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Students impact digital realm

WHS digital classes create new opportunities

Alana Halsted

Staff Writer

February 21, 2023

Students at work - Elyse Menzel and Taylor Welch, work on their photo project that is connected with their final magazine spread.

Newly added to the course book, Intro to Digital has made a resounding impact among both students and teachers alike.

Conducting a student survey Digital Art teachers, John Sterling and Gabrielle O’Neal, Decided to create a new Intro to Digital class to help transition students to higher-level art classes.

“In order to increase the amount of students interested in art-based careers it would only be fair to increase the amount of digital classes that we have to help get them to those careers,” O’Neal stated.

A lot of new art careers have been created due to technology evolving and society evolving with it. These teachers want to help the next generation to be better suited to work with those changes. They work with the adobe suite to teach photography, digital illustration, visual communications, etc.

“Learning the programs takes time and understanding what one program is good for versus another, especially in a class like this, would save a beginner a lot of time,” O’Neal said.

As well, students get a variety of material to learn to help with future classes if they wish to take them. It helps prepare those who want to make a career out of this to handle clients, as this is a heavily client-based field.

“It is also very much a process and problem-solving class where there’s not necessarily a direct design answer, you kind of have to explore and research on your own,” Sterling replied.

Though making a class is no easy feat. You must get student responses, come up with a curriculum, and make it flow easily and run well.

“You start off with your learning objective, what you want the students to walk away with, Then you kind of figure out how best to structure and scaffold that so you start out at a foundation level,” Sterling stated.

Thus it changed other digital classes that were already put in place. It makes it easier to learn more advanced techniques and get students who truly like that kind of art.

“More practice in that very specific niche area so this will change the digital design class by allowing us to get there faster,” O’Neal said.

Interviewing a student who has experienced both classes firsthand we asked about the comparison of the two and what she thought about each one individually. She talked about her love for digital illustration and how these classes hit home for her.

“We used a lot of the Wacom tablets and we used Photoshop and Illustrator which was fun,” student Alex Irvin (11) stated.

Speaking with a student currently taking this class we find out her thoughts as she is a first-time Digital Art student. She has no experience coming in with the Adobe Suite and learned everything as she went.

“If you know a little about like technology and google and apple going into it then you’ll find it pretty simple, but it’s nothing you can’t handle,” student Corrine Bognar (12) answers.

Finding her experience to be lacking but still able to understand and achieve great things in this class, Bognar believes that others will find it just as easy as she did.

“I would definitely recommend this class to people who are interested in art, specifically more Digital Illustration. I would also recommend freshmen do it, it’s really fun, the class is super super chill and our teacher is really fun,” Bognar said.

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