Digital Arts = Mac Lab MediaLearn how to run an actual business and work your way up the corporate ladder
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can take Digital Arts?
Any student, grades 9–12, may enroll in Digital Arts. Some students take Digital Arts multiple times. A few students enroll in two sections each year.
I'm not good with computers. Does that matter?
If you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules it won’t matter at all because you’ll learn to use a computer like a pro.
IMPORTANT: If you want to learn and are willing to work each day, you’ll succeed. If you’re not really interested in working hard each day, please do us both a favor and take a different elective.
If there's no homework or tests, how do you grade?
Short Version: Play by the rules and give it your all to earn an A. If you want a different grade, take a different elective because I’m not interested in babysitting kids who don’t want to learn.
Long Version: Read this blog post.
The Grit-Based Rubric measures your willingness to work each day; it’s based on effort, not test scores.
IMPORTANT: Here’s a challenge to see if you’re actually willing to work hard: Read this blog post. Yes, it’s long. If that’s too much to ask, take a different elective. Why? Because you aren’t willing to work hard enough to enjoy the class.
What if I try and try but never produce anything good?
Did you read the blog post?
The quality of your work is not a factor. If you try and try and don’t give up, you will have earned an A.
But fear not. Those who don’t give up always produce something wondrous.
Digital Arts is supposed to be fun. Why are you so hung up on hard work?
Short Answer: So you’ll have fun in Digital Arts.
Longer Answer: It’s like learning to play a sport or a musical instrument. Those who work at it learn more quickly. The more you learn, the better you become. The better you become, the more you begin to enjoy the process. In time, the effort is no longer hard work but a kind of focused play. At that point, Digital Arts becomes a fun class that you’ll look forward to each day.
The Flip Side: Those who refuse to follow instructions day after day do not have fun in Digital Arts. The class is stupid, or boring, or a waste of time. It happens every year and the complainers are always the lazy ones.
I don’t want you to be miserable so I’m trying to make this as clear as possible.
Okay, fine. I'll work. What's this stuff about running a business? It's not a real business, is it?
Yes, Mac Lab Media is a real business, established February 16, 2017 in conjunction with Real World Scholars. We will create and sell custom digital resources on global design marketplaces like Design Cuts in London and Creative Market in San Francisco.
IMPORTANT: None of us get paid. As a 501(c)(3) business entity, all profits are reinvested in new creative tools and resources for you to use. Our goal is to become a self-funded classroom by the 2020/2021 school year.
Like any business, Mac Lab Media is looking for inspired individuals willing to trade hard work for pay—in your case the pay’s in the form of cutting edge training. And who knows? Maybe one day, if you work hard enough, you’ll learn enough to set up your own shop.
Will you be the next Nicky Laatz?
What if I want to work on something different?
You will have an opportunity to earn creative freedom. Note the word, earn.
If you chose to work toward creative freedom on day one, you could earn your first 20% perk by week six. That means you would have the right to work on any school appropriate project of your choosing one day a week from that point forward (providing, of course, you continue to work diligently for Mac Lab Media the other four days. By week 12 you could earn a second 20% perk, and so on.
Please understand that creative freedom is an earned privilege and not a right.
What if I want to code?
If you’re serious about code, it takes six weeks to earn the privilege so long as you’ve satisfied the usual play by the rules / work hard clause in our contract.
At that point you’ll learn to produce generative art with Processing. If you want to work on something different, please understand that we code with purpose. We provide services and solve real world problems. If you want to create an FPS, it better be something along the lines of a white blood cell fighting infection.
Or you could earn 20% time six weeks after you join the coding team
If you think you have what it takes, you can always apply to join the Game On team. Oh yeah, Mac Lab students wrote that. And it’s being used in classrooms around the world.
Are there any exceptions to your rules?
Copied and pasted from the blog post:
If our overt academic goal is to create and publish evidence of successful student-directed learning, we’re effectively defining flexible boundaries for student autonomy and introducing an element of what might be called academic entrepreneurship into the learning environment. We’re the equivalent of venture capitalists in this scenario and students are startup founders trying to find funding for their innovative ideas.
Pitch me. I’m always willing to listen to your ideas.