Producing Their Own Tunes

The DME-120 Intro to Multimedia Applications students just finished the group album project. This is a fun project where the students work in teams to produce their own music album. The first objective for the students was to decide together on the music genre for their new album. Once the team decided on a music genre, then each student produced their own song for the album. The students had the choice of tools to create their own song. They could choose from Adobe Audition, Apple’s GarageBand, or BandLab.com. Most students chose to work with BandLab.com because of the ease of accessibility from both school and home. When all the songs were produced for the album, the team worked together to design the album art in Adobe Photoshop. Then, the teams worked together to publish their music album on a webpage they created. The students used Google Sites or Wix.com to create their webpages. Below are a couple of examples of the webpages the students created to showcase their new music albums.

Wednesday Nights – Album created by Mary McClure

24/7 Lofi – Album created by Emma Moore

Dreams – Album created by Jonah Mclean, Riley Kirby, & Mya Greene

In Other Audio News…

Advanced Technologies Academy Senior, Benjamin Cederberg is producing the sound track for the latest release of the student created short-film Rocky in Space. Below is one of the original songs Benjamin has produced for the short-film.

A Great Start To The School Year

Ethien working on his interactive animation project.

The Advanced Technologies Academy students are finishing the third week of college classes at the time of this writing. This school year brings many new changes with face coverings, social distancing, and hybrid courses just to name a few. The students have been handling these changes very maturely. The opening of school has gone smoothly thanks to our wonderful students and understanding teachers working together.

Romeo working on his animation project.

The DME-120 Introduction to Multimedia Applications class has been learning the basics of animation. The students have been using an Online tool called Wick Editor to create simple point-and-click interactive animations. The bouncing ball animation was the introduction project for animation. Below are a few student work examples. Currently the students are learning how to edit audio and how audio impacts the interactive media that we use everyday.

by Emma Moore
by Mary McClure

by Gavin Johnson
by Riley Kirby
by Martin Engelbrecht
by Catlin Austin

The CTI-150 Mobile Computing Devices class is the first class in the mobile app development curriculum of the Advanced Technologies Academy. The students have been learning about what a mobile computing device is and the history of mobile computing devices. The students created some very interesting presentations about the early mobile computing devices they found on the Web. Below is a student example of one of these presentations. Currently, the students are learning about the future of mobile computing devices. We have discussed many interesting topics on the matter. My favorite is when we talked about if we would implant the functions of our smartphone into our brain.

The WEB-125 Mobile Web Design class has been learning how to create webpages by writing in HTML5 and CSS3. The focus of this class is on producing websites that can adapt to the user’s screen size. There are a wide variety of screen sizes and screen resolutions out in the world today. It is more important than ever to produce websites that can be viewed easily on all the different screens available. We began the class with a review of the fundamental graphic design principles. We also went back in time to compare web design from a few years ago with today’s web design. We had the help of the Wayback Machine to accomplish this. We had an Image Optimization Challenge to see who could reduce file size the most of a provided photo while maintaining image quality.

A classroom with students giving the thumbs up.
WEB-125 Mobile Web Design (Group A Class)

An Amazing New Opportunity

There is a new program that will be piloted for Advanced Technologies Academy students enrolled in the CTS-115 Information Systems and Business Concepts this year.

What does this mean for students?  
Students will be taking a class that gives them college credit in addition to taking a nationally recognized certificate program created by Google. The Google IT Support Professional Certificate is set to be a nationally recognized certificate that will be recognized by employers all over the world. By completing the program, students will be better prepared to find employment in the field of IT support. If this is not a goal or path of a student, the certificate will still be an excellent resume builder for college or employment.  The skills learned will benefit them whether they enter the IT field or not.

How are students chosen?
CCC&TI has recently been working with a cohort of community colleges from several states to participate in this special pilot program.  The content in the Google IT Certificate Program mirrored a majority of the content in the CTS-115 courses that CCC&TI currently offered.  In addition, CASA students are top-notch! They will be open to participating and seeing the potential of the program.  

