Digital Media workshops for regional students

by Steven Pace, 6 months ago

One of the factors that prevents young people in regional communities from considering a technology-focused career is their limited awareness of the career paths and educational opportunities that are available to them.

To address that issue, I regularly conduct practical digital media workshops with secondary school students and community groups in the Central Queensland region. For example, I recently enjoyed hosting two full-day workshops with students from Emerald State High School and Pioneer State High School at the Mackay campus of Central Queensland University.

The aim of these workshops is to spark the students' interest in technology-focused careers by engaging them in enjoyable, practical activities linked to digital media production. The specific workshop activities depend on the interests of the group, but here are some examples:

  • manipulating a rigged 3D character model with Autodesk Maya as an introduction to animation;
  • creating web interface components with JavaScript as an introduction to coding;
  • retouching a portrait photograph with Adobe Photoshop as an introduction to image-editing;
  • compositing a student performance onto live-action video footage with Adobe After Effects as an introduction to visual effects; or
  • creating a game prototype with Unity as an introduction to mobile game development.

These practical activities are supplemented with short videos and live presentations about the way software is disrupting industries and reshaping the way we work, learn, play and communicate.

One of the rewards of conducting these workshops is hearing from students and teachers about the follow-up activities they are doing in the classroom and the personal projects they are starting at home.

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