Digital Creations for the Modern World: Apps by Students

Published : Monday, November 20, 2017 | 12:26 PM

The world is in the midst of another Gutenberg revolution of how we distribute creative content. While Southwestern Academy’s San Marino campus is filled with student creations in the traditional forms of art, students are beginning to contribute to the creative revolution.

Hands on projects such as still life drawings and oil paintings, stained glass, photography, video projects, and 3d printing projects have been a part of the San Marino campus beginning the 1920s until today, yet digital art has become a current favorite among students. The downloading of apps for games, music, books etc. from the App store is the norm in a technology filled decade and now, with the help of the Lightwell software, Southwestern’s creative students can create their own app to showcase to the world.

The founder of Lightwell, Suzanne Xie came to Southwestern Academy from New York City to demonstrate the software to students, who were very excited about creating their first app. They will be able to create an interactive story by combining: user interaction, navigation, sound and video, illustrations, and animations. Once the app has been finished, students will then publish their interactive stories for the first time to the App store.

This project will empower Southwestern students and help them find the spark that will give them the courage to be creative. Additionally, those students applying to art colleges will be able to use the software to create a portfolio app that will include all of their best work to use as part of the application process. Students participating in the project will learn STEM/STEAMER skills such as content creation, user interface design, critical thinking, computational thinking and collaboration.

The art department was awarded $1,000 from the San Marino Rotary Mini-Grant program for students to create their first Mobile App using the Lightwell App creation software. Art and Media Arts classes have already started sketching out their ideas for their mobile app. “The students have really enjoyed this project so far. The app development skills that they are learning in Media Arts can be applied to real life and could even lead to a full-time job in the very near future. Job prospects in App Development look very good.” said Media Arts Teacher John Kohn.

Maybe some students will create the next Spotify, Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter. Look for Southwestern Academy’s student apps very soon in the App Store!

Southwestern Academy, 2800 Monterey Road, San Marino, (626) 799-5010 or visit







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