Sunday, December 20, 2009

DATA Di Collaboration Hits


Paint the World with Light, a Challenge-Based Learning collaboration between DATA Di, the Shanghai American School, and The Mac Lab was featured on NPR.orgThe Picture Show, a blog focusing on "photos from around the world",
posted A New Material For Painting: Light with examples of student's work.

"Seeing my images on NPR fuels the creative drive to push my images for the project further." -Spencer McQuinn
"It is one thing to share the work you are doing with your classmates, but knowing that you are creating something for the world to see is very cool." -Aaron Armstrong
"Collaborating with other schools to benefit a good cause excites me.  Seeing my work on a nationally known website heightens my self-esteem and makes the high school experience all that much more meaningful." -Cecilia Tellez
"I think it is amazing to see my images published online at  It makes me feel that the work I do for school is important.  Knowing that the images will benefit a good cause makes doing the work completely worth while." -Markie Hackwith

Selected images from the Paint the World with Light collaboration will be published in the first of a series of books titled The Student Creative.  100% of the proceeds from the book series will be donated to benefit the Jacaranda School in Malawi.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Epidemic | DATA Di Design Challenge Winner!


DATA digital imaging senior Jeremy Cardoza's entry was selected as the winner of the Epidemic | DATA Di Design Challenge promoted by Epidemic Skateboard Shop in Cathedral City.  Jeremy's design won 65% of the voting posted on

"I was trying to maintain the essence of skateboard graphic design by focusing on simplicity," said Cardoza, who is going to major in graphic design in college.  "I am really happy I got this opportunityto get my work out into the local community."

A very special thank you goes out to Glen Coy, CCHS graduate and owner of Epidemic Skateboard Shop, for his support of the DATA program and Cathedral City youth!

Jeremy's design will be available to purchase at Epidemic after the holiday season.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Creativity a Process or Product?


On December 4, Susan Thompson of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising provided an excellent presentation to digital imaging students on "Discovering Your Creative Abilities."  Using the California Visual Arts Standards, Thompson guided students through "the interplay between left-brain and right-brain thinking through exercises in drawing, visualization, analogy, and brainstorming."

Especially informative was the discussion surrounding the stages of creativity:
Incubation / Withdrawal
Insight / Illumination


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Challenging Projects for DATA Students



Lighting Workshop with Photographer Joel Cummins

During the month of October, Local photographer Joel Cummins provided DATA Di students with a four week lighting workshop.  Students worked with Joel in weekly hands on sessions in the Digital Imaging studio at CCHS emphasizing the following techniques
  • How (Composition+Exposure+Light) works to improve your photography
  • Why camera angles, beyond the neutral angle, are important to consider
  • The differences between hard light and soft light
  • How secondary light defines the subject
  • The benefits of fill light and reflectors
  • How diffusion and reflection effect your subject outdoors
  • How white balance effects the the type of light used on your subject

Immediately following the lighting sessions, students were then challenged by Joel to apply what they learned to the following lighting setups
  • Indoor standard portrait
  • Indoor creative portrait
  • Outdoor portrait
View the  Challenge Based Learning assignment on

Please visit


Paint the World with Light!

DATA Digital Imaging, in collaboration with the Shanghai American School and The Mac Lab at Valhalla High School, have launched Paint the World with Light.  This challenge-based photography project encourages students from around the world to use light painting as a creative way to tell a story or reveal something magical about the community in which they live.  Students and teachers throughout the U.S. and Asia are already on board! 

The project harnesses many current social media tools available for teachers and students and will come together in February 2010 as an online gallery and an accompanying book which will be available to order online. 