 What is the goal of the program?
The ultimate goal is to provide students with a quality education that prepares them to be successful in the world of work.  Having a nationally recognized credential in addition to receiving college credit for a course will increase the students’ value in the workplace.  

Will students have to do any additional work?
Course work will be supplemented using the Google IT Certificate program as a part of the normal curriculum that will be covered in class.  Since this is a pilot program it is not known exactly how far through the Google Certificate program students will get.  If the Google Certificate program is not completed, the student will not be penalized, however, students are expected to participate like they would with any other class.

 How much does this cost?
No additional fees or books are required.  The pilot program CCC&TI is a part of is paying for all costs associated with the Google Certificate.  The normal cost of the program would be approximately $250 per student.  

 What else should I know?
Since this is a pilot program, there may be some unknown circumstances that may pop up from time to time.  Students are encouraged provide feedback along the way to make this program better for future classes.  They have the opportunity to not only help themselves, but also others who may follow in their footsteps.  The instructor will be providing more details once class gets started.

Both CASA and CCC&TI are excited about this amazing opportunity.  If you or your child has any questions, please reach out to the instructor Mark Howell, mhowell@cccti.edu or call 828-726-2339.

Rocky in Space 3 Online Premiere

After 9 months and hundreds of hours of production, Rocky in Space 3: A Glimpse of Hope is finally here! This is the third film in the Rocky in Space trilogy! On Friday, May 15, 2020, Garrett Lawrence, Max McMahan and Megan Conley premiered their short-film live on Google Meet to an extremely excited audience. The event was advertised on the Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy website and social media and the Caldwell County Schools social media. This is a very special project for these Advanced Technologies Academy students. It was completed on their own time outside of class time. The short-film also stars Josh Lewis and Callie Stinson. During the online premiere, the students introduced the short-film by explaining their individual roles and reviewing the first two short-films. After the viewing of Rocky in Space 3, the online chat exploded with positive feedback. While the students took questions from the online participates, Garrett, Max, Megan, and Josh sounded just like professionals on an action movie panel.

Class of 2020 Drive-Thru

On May 11, 2020, Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy hosted a Class of 2020 Drive-Thru Event. During the event, CASA Seniors were able to drop off their college textbooks, receive their caps and gowns, their yearbooks, and school spirit yard signs. From 10am to noon, seniors drove onto campus with big smiles and horns blowing. They were met by the CASA faculty and staff holding up signs, cheering and waving. It was great to see the students and say “Hello!”, if only for a brief moment.

Working From Home, Graphic Design Tools

On Monday, March 23, 2020, the DME-115 Graphic Design Tools students and I began working from home. The conversion to an Online class has provided many challenges and technical difficulties. Each challenge we have had was definitely a learning opportunity for us. But, I don’t want to focus on that right now. I want to highlight the work of my students as they learn about graphic design from home. I have been super proud of the work these students have completed in this challenging time we are all in right now.


Poster Design Project

In this project, the students were asked to design a public-awareness poster about the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The goal is to raise awareness of the disease. What is it? How do you protect yourself? etc… The students were asked to do some research. There is a lot of false information out there and we don’t want to promote that. Below are a few examples of the students’ posters.


Book Cover Design Project

In this project, the students were asked to design a book cover. They could choose any book they would like to design a new cover for. The students had to get to know the subject matter of the book by reading a synopsis if they have not read it yet. Then, the students needed to decide upon one image that best communicates the book’s content. They would then design a new cover for the book with the image as the main focal point. All other elements (title, author, any other graphic element or information) should be subordinate to the main focal point. Below are a few examples of their book covers.


Personal Logo Design Project

In this project, the students were asked to design their own personal logo. The logo should include their first and last name and a symbol that represents who they are. The students could use any software, web tool, or smartphone app they wanted. The best choice is to use a drawing software like Adobe Illustrator because it creates vector graphics that can be scaled without loss of quality. If the students chose to use a painting software like Adobe Photoshop they had to be sure to create a high resolution document (300 ppi). Below are a few examples of their personal logos.

