2015 Midsummer Highlights at The DAE

Midsummer Recap

Before we relive the highlights of the first part of the summer, there’s still plenty of time to end your summer at the Digital Arts Experience. Summer Session 4 runs from August 17th to the 28th, and we end our summer camps with Summer Session 5 from August 31st to September 4th. If you can’t make it for the summer, don’t worry because Fall Registration is currently live and the The DAExpress is taking bookings for Minecraft birthday parties.

Class in MakerspaceOur summer kicked off with a record high number of registrations for Summer Session 1 compared to previous years. We greatly enjoyed the packed facility and buzzing energy that brought along. On the last day of the first session, the DAE hosted a celebration for our 3 year anniversary!

DAE 3 Year PartyIn addition to enjoying good food and company, attendants heard the DAE announce two new ventures: DAELearning and DAE Makerclub. DAElearning will be an online subscription based site that provides members with interesting, educational videos on Programming Languages, 3D Printing, Mac Basics, and much more.Members of DAE Makerclub will have complete and unlimited access to our facility including labs, 3D printers, and more.

DAE Makerclub

Then Summer Session 2 came along and broke the record the previous session had just set. This high number was partially due the numerous kids who reenrolled in our classes. Our site was at max capacity with every single computer being used! Summer Session 3 started smoothly and is currently going on. Check out a student made short film below.

Late Summer Computer and STEM Camp in White Plains of Westchester at The Digital Arts Experience

Summer STEM Camps

We’ve got you covered! While other camps end before August does, The Digital Arts Experience’s computer and STEM summer camps in White Plains of Westchester County, NY, keep on going into the first week of September. Listen to President Rob Kissner talk about how you should end your kids’ summer.

With courses in 3D Printing, Animation, Graphic Design, and more STEM subjects to choose from, your child is sure to find a program that they are interested in! Allow your children to finish their summer at the most fun and educational summer camp in Westchester.

For more information visit our:

YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/digitalartexperience

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheDAExperience

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheDAExperience

Website: http://www.TheDAE.com

Registration Page: https://campscui.active.com/orgs/TheDigitalArtsExperience

Jeff Soto, programming Instructor at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester, NY.

New STEM and programming courses for kids in Westchester!

We, here at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester NY, are proud and excited to announce two NEW programming and web development courses for kids that we are currently adding, and a few extra courses coming this year!

Text-Adventures with Java:

We will be teaching an advanced Java Course that will build off of and develop the skills learned in our Java 101 Course. Students will spend time learning how developers in the real-world face complex problems. They will learn how to think ambiguously, write pseudocode, and develop algorithms to solve the problems they will encounter as they progress through the course. Furthermore, their Final Project will be in the form of a text-adventure, in which, the students will create their own story-line. Our objective is to teach the Java language in depth, while facilitating a fun, creative, engaging, and hands-on experience that encourages curiosity, teamwork, and critical thinking. This course will be a prerequisite to one of our future courses coming this year; Web Applications with Java: Hard-Coding a 2D game.

Programming 101 using Ruby:

This course is specifically designed to teach the core concepts of programming. We have designed the curriculum with the goal of teaching our students to think like a programmer. Students will learn to embrace abstract thought and practice common coding conventions. Being able to code with convention and conciseness in mind, is key to creating beautiful reusable code, that can be distributed worldwide. The Ruby programming language is currently sky-rocketing within the software industry, with employers seeking candidates whom are not only educated in the language, but are able to think pragmatically. This course assumes no prior programming experience, but is equally useful for those on an intermediate level.

COMING SOON:

  • Intro to JavaScript
  • Intro to jQuery
  • HTML5 Canvas: Game Development for The Web
  • Web Applications with Ruby on Rails
  • Android App Development with Android Studio
  • iOS App Development with Swift
  • Java Applets: 2D Game Creation

Why Take These Courses?

To put it simply…. because you should become digitally literate. Programming is, in essence, applied Math and Science. It teaches us to think smarter, faster, and more efficiently. It’s no secret that software and computers are changing our society. With so many of our industries relying on Software Programs to automate their daily tasks, it’s becoming more and more evident that we need to educate not only ourselves, but our youth. The tech industry is booming. Job growth is estimated to increase between 20% and 30% for Computer related fields by the year 2020. Employers are seeking computer literate individuals more than ever before. To add to that, in 2013, a study conducted by the Census Bureau found that 83.8% of households reported computer ownership, and 73.4% reported internet use. With STEM technology rapidly evolving and embedding itself in our daily lives, it is imperative that we learn how computers communicate, and what goes into creating, reading, and writing software programs. Below is a small list of a few jobs in the software industry and their respected average salaries: (Keep in mind the estimated 30% job growth in this industry)

1) Java Developers

2) Ruby Developers

3) Web Developers

To sum it up, we urge you to come learn with us. Tell your friends and family, and spread the word. The Digital Arts Experience of White Plains in Westchester is committed to empowering today’s youth, as well as, any adult whom wants to learn or sharpen their digital skills! Contact us via email, phone, or website. Thank you for reading!