Find more challenges at
The Student Creative
Connect with other educators in

Find more photos like this on Digital Arts Education


Monday, November 30, 2009

The Epidemic | DATA Di Design Challenge

Fifteen DATA Digital Imaging students with interests in pursuing graphic design spent the month of October 2009 working on the first annual Epidemic | DATA Di Design Challenge.  Students were invited to design up to three skateboard deck and t-shirt combination graphics and submit them to Epidemic Skateboard Shop owner and CCHS graduate, Glen Coy.  Of the almost 40 total designs that were submitted for consideration, 5 were selected for final voting.  The voting which will occur online at will be open to all Cathedral City schools from November 1st until December 11th.  The winner of this community design challenge will have his work produced and sold at Epidemic Skateboard Shop. 

Congratulations to the following students whose work was selected for final voting
Tyler Johnson
Jeremy Cardoza
Aaron Armstrong-Tamez
Ivan Eissler

Find more photos like this on Digital Arts Education

(Skateboarding supports creativity)

CUE LA & CAEA Presentations, Los Angeles


On November 14 and 15, DATA Digital Imaging teacher Matt Cauthron presented several sessions in the Los Angeles area on the use of social networking in education.

The conference presentations were as follows:
11/14 Supporting, Creativity, Community, & Collaboration, California Arts Education Association conference @ the new LAUSD Visual Arts High School 

11/15 Exercising the Power of Ning, Los Angeles Computer Using Educators conference

11/16 Supporting, Creativity, Community, & Collaboration, California Arts Education Association conference @ the Wilshire Grand

View the presentation slides here


Kaminsky Productions Kicks Off Light Painting Challenge

On November 2, 2009 thirteen DATA digital imaging students
spent a day learning and shooting with local professional Ethan Kaminsky at Kaminsky Productions.  Students learned about the business of photography, were provided a lighting for creative portraiture challenge, and had the opportunity to kick off the upcoming Paint the World with Light global challenge for high school photography students.

Discussion topics for the day included
  • Ethan's learning experiences in high school and at the Art Center College of Design
  • The type of projects the studio produces
  • The history of the local photography business
  • The various levels of art vs. the business of photography
  • What its like to work in advertising photography
  • Techniques & lighting equipment for creative portriature
  • The effects of the current economy on business ownership
As a follow up to the creative portrait challenge he provided, Ethan graciously critiqued work in the Di studio at CCHS while students presented their completed imagery via the Digital Arts Education Ning.


Friday, November 20, 2009

DATA Students Visit Cal-State Fullerton


Over 100 students from the Digital Arts technology Academy at Cathedral City High School visited Cal-State Fullerton on Nov. 12. 
The students received a campus tour, met with an admissions director, toured the CSUF Performing and Visual Arts Department, and talked to four DATA grads who are now students at CSUF.
Professor Larry Johnson, chairman of the school's visual arts department, and his faculty provided the DATA students with a visit to several classes while they were in session to give the students a feel for the breadth of the program. 
Johnson emphasized the idea that "our department seeks to turn out students who are problem solvers, creative thinkers, and people who can create something out of just an idea."


Sunday, November 15, 2009

DATA Students Consider Setting Full Sail

On November 12, 2009 Full Sail University provided DATA digital imaging students with an in depth view of the the University and programs offered in Game Art, Graphic Design, and Digital Arts & Design.

One of the many amazing features of the campus includes a giant Jumbo Tron that showcases student work pumped in from the student lead Full Sail Network on Vimeo.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DATA Photography Students Assist Desert Photo Lab


Seventeen DATA photography students worked with photographers from Desert Photo Lab for six days in October photographing Cathedral City High School students and senior portraits.  The hands-on experience taught students about photographing people, lighting, and the professional work flow used by the lab for managing and processing bulk images. 
"I was fascinated by how taking a single portrait involves a team of people to select and process it for a customer." -Jessica Hernandez
"I enjoyed working with the photo management software and learning about how it works to support a photography business." -Thomas Genera
 "I learned the importance of complimenting a person with your camera work and the use of good people skills." -Brenda Magana
 "It was great to get a first hand look into how group portraiture works." -Melissa Wilson
"It was an interesting experience seeing how the images were processed from camera to print." -Brandon Aponte
"It was cool to see how photographers position their subjects to capture emotion." -Anthony Lamb


