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.

Simon Cadel: A One of a Kind Comedian from Westchester

Simon Cadel is a one-of-a-kind kid. At the young age of thirteen, he has already begun his standup comedy career and worked hard to support a local nonprofit. Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a private nonprofit agency in Westchester that offers social and mental health services for children, teens, adults and senior citizens in order to provide as much support for them as possible. Such programs include teen leadership programs, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and HeadStart, just to name a few.

Simon recently organized a comedy show, “Laugh Til It Helps,” at The Digital Arts Experience with his fellow young comedian friends to raise money for FSW and further their cause. The show was a great success and brought in $1,000 for FSW. Furthermore, it had been a dream of Simon’s to hold a comedy show to benefit a charity; to have that sort of ambition and thoughtfulness at 13 years old makes him stand apart from his peers. His knack for comedy is just the extra step that makes him such an outstanding kid.

Simon’s been classified not as a kid comedian, as the Digital Family Summit notes, “he’s a comedian who happens to be a kid.” Basically, he’s young for most comedians, but his delivery, presence and sense of humor show that he’s quick, witty and far more clever than the typical teen. He began studying comedy two years ago, attending camps, the Kids ‘N Comedy classes at the Gotham Comedy Club, and after-school programs.

Simon performed at showcases, videos of which circulated on YouTube and got the attention of comedy clubs like The Comic Strip Live and New York Comedy Club. Both clubs booked him for primetime weekend shows, despite the fact that otherwise, his age would not allow him to go inside! “I’m way too young to be here,” Simon had said when he first walked onstage at The Comic Strip Live. Maybe, but he’s also way too clever to be missed.

The DAE is proud and excited to see our student exhibiting such skill and creativity in his performances. We’ve even had the pleasure of having him do standup at The DAE’s first Open Mic in August, where his confidence and talent allowed him to shine and be completely unfazed by the audience. Simon is currently enrolled in our brand-new class, Game Programming with Java, which excites us to welcome him into The DAE community. Therefore, we’re more than happy to support his efforts in raising money for FSW or calling attention to important causes.

This Saturday, he’ll be participating in another great comedy night, Standup For Peace, which aims to bring comedy and matters of political importance together to open up the conversation. Standup For Peace is a show put on by the well-known political comedians, Scott Blakeman and Dean Obeidallah, to unite all ethnic/religious backgrounds in support of peace in the Middle East and worldwide.

Blakeman and Obeidallah have used their comedic talent to promote tolerance and peace at this critically acclaimed show for the past ten years. Now, Simon will be opening up for these big name comedians in order to show his support for the cause and it promises to be a hilarious night that you won’t want to miss. Standup For Peace is coming to The Purple Crayon in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY this Saturday, October 19th from 8pm-10pm. (Tickets can be purchased for $20 here.) We hope you will go out and support our student comedian and his great causes, see for yourself how great of a show he puts on!

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This past weekend, Simon and his blogger mom Betsy spoke at the 2013 Digital Family Summit on Kid Fame: Right for Your Kid? Or You?. In November, Simon will be auditioning for America’s Got Talent and performing at Gotham Comedy Club, so keep an eye out for him!

Simon’s YouTube page can be found at www.youtube.com/simoncadel, check it out!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: After School & Custom Classes for Kids in Westchester County

Students from Mary Bethune H.S., Greenburgh 11 of the Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry have been taking classes at The Digital Arts Experience since the summer of 2012. Watch the video below to learn more about their story and about our work with these students!

Final Summer Camp Open House

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) of White Plains hosted its final Open House before the start of its summer camps this past Saturday, June 29th. The DAE opened its doors to all those interested in learning more about its facility and the programs offered for kids and teens of Westchester.

Attendees were greeted with a personalized, warm welcome from a DAE staff member, and promptly given a specialized tour of the facility. Topics covered were 2D/3D Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography and Web Design. In addition, features of the DAE’s 8,000 sq. ft. facility were highlighted – its in house, fully equipped recording studio, its professional photography & video studio, classrooms, main event space, and podcasting studio.

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) is a community focused learning & production facility located in downtown White Plains that teaches courses for kids, teens and adults in Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography, Web Design, Blogging, computer/smart phone basics and more. In addition to teaching classes, The DAE also offers creative and design services to help your business grow. With their in-house professional photography/video studio, fully equipped recording studio, 4 computer labs with all of the latest professional software and industry active staff, The DAE prides itself on being not only a resource for the community, but a productive place you can go to meet other like-minded individuals who share your interests.

Starting the 2nd week of July, The DAE will be running Summer Camps for kids. The summer programs are designed to engage your child in fun, skill building multi-media projects in their chosen area of interest in either: Animation, Graphic Design, Photography, Moviemaking or Web Design. The classes are small with a maximum of 6 kids, 100% hands on and focus on collaboration so your kid/teen will develop social, technical and creative skills, and also leave with completed projects for a portfolio or college application! Check out The DAE’s summer promo video.

Click here to apply to our summer programs:  http://bit.ly/Y583H8!

3D Character Design

Intro to 3D Animation with Blender: Classes at The Digital Arts Experience in Westchester

Hey Westchester! Summer is fast approaching. It officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, 2013, at 1:04 A.M EDT, to be exact. At around the same time, The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) in White Plains, NY will be busily preparing to begin its summer camps for kids and teens that start the second week of July.

Although their camps will run Monday through Friday from 9:00AM – 4:00PM, The DAE wanted to provide alternate options for weekend classes. Starting the day after the summer solstice, The DAE will begin an 8-week Saturday 3D Animation class for teens ages 16-20.