Working From Home, Digital Animation

On Monday, March 23, 2020, the DME-130 Digital Animation students and I began working from home. The conversion to an Online class has provided many challenges and technical difficulties. Each challenge we have had was definitely a learning opportunity for us. But, I don’t want to focus on that right now. I want to highlight the work of my students as they learn about digital animation from home. I have been super proud of the work these students have completed in this challenging time we are all in right now.


Introduction To Adobe Animate

The first animation project my students completed at home was named “Introduction to Adobe Animate”. In this project, the students were asked to animate a bouncing ball using the basic animation principle, Squash and Stretch. This gives the ball some elasticity and adds to the realism of the animation. The students were provided a tutorial on how to animate the ball using Adobe Animate. Below are a few examples of the students’ projects.


Animated Public Service Announcement

Another project the students have been working on is an animated public service announcement (PSA). The students were asked to create an animated PSA that is at least 15 seconds about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness, to call people to action, or to get people to change their behavior. The students could choose any method of animation and software to produce the project. While working from home, the students had to use what they had available and lots of imagination. Below are a few examples…

Created by Garrett
Created by Benjamin
Created by Jennifer
Created by Simon

Stop-Motion Animation

In this project the students were asked to create a stop motion animation using their choice of software, web tool, or smartphone app. The students chose their own topic for the approximate 2-minute stop motion animation. Then, they wrote a summary of the stop motion animation. After the students created a plan and gathered materials needed, they took pictures of inanimate objects and made them come to life via stop motion. The use of music and/or sound effects help bring the objects to life. Below are a few examples of the students’ projects.

Created by Garrett
Created by Benjamin
Created by Jennifer
Created by Megan
Created by Samara C.
Created by Parker

Animated Personal Logo

In this project the students were asked to animate their personal logo. The students designed their personal logo in a previous course (DME-115 Graphic Design Tools). The personal logo includes their name and a symbol that represents who they are. The logos will be used in the students’ Advanced Technologies Academy Portfolio Website. While working from home, the students were required to make at least one element of their logos move. They could use any software or app that they had access to. Below are a few examples of the students’ animated personal logos.

Teaching Animation To 2nd Grade

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, several Advanced Technologies Academy students traveled to Hudson Elementary School to teach animation to the 2nd grade. Our students had a full day of teaching three classes from 9:00am to 2:00pm. The goal was to teach the 2nd grade the basics of animation. The method of instruction was to show the students how to create a flip-book with a Post-it Notepad. The 2nd graders had the opportunity to draw their own frame-based animation using a notepad and colored pencils.

The Advanced Technologies Academy students involved were: Ben Cederberg, Evan Holder, Isaac Marshall, Hannah Holton, Mary Hickein, Keagan Jump, Haylie Jarrell, Josh Lewis, Megan Conley, Gavin Johnson, Emma Moore, Angela Puerto Peralta, and Catlin Austin. These students did an awesome job! I was so proud of these students for their professionalism, maturity, and communication skills. This was such a great opportunity for the 2nd graders and high schools students and even for the teachers to experience.

Adobe Illustrator Snail Project

One of the first Adobe Illustrator projects is the Snail Project. It is one of my favorite projects because the students begin with a tutorial on how to draw a snail in Adobe Illustrator. Then, the students add their own personality to the snail. These were completed by the freshman class in the DME-110 Introduction to Digital Media course.

SkillsUSA Leadership Meeting and Cookout

On Tuesday, March 10, 2020 the Caldwell Applied Sciences Academy’s SkillsUSA members had a leadership meeting and cookout after school. Rachael Robinson, a former CASA student and currently a SkillsUSA employee, led the team-building activities. She did an excellent job and the students really enjoyed it. Lots of yelling and laughter could be heard coming from the meeting room. After the leadership meeting and team-building activities, the students ate hotdogs, chips and cookies together. This was a great afternoon of fun, laughter, team problem-solving, food, and relaxing. All the students did awesome and I’m really proud of them.

Meeting flyer