Friday, November 6, 2009

DATA Student Techies Assist CUE Teachers


Seven DATA students with professional interests in education, writing, technology, and digital arts assisted the Cahuilla CUE Mini Tech Fair on Saturday October 3, 2009 at James Workman Middle School.  Students
had the opportunity to hear Ted Lai, an Apple Distinguished Educator and author of Pod Piper Productions, present his keynote: Celebrate Success, Save Paper, and Get Your Fifteen Minutes, participate in sessions ranging from Second Life to RSS, Twitter, and Ning, and assist the general work flow of the mini conference which serves teachers from throughout the Coachella Valley.


Monday, October 26, 2009

DATA Hosts Grossmont USD Educators

On October 16th, 2009 DATA hosted 20+ educators from Grossmont Unified School District to share the experiences in building the Digital Arts Technology Academy at Cathedral City High School. 

Conversations included
  • The history of the Academy
  • DATA as a California Partnership Academy
  • Master scheduling
  • Roles of counseling and administration 
  • AME pathways in digital imaging and journalism
  • Academy structure and course sequencing
  • Professional community involvement
  • Challenge Based Learning
DATA staff included
  • Principal, Guillermo Chavez
  • Assistant principal, Ryan Woll
  • DATA coordinator and teacher, Matt Hamilton
  • DATA counselor, Debbie Applebaum
  • Digital imaging teacher, Matt Cauthron
  • English teacher, Nancy Blair
PSUSD staff included
  • Director of State/Federal Programs and CTE Coordinator, Dr. Diana Verney


Cordova Studio Portait Challenge

On Monday October 9th, thirteen DATA digital imaging students visited Cordova Photography, a professional portrait studio in Palm Desert, Ca. specializing in "the art of photographing people".  Students met with owner/photographer Phil Cordova, learned about his college experience at Brooks Institute and the business of running a studio, toured the facility, and participated in professional portrait sessions.  At the end of the tour Phil provided a challenge to the students to shoot on their own.  The challenge, Portraits from Nothing, will be professionally critiqued by Phil himself.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

DATAganza 2009

The Oct. 14 DATAganza in the CCHS Theater was a huge success for the DATA program. The entire DATA staff was introduced, some amazing student projects were on display, and we had our first DATA Parent Group meeting. If you missed it, don't fret. On May 11, 2010, in a very special venue, we will hold our DATApalooza, with food and screening of student projects. Circle your calendar now for this exciting event.

Here is a sample from the event!
Besides by Aaron Armstrong-Tamez


Friday, October 9, 2009

Di Students Shoot Mayan Artifacts for PSUSD ELL

On Friday September 18, 2009 DATA Digital Imaging students Markie Hackwith, Arin Wall, and Spencer McQuinn had a rare and special opportunity to photograph ancient Mayan artifacts unearthed from the Banda del Oro mountain range that lies between Guatemala and El Salvador.  The shoot was arranged by Palm Springs Unified School District ELL coordinator Brian Lentz and will be shown in various Cathedral City High School classrooms and throughout the school district.

Brian Lentz explains the story behind the artifacts
"My Mayan collection of artifacts is really my father-in-law's collection.  They were, for the most part, dug up by his workers when they planted a new coffee tree.  They would hear a clunking sound and then clear away the dirt and remove whatever the object was- a bowl,  vase and in some cases, weapons.  Most pieces are from the area of Central America that lies between Guatemala and El Salvador along the Banda del Oro mountain range.  Nothing has been done to them.  Some are cracked from thousands of earthquakes that have rocked that area for centuries.  The jade piece is from a ruler's tomb and was given as a gift by an archeologist that my father-in-law assisted on a dig.  These are everyday items from Mayan households and that is my main attraction to them; common items tell a deeper story of the people who owned them rather than fully restored museum pieces.  The Power Point presentation of these artifacts will remain with Cathedral City High School so that it can be shown to future students and staff.  My gratitude to Markie who brilliantly photographed them and to Mr. Cauthron for opening his room to me so this presentation would become a reality."