The class, entitled “Intro to 3D Animation using Blender” will give teens the opportunity to explore the open source program Blender, and learn how to create their own stunning 3D characters and animations.

The DAE’s very own Animation instructor, Nicholas Sceusa, was recently interviewed by Phil Shapiro, educator and open source software enthusiast via opensouce.com. In the interview, Nick discusses his use of Blender at The Digital Arts Experience in Westchester, and how he teaches it to high school students. To view the blog entry, please follow the link: Teaching the open source creative tool, Blender, to high school students.

The Digital Arts Experience’s classes are small, 100% hands on and focus on collaboration so your teen will develop social, technical and creative skills for the present and for the future. The classes are held at a max of 6 students so that everyone gets the personal, individualized attention they deserve. Everyone also gets their own 21.5” iMac computer to work on throughout the class, to enable them to work with the most up to date digital arts tools and technologies. To sign up today, please refer to the teen program application form.

As for the Summer Camps at The DAE, kids & teens can choose their area of interest in either: Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography and Web Design. These 2-week programs are all project based, so everyone will leave with completed projects and work to show for a portfolio. To view the summer camp application, please refer to this link.

The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) is a community focused learning & production facility located in downtown White Plains that teaches courses for kids, teens and adults in Animation, Graphic Design, Moviemaking, Photography, Web Design, Blogging, computer/smart phone basics and more. In addition to teaching classes, The DAE also offers creative and design services to help your business grow. With their in-house professional photography/video studio, fully equipped recording studio, 4 computer labs with all of the latest professional software and industry active staff, The DAE prides itself on being not only a resource for the community, but a productive place you can go to meet other like-minded individuals who share your interests.

Stop by at any time for a tour of its brand new, state-of-the-art 8,000 sq. ft facility, or feel free to call 914-644-8100, e-mail info@thedae.com, or visit www.TheDAE.com for more information!

Partnership with the International Film Institute

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Beginning in March, The Digital Arts Experience is teaming up with the International Film Institute of New York to bring you top of the line filmmaking programs. Classes are for all who are interested in exploring film production. Together, we will be offering short and long term courses in all areas of filmmaking & storytelling.

Although technology is constantly changing, a good story will always attract an audience, and that is something that will never change. The International Film Institute of New York strives to preserve that tradition. One does not simply see a movie because of the camera used to film it; they go because it has a good story, actor, director, producer, and film crew who all work together to bring that idea to life. Good stories invoke emotion, feeling and move people. This is in direct alignment with the values and mission of the International Film Institute of New York.

The IFI has been running professional and hands-on filmmaking courses since 1998 and also runs partnership programs at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY and the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah.

The courses running in our facility include an Introductory Lighting Workshop, a Weekend Introduction to Filmmaking Seminar, a Screenwriting Seminar, and a Commercial Production Lab. We are not only pleased to be working in conjunction with the IFI, but excited to be able to present the White Plains and Westchester community with the opportunity to take part in these amazing classes.

For more detailed information, and a breakdown of each class, please refer to the partnership page on our website: http://thedae.com/ifi.html.

We will be hosting an open house on Saturday, March 9th from 12:00PM – 3:00PM where lots of amazing film equipment and  will be brought into our facility, and you can see firsthand just how fantastic it is to learn the fundamentals of good filmmaking and storytelling. To register for open house, click here!

Connecting With Clients of All Ages

[September 25th, 2012] written by Joseph D. Mancuso:

Imagine a world without technology.  At one point, it was only science fiction to operate a computer. But now with social media, e-mail, games, and computers (“now being able to fit in the palm of your hand”), no wonder why it is hard for every age group to understand how technology may be the next social stratification!  Teaching allows awareness.  It also connects people in a process of feeling truly better about themselves.  That is why I love my job!

When teaching students of all age groups, it is important to assume the up most regard for positive intent.  What I mean by that is: people come from many different ways of life! Teaching seniors how to use their technology may be a tricky task.  In many cases, there can be much resistance when aligning their needs and wants.  This task may seem difficult but, with perspective, this can be the best experience one can truly have.  Teaching seniors can be easy if you remember: “this stuff was not around when they were 18-or-even 5 years old!”  But, just like anyone else, they genuinely want to learn.  They might get frustrated or impatient – but everyone does.  You just need to take the intimidation factor out of trying something new.

Respect is what is behind the staff at the DAE! We offer a wide range of learning styles without hesitation.   This is can make a difference in the way we can communicate to the many unique learning styles that our people present to us: whether it be private, one on one lessons, or in a group setting.

Tips For Students:

1.) Tell your instructor what physical issues you may have!  

I personally cannot see that well.  Periodically I need to take breaks from viewing my computer.  Learning with comfort is always a plus.  I also encourage students to not feel afraid of voicing your concerns.

2.) Slow down!  There is so much to learn!

Focus on 3 to 5 topics of discussion-and remember!  If we cannot get to that topic there always is another day.  Also let us know if we are going too fast.  Your instructor should have a feel for your learning-but-we may tend to go too fast or too slow.

3.) Tell us how you want to learn. 

Some students are audible and some are more visual! As an instructor knowing your style makes a better session!

4.) Let your instructor know your technical background and goals.

If you have certain experience, don’t hesitate to inform the instructor so that you can connect and begin learning from a point on your comfort level.

Thank you to our grandparents for making this generation do what we do!  I have been privileged with teaching and I will leave you with a general comment that arises from my clients, ‘ [I] did not have the exposure that-you-younger people had, but I want to use the technology to keep up with family and especially my grandchildren.’