“Wow! That animation looks great! Okay, now we’re going to take the animated Flash movie you just created and you’re going to import it into Dreamweaver on your Web page. Let’s all do this together! Ready?”

I am right in the middle of leading another great Digital Media Academy Adventures course for kids at Stanford University: Web Design and Flash. We are taking an in-depth look at the Adobe Creative Suite applications: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Flash.

We are on the third day of the five-day course at Stanford. My class just got back into the classroom after playing a crazy game of “Slaughter Ball.” It may sound scary, but it’s really just a lot of fun, sort of like dodgeball. The kids in my class are a little out of breath from playing, but that’s to be expected at a summer camp. They came running in and literally jumped into their seats because they were so excited about their Flash movies they created just before the recreation break.

While the kids are experiencing all the fun of a summer camp, they are also participating in an unbelievable learning experience. That’s what makes this the full summer technology camp experience. They are learning the same pro applications we are teaching in our adult web design courses. The professional Adobe applications like Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Flash are the real deal! The kids pick up the technology so fast, and that makes it really fun to teach. It’s interesting how much better kids interact with technology they have grown up with their whole life.

Earlier in the week, the kids in my class had already designed and created their own logo and company business card design. Their custom business card had their picture from a photograph taken in the class. The graphics and effects they created turned out amazingly well. They had learned the ins and outs of the Adobe software and were creating a matching website to go with their cards and logo. They were now adding an animated movie they created in Flash to spice up their website design.

In the next three classrooms I can faintly hear the other Adventures classes. The kids in 3d video Game Design course are screaming about some new level they created trying to destroy their enemy. From the Robotics and Programming class, I can hear student cheers while two robots race. I see the Film, Digital Movie Making and Effects class go by with all their cameras, mics, lights and scripts. They’re about to act, film and direct their next scene. I wish I’d been exposed to this when I was this age! This computer camp is the real deal.

kids computer camp learning and fun