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DATA Students Flip Out Over New Flash Drives

All DATA students and teachers now have their 2010 'flip' flash drives!  The 4 gig drives from Rocky Mountain Ram will be used for moving files between DATA elective classes, core subjects, and home.


DATA Di Studio in Art Room Showcase 2009

The DATA Digital Imaging studio was featured as a winning arts classroom on The Teaching Palette, a Scholastic Instructor Top 20 Teacher Blog.  The Art Room Showcase 2009 was created to provide inspiration for art teachers across the country and around the globe.


Classroom Jeopardy! Visits DATA History

Ivan Eissler

Kelly Miyahara, a member of of Jeopardy!'s Clue Crew, visited Rose Gonzalez' third period class at Cathedral City High School to play a round of Classroom Jeopardy! Classroom Jeopardy is an interactive, electronic version of the popular television show that allows teachers to imput customized clues and categories.
DATA students where there to capture the action when Classroom Jeopardy! came to CCHS Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. While DATA history teacher Rose Gonzalez played the game with her third period class, DATA students captured the action for later broadcast on KPSP Local2. The Classroom Jeopardy! unit was donated to Cathedral City High School on behalf of Jeopardy! and KPSP.


2010 DATA Teacher Posters in 3D

The 2010 DATA teacher room posters are now out.  The 3d "DATA" image was created by 2009 DATA Digital Imaging graduate, Jaime Villanueva, using Maxon's Cinema 4D.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DATA Students Selected for 2009 Docent Program

Congratulations to DATA Digital Imaging senior Markie Hackwith and DATA Digital Imaging junior Arin Wall for being selected as Palm Springs Art Museum teen docents for 2009 - 2010 school year.

Students from across the valley were given the opportunity to apply to the  program at the Museum.  Interviews were conducted by Education Programs Manager Emily Spallina, and those students selected participated in a three week summer training program to learn about art, art history, museum education, and public speaking. 

"We lead weekly tours for local elementary school students, teaching them about how artists use the elements of art," said  Hackwith.

"It is great to receive a $250 stipend, school credit, a Sun Bus pass," said Wall, "and also know that we will enrich the lives of children through the arts."


Words of Students

As part of the first few days of school, students in the Digital Imaging strand of DATA were asked to describe the Academy, photography, and high school.

Here are their responses
What should high school be like?

What is photography?

What is DATA?

Summer Happenings


Digital Imaging Externship
Digital Imaging teacher Matt Cauthon spent time with a variety of local professionals in order to make connections between what happens in local imaging-based businesses and the Di classroom.  Local professionals included:

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Apple Distinguished Educator Summer Institute
As part of the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program, 150 ADEs were selected to travel from around the U.S. to be a part of Apple's top notch summer staff development for it's teachers.  DATA teacher Matt Cauthron, with assistance from PSUSD CTE Coordinator Diana Verney, was one of the lucky few to join colleagues in this amazing experience in the high tech facilities at Full Sail University in Deer Park, Florida.
    • World class motion designer, Full Sail graduate, and owner of We Are Royal LLC, Jason Whitmore
  • ADEs were engaged for five days and nights in developing Challenge Based Learning projects, networking opportunities, software and technical workshops, reverse mentoring by Full Sail University students, and photo shoots with Pulitzer Prize winner Bill Frakes.  All this and more occurred throughout the 190 acre Full Sail campus which boasts 23 degree programs and over 110 studio and production environments. 
  • All lodging, food, and evening entertainment was paid for by Apple, Inc.

Summer Academy Staff Development
DATA teachers and counselor worked together in both June and August this summer to coordinate Academy tasks and challenges.  Items from the staff development included working with Google Docs, Calenders & Groups, establishing a clear set of Academy goals, vision & responsibilities, and planning events for the 2009-10 school year.