing branding through various medias: web, print, interactive, promo, etc… Our ground breaking relationship plan is specifically designed and tailored to each client. I am signed up for After Effects courses this summer and we are sending a few of our designers to get some training with DMA’s Pro courses.

Robert Lindsey : Art and Design

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Kids Learning Pro Web Design at Age 10! Technology Classes + Computer Camp for Kids

“Wow! That animation looks great! Ok. Now we’re going to take the animated Flash movie you just created and you are going to import it into Dreamweaver on your web page. Let’s all do this together! Ready?”

I am right in the middle of another great Digital Media Adventures course for kids at Stanford: Web Design and Flash. We are taking an in depth look at the Adobe Creative Suite applications: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, and Adobe Flash. We are on the third day of the five-day course at Stanford University. My class just got back into the classroom from playing a crazy game of Slaughter Ball. It sounds scary, but it’s a lot of fun. Sort of like Dodge Ball. The kids in my class are a little out of breath from playing ball, but that’s to be expected at a summer camp. They came running in and jumped (literally) in their seats excited about their Flash movies they created just before the break.

While the kids are experiencing all the fun of a summer camp, they are also getting an unbelievable learning experience. That’s what makes this the full summer computer camp experience. They are learning the same pro applications we are teaching across the Stanford campus in our adult web design courses. The professional Adobe applications like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash are the real deal! The kids pick up the technology so fast. That makes it really fun to teach. It’s interesting how much better kids interact with technology they have grown up with their whole life.

Earlier in the week, the kids in my class had already designed and created their own logo and company business card design. Their custom business card had their picture from a photograph taken in the class. The graphics and effects they created turned out amazing. They had learned the ins and outs of the Adobe software and were creating a matching website to go with their cards and logo. They were now adding an animated movie they created in Flash to spice up their website design.

In the next three classrooms I can faintly hear the other Adventures classes. The kids in 3d video Game Design course are screaming about some new level they created trying to destroy their enemy. From the Robotics and Programming class I can hear cheers of two robots racing. I see the Film, Digital Movie Making and Effects class go by with all their cameras, mics, lights, and scripts to go act, film, and direct their next scene. I wish I’d been exposed to this when I was this age! This computer camp is the real deal.

kids computer camp learning and fun

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Are you Baffled by CSS? Learn Web Designer Skills!

By Sandy Novak, Instructor

Are you feeling lost when it comes to Dreamweaver and CSS? I know exactly how you feel. After years of producing professional table-based sites, I found it very challenging to make the transition to CSS. As a visual person, and I needed to discover a simple functional way to tackle CSS layout with Dreamweaver. I found success by focusing on simple layouts while enhancing my pages with eye catching Photoshop images and graphics. I have been teaching CSS web design with Dreamweaver for over two years and my students are able to integrate solid CSS layout techniques into beautiful, consistent, and accessible sites that validate perfectly.

The Introduction to Web Design wth Adobe CS5 – Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop and the Advanced Web Design Techniques with Adobe CS5 courses at DMA cover Dreamweaver Photoshop and Flash and focus on web design work flow, tips and techniques. Hands-on step-by-step projects will guide you through the web design process and will build your skills and confidence so that you can be truly productive after the course is complete. Both classes focus on creativity and are designed for the non-programmer.

Check out our course location page here: Web Design Class Locations for Digital Media Academy training locations.  Stanford University, University of Texas at Austin, UC San Diego, Harvard University, and University of Chicago offer exciting and challenging Digital Media courses for adults.

Check out Sandy Novak’s website here:  Sandy Novak

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First Class All The Way

First class all the way. What set Digital Media Academy apart from the rest was that they offered courses at world-renowned universities that were taught by industry-leading professionals. Every instructor had at least one assistant to ensure every question would get answered. The staff was very professional, down-to-earth, and just fun to be around. It was a learning environment I had yet to experience.

dma_esoriano5The digital adventure I had partaken in was simply amazing, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a great digital learning experience! Every student learned on equipment that was the latest and greatest. And I have to add that the computers were generously upgraded in the RAM area as well! Let’s just say that I had no problems with lag-times or the like. The computers had the most up-to-date versions of every program a student and professional could want.

I speak for myself when I say that it was a “technerds” dream come true! I really can’t wait to do it again. I think this time around I might have to give DMA on the Sea a try! I signed up for three classes in summer 2008: 1) Introduction to Web Design with Adobe CS3 – Dreamweaver, Flash & Photoshop; 2) Advanced Web Design Techniques with Adobe CS3; and 3) Creating a Website with Flash and Actionscript. The skill set I honed in those three courses made me much more competitive in the work force. I can say that I am more successful today after spending three weeks at DMA than the semesters I spent at my local community college. Not only were all my questions answered, but the DMA instructors made sure to guide me in the right path after completing my courses.

Even though it’s been nearly six months since I attended DMA, I still am in touch with my instructors, asking them questions and getting answers. Like I said: First class all the way.

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