Why the change from ASM to AWS?

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In every school, we are looking for experienced and qualified teachers to provide the best learning environments and to help students reach their maximum potential. David Suzuki Secondary School is no different. However, over time, there are changes that affect what courses are offered such as student interest, resource availability and the ability to find interested and qualified teachers. Fortunately, the students at David Suzuki Secondary School continue to find interest and value in learning about how to create meaningful work with digital media, and our programs exploring digital creation are well supported so that resources can continue to be provided to support student learning. However, approximately three years ago, a new qualification was issued by the Ontario College of Teachers that requires teachers of ASM to hold a special additional basic qualification for Media Arts. Though our teachers have the experience and expertise in teaching this course, we have consulted with Guidance and Administration in the school to make a change of course codes, from ASM Media Arts to AWS Digital Arts.

What does this mean in terms of what I will learn in the courses?

The Media Arts course is a robust interdisciplinary course with foundations in all the contributing art forms – dance, drama, music and visual art. This means that the course has been designed in such a way that there are elements from each artistic discipline that are incorporated into the learning. This has always proved to be one challenging aspect of course design, and we have done our best to meet this requirement in engaging ways. Media Arts also has four primary principles of design: still images, moving images, hybrid works and interactive artworks. Our program has been designed to try and provide a foundation for higher level more complex interactive artworks and creation strategy by the end of the 3 year program.

Much of the content of a Media Arts course as it is written in the curriculum can and will still be covered in the Digital Arts course. By changing the course code, we hope that we will be able to provide a greater skill base in digital tools that will serve as the foundation for more in-depth and complex creative thinking and innovation as students progress through the course, as there will be less emphasis on abstract concepts of advanced art making required to be covered in the grade 10 year. With a more solid foundation of the techniques and processes of working in a digital environment, students will have the knowledge and skills to more accurately create meaningful works that explore narratives and social issues that are important to our students.

I have already taken the ASM2O0 course. Will I have to take AWS2O0 in order to take AWS3M0?

No. We will be working through a transitional period in which students who have taken ASM courses (either 2O0 or 3M0) will be deemed to have the required pre-requisite in order to take the next course in hte program. For example if you have taken ASM2O0 that will be the pre-requisite for AWS3M0 and if you have taken ASM2O0 and ASM3M0 you have the pre-requisites for the AWS4M0.

What will each of the courses be about?


What’s your story? In Grade 10 Digital Art you will explore various aspects of narrative by using new and emerging digital technologies to create meaningful stories.  You may use a variety of tools, such as, digital photography, photo manipulation, digital illustration, simple animation, film / video, and sound to visually express yourself.  Digital Art allows you to explore the creative process in a digital environment. You will develop the basic skills necessary to use a particular medium, apply techniques in a familiar context, and follow the creative process to apply the techniques in innovative and unconventional ways. You will also learn to communicate purposefully about your work and the works of others.


Create a powerful story!  In Grade 11 Digital Art you will expand on your previous skills and knowledge to create more complex narrative-based artworks.  You will have the opportunity to explore a variety of digital media, such as photography, digital illustration and stop-motion animation, in order to develop interesting characters and environments for your artworks.  You will expand on how to visually communicate your ideas, refine how you apply the creative process, and begin to use your artworks to convey intentional and purposeful messages.


How can you use narrative to create change?  The Grade 12 Digital Art course allows you to continue to refine your knowledge and skills in a variety of digital art forms that include still images, moving images and multimedia installations.  You will learn how to make thoughtful creative decisions to develop intentional and purposeful messages within your narrative-based artworks.  Throughout this project-based course you will continue to develop independence in applying the creative and critical analysis processes, as well as learning to create a digital portfolio to showcase your artworks.

Featured Image: from Pexels.com



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