Digital Artists Club

Digital Artists Club is designed to give students the opportunity to explore and evaluate a variety of digital tools while expressing their inner artists. I was thrilled to have the course run for the first time in 2014 at Worcester Think Tank. Some of the photos captured from the first time this workshop ran are highlighted in the video on the right. 

Throughout the workshop students (9-12 years-old) engage in making media to increase awareness of their own digital footprints, as well as, to increase understanding of the impact that media has in their everyday lives. Students work on a variety of hands-on media projects (including photographs, comics and stop motion animations). Each project is designed to get students thinking about when, where, how and why we use media to communicate in creative and collaborative ways. As a result, students also increase their abilities to decode and comprehend the messages that they receive from mass media that they encounter in everyday life.

The Digital Artists Group projects are designed to address Common Core Standards for MA ELA and Digital Literacy Frameworks, and National Technology Education Student Standards (NTES-S). Learning objectives are listed below along with an outline of the weekly class schedule. Samples of student work are also included along with links to the FREE online tools utilized during the sessions. You do not need to spend a bunch of money on the latest gadgets to raise screen savvy kids, but please do credit sources where appropriate.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, students will:

  • Increase ability to construct messages using images, texts, and graphics
  • Develop and enhance communication, media, and digital literacy skills
  • Increase understanding of how meaning is constructed using symbols
  • Develop and enhance critical thinking skills
  • Be able to define what it means to be responsible digital citizens

Activities Schedule

  • Week 1: Building a Digital Portfolio
  • Week 2: Digital Photography
  • Week 3: Digital Photography (cont).
  • Week 4: Marketing and Design
  • Week 5: Marketing and Design (cont.)
  • Week 6: Meaning in Motion (Intro to Stop-Motion Animation)
  • Week 7: Meaning in Motion (cont.)
  • Week 8: Digital Storytelling Tools
  • Week 9: Digital Storytelling Tools (cont.)
  • Week 10: Presentations and Reflections (Parents encouraged to attend)

Links to Tools

  • Kidblog- We used this site to create the class blog because of the administrative controls (such as the option for posts to be approved before they are visible and the ability to set up accounts for students without email accounts). Parents may set up an account to view their child's blog, as well.
  • Portrait Illustration Maker - There are several free online digital tools available for creating an avatar. This one worked well for us.
  • Storybird: With this digital storytelling tool, a collection of artists’ illustrations inspires students to write their own story.
  • GIMP - This is an open source image manipulation program (i.e. free photo editing and graphic design software). 
  • Open Office - Productivity Suite (document, spreadsheet, drawing, and presentation tools VERY similar to MS Office except it is open source, which means it is FREE).
  • Online Logo Maker - Students can design a logo quickly and easily with this online tool.

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