Kay le Comte adapts her programmes to match students' interests.
Planning engaging digital media programmes
Kay le Comte: When I’m planning a project, I have a tendency to look at the class that I’m going to be teaching. So I’m always looking ahead, at the girls that I've got now, who will be in my class next year? What will they be interested in?
If I’ve got a lot of art girls, design girls, I’d probably focus in that area. If I've got girls who are into programming, into making things, we would probably do a lot more actual modelling and trialling of packaging for CDs that games go into. If I’ve got girls that just like to do, well I’m going to make a programme that will have lots of doing, where we try lots of software, where we learn lots of different things but always with just that process in that background, so we’re going to plan it, we’re going to concept it, come up with lots of ideas, find out what everybody might think of this.
Student one: Taking digital technology has helped me further expand my potential in computing and it’s helped me express myself in designing. I was thinking either animal care or going off to the army. I know in the army nowadays definitely technology is a part of it, with sending signals, finding out the newest weapons that are being used around the world, and being part of the information centre.
Kay le Comte: In year 11 we have done gaming so we start with the information management and find out, we do surveys – What do people like in games? How do they want to play? Where do they play? What are they doing? We go on to looking in, researching games, which means lots of headphones because you’re going to have lots of noise in the room. But girls are researching. They’re looking at games and seeing what works. We then take all that into our games. We concept them, we make them, we programme them, we package them, we get everyone in to play it, we get other year levels, so year 9 and 10 to come in and play it. Slightly chaotic to turn your classroom into a gaming parlour, but it works and they all love it and the year 9s in particular see that computing isn’t all hard, it isn’t all maths, it isn’t all spreadsheets and it creates an interest.
Student two: One of the projects I've worked on and really enjoyed is game making and mine was Rapunzel, I got to make a maze game.
Charlotte Barndon: My name is Charlotte Barndon, I’m in my first year of the diploma in screen production at EIT. I'm a former student at Hastings Girls High School. I took the digital technology class for three years here. Started in year 11 and thoroughly loved it as soon as I started. The most awesome project we did was making the horror films. Watching Psycho at the start of the year was a real eye opener to the horror film industry. I was really engaged and was thinking how I could implement their designs and put them into my own practice and create a horror film using my sisters and my little nephew as the actors – and ended up having my little nephew as the baddy. Doing the whole process and the designs and storyboards was really a great start to the year because we learnt all the design process, which included doing story boards and writing up scripts and learning about ethical and moral and legal requirements included, so making sure you’re not killing the earth while creating horror films (or films in general). So that was probably my most favourite project that we did do.
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