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What is Digital Media Literacy

Making digital media requires some of the skills of a computer programmer and a visual artist or media maker to integrate graphics, text, and digital audio and video, with interactivity.  Digital media is all about teamwork and the ability to understand the differing needs and backgrounds of people.  Computer literacy and being serious about keeping up with constant developments in technology give a “core” of ability for potential digital media makers.  Different opportunities will have specific requirements and the requirements may change as a project develops.

Digital Media As A Field

The nature of digital media is also about having a variety of options.  Final delivery of a project can be on an interactive CD-ROM or DVD or on the World Wide Web, part of a video or story for TV or a Hollywood movie, a presentation for a few people or for millions, for commercial or educational use or for entertainment.  Because the use of digital media in all its forms is such a new and changing field, nothing is set in stone.

Also, having some skill in digital media can have some benefit in school or in the workplace.  Skills emphasized include:

  • Adaptability – ability to cope with constant change
  • Ability to learn new things quickly – and enjoy keeping up to date
  • Client or people-focused – interpersonal skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Team membership skills (collaboration)
  • Genuine interest in computer technology and applications
  • The ability to generate creative connections between ideas and their presentations

Tips for Teaching

There are many methods and approaches but the ones that work best are youth-centered and hands-on.  On subsequent pages are several methods and approaches for planning and getting started with your DAY program, including project-based learning, portfolios, after school and in-school activities.  Also, creating the space (DAY studio) is important, as well as developing the actual activities for your program.  Upon request are some great lessons for teaching digital art (on CD).

Digital Art Youth Program (DAY)

In 2000, three community-based technology centers across the country launched "ArtTech", a five-week summer program that introduced youth to multimedia. Soon after the project was renamed the Digital Art Youth Program or DAY. Nettrice Gaskins created a resource guide for practitioners that was made available upon request. She also ran a local DAY program at the Boston Neighborhood Network from 2001-2004, with the help of an AmeriCorps VISTA (Derek Hixon). The Boston program served nearly a hundred local youth between the ages of 13 and 18. Additionally, Nettrice worked with a public high school in Dorchester to create school-based curriculum for teachers and students.

Creating the DAY resource guide has been a labor of love for Nettrice (she did not profit from it). For more information about the guide visit the DAY web site.

Computer Animation

In 2005, Nettrice taught three computer animation classes at the Massachusetts College of Art. Two of the classes were for 12-18 year olds and the other was for high school students. For these classes Nettrice developed a web site and curriculum. The activities culminated in a CD/DVD and screening of youth work. The work can also be seen on the web here: Digital Media Channel.

For more information feel free to join the discussion.

For more information about the CTC VISTA Project click here <<

Email: nettrice@gmail.com