The DMA goes beyond the technical skills and knowledge fundamentals for working with digital media. At its core, DMA is a program that nurtures and evolves young people to develop the habits of mind to be inquisitive, creative, innovative, and highly motivated in the creation of meaningful results. Students have the opportunity to learn and work in collaboration with others on real-world projects.
North Vancouver School District’s Digital Media Academy (DMA), located at Argyle Secondary School, is an enriched hands-on program that provides students with
access to a broad and useful range of skills and knowledge in digital design, technology, project management, and problem solving. The DMA incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). Students will learn to create meaningful stories and solve challenging design problems. One of the main goals of the DMA is to prepare students for Post-Secondary training as well as the many career opportunities in Digital Media, Science, Engineering and Technology.
The DMA is for Grade 11 and 12 students and runs during blocks 1, 2, and 3 on Day 1. Transportation to and from Argyle is the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian.
The DM Lite is a course offered for only Argyle Grade 9 and 10 students as an introductory to the DMA.
In a flexible learning environment students will work on projects to integrate their knowledge of media design, technology, and project management. Students will learn to express themselves in the creation of simulations, animations, short films, audio recordings, video games, special effects, magazines, websites, posters, marketing materials, and other media.
The DMA will challenge students to become independent self-directed learners with the skills and knowledge to solve real world design problems. The students will learn to plan and organize projects and use their creative, technological and intellectual skills to become a media design visionary of the future. Students will master the fundamentals of project management and the design process. They will learn to shape messages that communicate to various audiences.
In the Grade 12 year students have the opportunity to explore and further concentrate on personal areas of interest. A final DMA portfolio will include a variety of media to help students enter the Post Secondary program of their choice.
The DMA suits students who are hard-working, highly motivated and self-directed with a strong interest in Design, and Digital Media. The students work in cohorts and take their courses together which creates a dynamic and collaborative learning environment.
Digital media is a powerful method to simulate, model and communicate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Technology (STEAM ). DMA and STEAM reinforce the new curriculum in engaging ways and ties together all the subjects in an interdisciplinary fashion. This gives students an opportunity to engage with their peers as well as teachers by applying new technologies for exploring ideas and concepts in Science, Math, and Engineering.
Projects can include exploring subjects of STEAM through coding, virtual reality technologies, use of sensors and film, to name a few. Teacher support is available from Murray Bulger as he has a background in Science and Math (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and has taught many courses in these areas.
In the Lower Mainland there are many opportunities for Post-Secondary training and careers in industries like Film and Television, Visual Effects, Animation, Game Design, Science and Engineering. Those industries demand knowledgeable and creative workers who have experience using logic and imagination to solve problems.
The DMA and Steam offer students an enriched real-world learning environment where they can express their creativity while “rubbing elbows” with professionals through guest speakers, workshops and field trips.
Murray and Ryanne are the founding teachers of the DMA which began in 2009. With their diverse backgrounds they provide students with a comprehensive background and experience in Art and Design, project management, and progressive 21st Century methods and means of instruction.
They apply curriculum design and teaching strategies for project-based, self-directed, and mastery-level learning. They strongly believe the rich experience of working with real-world clients is one of the most valuable learning experiences in the DMA.
In 2012, the DMA visited the National Association of Broadcasters convention for the first time and were interviewed by The Pulse Network.
Murray and Ryanne have collaborated outside of the classroom as mentors to youth on the Studio in the City, North Vancouver Art Box Project in 2013. In 2014, they led the panel talk “The Continuum to Success: Connections between High Schools and Industry” at the SIGGRAPH 2014 Vancouver Convention.
Murray Bulger has been teaching Digital Media at the high school level for over 15 years. He is the recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008. Murray has designed and implemented over 18 new curricula using new educational technologies based around a 21st Century learning model focusing on collaborative and project-based learning designs. Murray has the following degrees: B.Sc., M.Sc., and a B.Ed. Murray presently teaches Photography, Animation, Graphic Design, Game Design, Visual Effects, Sound Recording, and DM Lite.
Ryanne Bergler has been involved in the arts since childhood and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Moving Image Arts and along with her Bachelor of Education degree has been teaching Digital Media and Visual Arts classes since 2009. She has worked in the film industry on over 100 film projects, from feature films to television commercials. Her current practice is primarily in film as well as drawing and photography. Recently Ryanne was the Production Supervisor on the independent short film The Drone 2 which was entered into the Vancouver Rio Dead-on Film Festival in 2012.