Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Youth Digital Studio - Durham

I was a complete Internet novice when I started this blog.  I logged on to Blogger, picked a template, and off I went.  Now, close to 3 years later in a growing media world, I have had to learn things like Favicons, HootSuite, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook plugins, and more....with still so much more to learn.  Imagine if I had had access as a teen to a place like Youth Digital Studio.  What they are doing simply excites me on behalf of all kids.

Youth Digital Studio (YDS) has a few locations around the US and one of those few happens to be located in Durham.  Lucky us!  YDS opened in the New Hope Commons area in Fall 2011.

YDS seeks to introduce the creativity of young people to the power of technology, giving them the tools needed to go from Consumer to Creator.  When that happens, it can be a powerful thing. I truly believe that is where the world changes.  Kids, primarily ages 6-17, can learn real skills to create projects they care about.  There are weekly afterschool classes in Game, Web, Graphic, App, and Video Design.  YDS recently launced their first online class (Game Design 1).  There are options based on what time commitment you can give and there are 5 levels of learning so the program can grow with your child.  The student/teacher ratio is really low, too, at an average of 4 to 1.

Parents: there are classes for you, too!  You can take one-day seminars in a variety of topics from Internet safety to Photoshop (go ahead and edit those Mamarazzi pictures just a smidge) to video design (make those videos of the kids even more fun to watch).

Like I said, YDS is doing some exciting things, and not just here in the Triangle.  Through their online class program they are able to reach students in over 28 states and 4 countries.

Still not sure exactly what YDS offers?  Appstravaganza is a great way to see what they do in action.  Over the summer kids aged 6-16 attended a YDS App Camp.  The kids had varying levels of experience but all made apps.  Yup, like for your phone or iPad.  Their creativity was evident as every app was unique.  You can watch some of these fantastic kids here: https://vimeo.com/49954812.   There were games, stats/time logs for basketball or swimming, a paycheck calculator, and so on.  These kids took their ideas from concept to the final product.  They put in an amazing amount of work for their age and for just one short week (trust me, it's amazing: it takes me hours to edit and upload the pictures for 1 blog article....make a whole app?!).

Four of these student-created apps will be available on the Apple app store soon (how cool, right?), and the rest of them will be on the app store near the first of the year.

You can see these apps in action right now!  YDS is hosting Appstravaganza throughout October and November this year.  From the beginning of October through October 31 The ArtsCenter is hosting the event with a celebration event on October 12 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm.  When October is done, the Museum of Life + Science hosts a 1-day exhibit of Appstravaganza complete with teachers to introduce the apps and field Q&As on November 10.  After that you have one last chance to catch the exhibit at the Golden Belt Gallery in downtown Durham as part of the 3rd Friday festivities on November 16.

PS- I am waiting on one of these kids to make an app for MiCHill.  Any takers?

Youth Digital Studio
5318 New Hope Commons Drive
Durham, NC 27701

(919) 766-0691


At October 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Molly said...

Thanks so much for the shout out! I should have mentioned to you, we are having a trial day October 13th, where students can come check out 3D Game and App Design. Just contact us to sign up. Thanks again for being such a great resource in our community!


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