22 Apr 2021
Thursday, April 22, 2021

SLAS: Digital Media

News, Students, Teachers

Digital Media @ SLAS

by Robert van West

Digital Media class is a brand new elective course that teaches 21st century skills in digital content creation 2020-21. In a paperless classroom, we tie together collaborative, technological, productive and critical thinking skills.

As a teenager, I learned how to use Photoshop and Dreamweaver to create websites and memes for fun. During college, I designed digital albums, T-shirts and stickers for bands. After college, when I worked at startups in the Silicon Valley, digital media skills helped me edit iPhone and Android apps with a graphic design team.

From my startup experience, I know that creative media and tech skills are in high demand, so I created this course to prepare our students for the realities of the modern office. Since my students learn how to be independent creators and self-sufficient learners, the transition to e-learning this year was very easy for this class.

I look forward to continue this program next year, and I’ve been so impressed with the creative output of our amazing students this year.

In Q1, students created a brand image for their own original websites on Wix.com. They also began to study video editing and music video production using Kdenlive. In Q2, Wildcats are learning cinematography in order to write, film, and publish their own commercials and vlogs to Youtube.com. In Q3, the class does a deep dive into digital photography and digital editing software using a photoshop alternative called GIMP. By the final quarter, expand their GIMP skills to include graphic design and illustration.

Find our Digital Media Class projects below:

Surrealistic Composite Photos: Students learned how to compose aesthetically pleasing landscape, portrait, and street photography using their mobile phones. By the end of the quarter, our students will have learned some basic photography skills, as well as editing skills from layer masking and retouching complexions to editing landscape photography. Check out the photos below that showcases how my students have learned to manipulate reality by creating surrealistic composite images.

Colorization: digitally colorized black and white historical photos in China taken by famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson between 1948-1958. They used a freeware program called GIMP to complete the task.To accurately reproduce colors from that time, the students researched costumes, fabrics, and materials from this era. Next, they sampled their found images to digitally paint their black and white photos. They had to paint every pixel in their photos painstakingly, and they even had to paint light and shadow coloration that matched the environment in which their photo was taken.

This project was completed in three classes with extra time put in for homework. On average, each student took between 8-12 hours on their project.

This kind of work requires advanced editing skills along with keen attention to detail. I was very impressed with the final projects that looked on par with professionally colorized images I’ve seen published in books.

*Grade 9 Digital Media Student: Lana Lee

*Grade 9 Digital Media student: Wills Liu

Cartoon Portraits was an assignment to challenge our Digital Media students on reproducing portraits of a few of our staff members at SLAS! It used their previous learned skills on graphic design and colorization. The students chose their favorite SLAS staff members and were given a week to finish the assignment.

Admin Liaison Hazel Banares

By G13 Pepe Jones otherwise known as our fabulous Digital Media Instructor

Head of School: Faustina Martinez

By: Drabya Rana

Band Instructor: Mr. Oleksandr Voloshchuk

By: Wills Liu

Chinese Teacher Tina Qi

By: Lana Lee

Secondary Chinese Teacher Celia Guo

By: Abby Chiang

English Teacher: Ms Danielle Jacobs

By: Elijah Chin


Stay tuned for more projects coming out of our Digital Media Class 2020-21!