Saturday, November 18, 2006

Apple Store Night (Nov 2006)

[The Durham News article]

Stanley B. Chambers Jr., Staff Writer

After taking a picture inside a Spanish classroom, Joshua Pettway returned downstairs, where his teacher used his personal Apple laptop to download the pictures from the digital camera before transferring them to Joshua's Apple desktop.

Joshua and seven other students in Camelot Academy's Web design club spend an hour after school working on a virtual tour of the building. The project will be added to the school's Web site in the spring, but on Tuesday their work-in-progress was featured at the Apple School Night at the computer manufacturer's store in Southpoint mall.

The seasonal weekly event, which commenced in 2001 and occurs in stores across the United States, Canada and England, showcases what local schools are doing with Apple computers. Southwest Elementary, Glenwood Elementary and Lowe's Grove Middle schools have already participated in the event.

Students at Camelot, a small, private K-12 school on Proctor Street, also showcased a PowerPoint presentation and their usage of GarageBand, an Apple music making program. The school purchased 13 Apple laptops last year to supplement their 10 Apple desktops, computers the Web design club's eight members used on Monday.

In the club, students learn about basic "HTML" (computer language used to create Web pages), integrating pictures onto Web pages, using a digital camera and how to make Web sites. Students are using that knowledge to create Web sites for each classroom.

Bryan van Dijk, 13, was working on his math room page, with its green background and black text. This was his first time doing Web design.

"It's pretty fun once you finally understand it," Bryan said. "You can show yourself how smart [you] actually are by showing your own work."

Joshua was pretty far along on his Spanish room page, though one picture was stretched.

"The pictures look distorted," said Matthew Etherington, club adviser.

"The pictures aren't distorted, except maybe for that one," said Joshua, pointing at a picture of a desk.

Joshua got help from Michal Bugno, 12, who showed him how to place a link on his page. Michal knows a bit about HTML; he taught himself the computer language about three years ago. His work is already on the Web:

"I just read a book," he said of learning how to make Web sites.

The school's 13 laptops are in high demand at Camelot, where students often use them for research and teachers utilize online resources while in class. It only makes sense for students to have regular access to computers because of their wide usage, Etherington said.

Turning his computer skills into a career is something Michal is considering, and he believes the club is helping him do just that.

"I think it'd be fun to do, something that I'm good at," he said.

Stanley B. Chambers Jr. can be reached at 956-2426 or at