The Digital Media Academy students, who just completed fifth grade at two Jefferson County elementary schools, will spend June 15-26 at the day camp and learn software to produce videos — much like early preparation for the tech-training skills sought in the Code Louisville effort that President Barack Obama spotlighted recently.

The English department offers the free “Design Your Community” workshops for students chosen from Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School and Cochran Elementary School.

Their leaders will be five UofL doctoral students working with English professors Mary P. Sheridan and Andrea Olinger to design, teach, operate and evaluate the camp; learn about meaningful team-teaching with technology; and later publish journal articles and present results at conferences. Camp includes a visit from the Velocity MakerMobile trailer laboratory outfitted with technological “maker” tools and a Freedom Park tour to learn about civil rights leaders.

Begun last year, the academy is designed to increase the girls’ problem-solving confidence and technological competence in projecting their futures in communities they’ll help shape. Their team-produced videos will be shown at the academy’s end. Students will receive iPod Touch devices to keep, thanks to UofL’s Liberal Studies Project; the work also is intended to help combat the oft-cited summer slide in reading and writing skills, especially in transitioning to middle school.

Organizers hope the Digital Media Academy will help girls envision themselves as producers and not just consumers of technology and that they will consider education as a way to a better future. 

For more information, contact Sheridan at 502-852-6801 or or doctoral student Michelle Day at

Judy Hughes
Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.