-Jeff, Software Instructor at The Digital Arts Experience

Jeff Soto, programming Instructor at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester, NY.

Jeff Soto, programming Instructor at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, Westchester, NY.


To learn more about the programming, web development (HTML5), coding and STEM classes that we are offering for kids and teens in Westchester County, visit our website at www.TheDAE.com.

To view our After School schedule, click here.

To view our Summer STEM Camps, click here.

Five Great Home Gadgets New Yorkers Embrace for Their Homes

Provided by Soundworks, Inc.

New technology is introduced into our ever-changing world every day. Some is embraced, some not so much. When installed, programmed and used properly, some gadgets can save a tremendous amount of time, money and energy (yours and the electric company’s).

Soundworks, Inc. specializes in helping New York residents control their worlds. Following is a list of five of the hottest gadgets and systems requested by clients today. Control your entire home from far away or just control the volume on your stereo – home system management tools are flexible, affordable and simplified so anyone can use them.

1.     Tablets to control every system in their homes.

Tablets have taken home systems management to a whole new level. Savant Smart Home Technology and Control offers complete home automation from anywhere you happen to be. Apple®-based technology makes it simple to automate home systems using the iPad, other popular tablets and mobile devices. It’s being installed in a wide variety of settings including homes, offices, high rise apartments and even multi-dwelling residential units. Imagine being able to integrate all the systems in a home with and have full control literally at your fingertips. Many New Yorkers already have. In fact, they’re using Savant right now to control whole house audio; maintain climate; integrate home communications; manage intelligent lighting; keep safety and security systems in check and save energy.

2.     Flat screen televisions are keeping New Yorkers connected.

Flat screen TVs obviously aren’t new; however, they’re becoming much more accessible and incredibly intelligent. Televisions are no longer simply used for display. More and more Westchester County residents are requesting televisions that are connected to the Internet for web browsing, Netflix, Hulu etc. The television is playing a much broader role in home entertainment systems in New York. It really does seem to be a movement. Make no mistake; while much of the technology we have today can be controlled through mobile devices, many people enjoy a good old-fashioned remote for its tactile qualities and simplicity. Universal remotes that control multiple systems are also in high demand.

3.     4K technology rising over the horizon.

Speaking of home entertainment, industry leaders are eager to help its audience see more and see it better on their home screens. Although there is very little 4K content, there seems to be a growing local demand for 4K hardware (think, high-def on steroids). This latest HDTV technology is officially known as Ultra HD and the screen resolution is mind-numbing. Some manufacturers are calling it “the last resolution you’ll ever need.” Those who love to own the latest and greatest in technology will be ready to roll when the content comes through. 4K/UHD will eventually replace 1080i/p (1,920×1,080 pixels), which is currently the highest-resolution signal available. We’re talking about movies and maybe television here.

The term “4K” refers to a resolution of about 4,000 pixels wide and about 2,000 pixels high. Lay four 1080p screens across the floor. Now stack four more 1080p screens on top of those – that’s pretty close to what you can expect from Ultra HD (yes, it’s quadruple the highest standard resolution we use today). Many newer television manufacturers are preparing now for the day more 4K content finds its way into our homes. Cable companies aren’t there yet, capital expenditures are tremendous to make this kind of switch, but it’s coming.

4.     Nest Thermostats protecting nests throughout New York.

Soundworks is seeing an impressive demand for the new Nest Thermostat. New York residents can save up to 20 percent of their heating and cooling bills with the Nest Thermostat (and many already are). Have you ever heated or cooled your home to the perfect temperature and then left without turning the heat up or the air conditioning down? It takes a lot of energy to heat and cool empty spaces when no one is home to enjoy it. The Nest Learning Thermostat actually learns your schedule. It programs itself. Best of all, it can be controlled from your smartphone or another mobile device. Getting ready to head home on a cold winter’s night? Turn up the heat in your home while you’re still at the office.

5.     Automated lighting turns homeowners on.

Imagine walking into the house and having lighting rise just in time to illuminate the critical areas of your home. Consider sitting in your car and using a wireless visor-mounted lighting control center (about the size of your garage door opener) to set the lighting before you walk in. This automated system saves energy, increases safety and will even make your lightbulbs last longer. Whether you want to set a mood or just see to get the key in your door, automated lighting can be programmed to your specifications and changed when your needs change.

