Shakopee High School offers a variety of classes that will only expand as the building does. The specialty classes offered by the school introduce us to a variety of ideas and tools we had little to no experience with before, especially when talking about subjects like engineering and health care. Although, the integration of technology is prominent through every subject even fine arts. Digital Design is a class that lets students use unique computer programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects to create works of art with a mouse and monitor instead of the traditional tools like a paintbrush and canvas or pen and paper. These programs allow students to have a greater amount of freedom with expression that can allow them to open their imagination to others.
These programs have plenty of advantages and are continuing to have greater use each day. Although most students are first introduced to these tools in Digital Design so Mrs. Paulson has come up with ways to make it an easier experience transitioning into them. She does this through the use of thorough video tutorials for each new programs the students use. She takes her time searching for ones that will benefit her students and not overwhelm them, while also providing easy to access assets for the tutorials that require them like linking needed images on canvas. If she can’t find a tutorial that tells the students everything they’ll need for a project she will personally create her own and put them on YouTube for her students. She makes sure that the videos are straightforward and easy to follow so that even those who are brand new to the digital tools can be successful while using them. On top of that, she takes her time with each step which makes it easy for students to follow one step at a time by pausing the video. This is incredibly useful for students who aren’t as familiar with each program’s setup or for someone who hasn’t used the system in a while.
This year Digital Design also used a new program to help learn about animation, Adobe After Effects. Mrs. Paulson was also new to this digital resource, so she reached out to our ITS crew and asked if we could come into the classes to help her students. We were there alongside Mrs. Paulson to answer any questions and troubleshoot any problems we could. If we weren’t able to help, we sent the students to people who could. This was very beneficial to all of us involved as Mrs. Paulson had ITS students to help answer questions, her students had people to turn to if she didn’t know how to help them, and the ITS students were able to become more familiar with the program themselves which informed us of something that could be helpful to other high schoolers in the future.
Being both a ITS and Digital Design student, I can say that the ways that Mrs. Paulson helps her students learn new programs is remarkable. She is very thorough with everything we need to know, which says a lot as most of the programs we use can be very overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t used them before. It would be very easy for us to be completely lost, but she does whatever she can to prevent that through finding us video tutorials or having someone to answer questions even if that isn’t her. I hope other teachers will take steps similar to hers to make new digital programs easily accessible to those who have never used them before.