Monday, August 8, 2011

Dear Many Uses Students, Thanks for a Great Audio and Video Day

Ann Tran
- ITA Tech Instructor -

The third day into The Many Uses of Computer Camp started with the students discussing their favorite genre in music. A lot of the students listened to Rock, Oldies, Hip-Hop, and R&B.

Then, they immersed themselves into a free music creation program called "Roc" on to compose two measures of rhythm starting with a kick drum, snare, and various other instruments. All of the students, with or without musical background, had their own unique beat. After, they used Sony Acid to add a bass line and record a voice over. In the voice over, the students composed a thank you note to the ITA students and staff for being accepted into the program.

With their audio good to go, the students dived right into Adobe Premiere, a video editing program. After an hour, the students were able to piece the video together with pre-filmed shots of the first couple days of them at ITA!

In only three short hours, the students transformed into music producers and video editors! It was a ton of fun!!

NOTICE: Video coming soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Many Uses of Computers Camp 2011: Graphic Design or Photography?

Cristina Lor
- ITA Tech Instructor -

The second day of class was another great experience; were so into their Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator projects that they spent their break time working on them.

The said projects include their “Layers of Me” which was created in Photoshop. In this project, the students had to import their portrait into Photoshop and then add multiple layers, categorized in the folders named “Culture”, “Hobbies”, “Name” in which all text found in the folders related to each of the folder name. They had the chance to change the font size, color, family, effects, and location of each text box.

Their illustrator project revolved around family, but in the form of penguins! In this graphic design portion of the session, the students were to use premade symbols to assemble penguin versions of their family.

Here are some class examples:

During the third hour of labs, the Evaluation unit, the students were given a mini lesson on blogging – capitalize proper nouns such as, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and utilizing the power of the Enter/Return key whenever a new thought is formed! Once the mini lesson was completed, the students dove into finishing up projects, catching up from the day before, or blogging.

Looking at how fast the students picked up on both of these programs illustrates how the instructors were getting more comfortable with the students, even after only two days!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Motion Pictures Camp - Day 2

Luis Perez
- ITA Tech Instructor -

We started the day off by having one of our instructors, Tony, give a lecture based on the History of Film and how it impacted the United States. He talked about famous stars such as Charlie Chaplin, John Barrymore, and Florence Lawrence. He also talked about what goes into production and the seemingly endless roles and positions to fill, from makeup artists to screenwriters. It all served to paint a more in depth picture of film for the students.

With gained knowledge and practice, students were given more time to finish their "ambiguous dialogues", which required a little bit more filming and quite a bit more editing. During this time each group of students could leave the class room with their assigned instructor to film in a different location or in the same location they chose yesterday. Instructors made sure that the students realized that there was always more they could do, to get that perfect shot. Film is in a constant flux of re-shooting and re-editing.

The students then went back into the labs and added pictures to their videos, along with extra sound effects and titles to get even more hands on with Premiere.

After a given break, students all gathered into one of the labs to be introduced to this year's Blitz. The Blitz is a project that groups of students do along with an instructor based off a theme, and this year's theme is "All Dressed Up, and No Place to Go."

Note: The theme for the Blitz is really only to get some ideas about it, but in the end, the films may stray from the Blitz due to time restrictions :)

In no more than 24 hours time, the instructors will write and direct a film with the help of their student collaborators, all while sticking to their theme. The students have 15 minutes to talk with their instructor to plan out what they wanted to do and how they are going to get it done, whether that meant planning a script or collecting props for the shoot. Either way, the Blitz is sure to cause a very hectic and fun day tomorrow at Motion Pictures Camp!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Many Uses of Computers Camp 2011: The Introduction to Labs, Labs, Labs!

Today was the first day of the Many Uses of Computers Camp for the new cohort of ITA, the class of 2015.

The 30 students began their lab with an introduction of themselves, the ITA instructors and interns, and then continued to learn each other's names with the Drop the Sheet name game.

After the introductions to staff and students, the class was split 15-15 and proceeded to their assigned labs for the rest of camp. This assures that each student can be helped and not lost within a large group.

Upon arriving in the appropriate labs, the students talked about their technology story - what kinds of technology they have experienced working with, and then dove right into learning about the accounts that they would have to navigate with and around for the next four years of ITA: Google, Wisc, and Panda.

Once the students knew what these programs were, they began exploring each one of them as they set them up.

The first day ended with an hour of storytelling, but not the kind where the instructors sit up in the front of the room and read to the students; instead, the students were guided through a memory activity where they were to recollect an event in their life... their 8th grade graduation. This was their first blog post and beginning of the documentation of their next four years at ITA.

Welcome Class of 2015! You will do great things!

2011 Motion Pictures Camp off to a great start!

Today marked the start of the Sophomore Motion Pictures Camp.

In the early morning, students showed up for their first introduction into film making including a range of topics from cinematography to editing to acting. Classes were separated into two halves, so each student could focus in on a particular skill in acting or directing.  

Activities sought to provide the basic opportunities to be creative whether through improv acting exercises or the details of shot composition and the editing essentials of Adobe Premiere. After a short break, the two halves were brought together to collaborate on short "ambiguous dialogues." These are scenes in which all the groups have the same very simple, confusing dialogues and they need to work on their acting and planning skills to make it make sense to the audience. In other words, their interpretation is key to the success of the exercise. We did this in order to not only build their skills, but to create a sense of the team environment, and be a safe outlet for creativity in film making.

It was a lot to digest in a short period of time, but the students were up to the task and getting involved with their projects in preparation for their final films.

We hope we can post some of these dialogues tomorrow, when we expect to have them finished!