Soundworks Inc. is a smart home automation company based in Westchester, New York. Contact them to find out how to control your world with the latest in technology.

iOS 7 Review: The Good, The Bad and The Motion-Sick

by Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations

The views expressed in this blog are solely my own and do not reflect the views of The Digital Arts Experience in any way. 

As a former Apple employee, I’ve had a lot of experience in both tinkering with the iOS user interface and troubleshooting it when things weren’t working as intended. Seriously. We heard it all.

  • “My battery life drains SOOO fast”
  • “I just woke up and there was water in it. I swear”
  • “I forgot my Apple ID. And my password”
  • “Can you back up my phone for me?”

(You can find a plethora of funny things Apple Store employees find themselves saying to customers at http://frsexcuses.com/)

In the past, I’ve always been excited when a new update was released. Usually, they were to fix bugs and add a few new innovative features to the iPhone or iPad to make it easier to use. For the most part, every iOS has looked the same until iOS 7 came out, and I think  with the new look, some people are going to be put off by it.

First off, you need 3.4GB of available free space to download iOS 7. I don’t know about you, but if you have a 16GB device, you’re going to have a problem. Due to the preinstalled apps that come with your device, right out of the box, your phone does not TRULY have 16GB of free space – it has about 13.3GB. If you have taken a decent amount of pictures (I mean, who hasn’t?), downloaded some songs, have a few game apps or even the staple Facebook app (306MB), that 13.3GB of space will deplete before you know it.

iPhone Usage breakdown

iPhone Usage breakdown

And wait a minute…why are my messages taking up 5.6GB of space? Let me go through all of my old conversations and delete them…QUICKLY. This appears to be a new feature of iOS 7. Previously, my usage breakdown never displayed my messages taking up storage. This is a good new feature!

Back up your device. After you remove the majority of your selfies, pictures of your cats and food, you should now have enough space to download iOS 7. For me, it took about 45 minutes to download and install. It may take longer depending on your internet connection speed (how good of a WiFi signal you have), or whether or not your iOS was up to date.

Once installed, it will prompt you to enter in a passcode. This can be removed later on, but it shows that Apple has upped their awareness of the ever increasing cleverness of thieves. According to tomsguide.com,

“iOS 7 requires users to re-enter the phone’s Apple ID and password before turning off its “Find My iPhone” feature, which can be accessed via desktop (or another mobile device) to locate a missing device, display the missing device’s remaining battery life, and remotely lock or even wipe the device.

Devices running iOS 7 also require an Apple ID and password before they can be erased or reactivated.

All this makes it much more difficult for thieves to use or sell stolen iPhones”

Back to my comment about why I think some people may be put off by the new iOS: it LOOKS different. Upon closer inspection, the same swiping, taping, and pinching rules apply. And none of the actual “desktop” interface has changed – just the icons. In my opinion, they made all of these changes to give it a sleeker, more modern look. But, it’ll take a few moments to adjust to it. It’s very bright. And white. The font has changed. I’m not quite sure why they changed the icons. In fact, according to cnet.com: “iPhone, iPad owners complain of motion sickness due to iOS 7“. The article goes on to quote forum users saying “The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache,” and “It’s exactly how I used to get carsick if I tried to read in the car.” As someone who is highly sensitive to motion sickness, I have not encountered this, but it is a little weird how the text message bubbles bounce and the wallpapers on my phone appear to move. Are they really moving? Or am I seeing things?

My favorite new feature, which I believe is a rip-off of Android devices, is the ability to  “swipe up from the bottom” to access Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, Brightness, current song selection, flashlight, compass, calculator and camera quickly. Previously, for most of those features, you had to access them individually through your Settings App.

Other cool new features I’ve noticed are filters that you can apply to your camera when snapping a photo. This saves time editing the photo and adding the filter after the fact. You can now also easily swipe between camera modes: panoramic, normal, square or put it on video mode. There are also a bunch of new ringtones, text tones, and vibrations to set to your phone. You can even CUSTOM create your own vibration patterns to set for alerts.

Overall, iOS 7 is a lot like Facebook. When they make changes, everyone complains about it but still continues to use it.  Within a few weeks, everything will go back to normal as if iOS 7 has ALWAYS been the way iPhones look. You’ll see. Everyone hated Facebook’s new Timeline feature when it first came out. Now, I bet you can’t even remember what Facebook looked like prior to the implementation of Timeline. Can you? Okay…so can I.