During the summer of 2006, Shodor partnered with the Restoration Institute for Leaders (RIL),
a city-sponsored program in Durham targeting at-risk middle and high school students. The
program already had instructional components on standard subjects such as math and English;
Shodor offered an additional instructional component on computer graphics and web design.
Classes were offered twice a day (the same material for both groups), four days a week for
seven weeks. Each of these classes ran for an hour and served about 20 students (the total
enrollment was 40).
In the first week, students were introduced to the basics of computer graphics and design, and
to some career opportunities in the field.
For weeks two and three, they explored bitmap graphics using the open source tool GIMPShop.
Classes covered photo retouching, image layering, and image filters. For a second two-week
period, they learned to use the vector graphics tool Inkscape. Students got practice creating
logo designs and turning photos into drawings using a tracing tool.
In the last two weeks of the class, real clients came to the class and presented graphics
projects (logo design and/or brochure layout) they needed done. Students formed groups and
chose client projects to work on. They planned and created the logos and brochures for the
clients with the help of the Shodor teachers.
In the final week, the clients returned to the class. Groups gave presentations of their
candidate designs for the clients. Each client selected their favorite design from among the
groups' work; the winner was announced and given a small reward. In this final segment of the
class, students learned about working with clients and groups, presenting in front of an
audience, and meeting deadlines.