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YouTube, we have liftoff!

posted Nov 16, 2012, 5:10 AM by Michael Reilly
Lots of cool things happening in CDAT, so many that we haven't updated this blog in forever!

If you recall, CDAT has grown from our initial 30 students to almost 150!  Our 9th grade class is 76 students, with a great bunch of kids.  Our first year was 2 hours of tech ed, with 1 hour of Language Arts, and now we're giving our 9th graders PE/Health, Digital Media, Science (Chemistry or Bio) and Language Arts.  So we've doubled the kids, doubled the work load, and our scores keep improving!!!  

What does that mean?  It means we're learning from our students and our experience, that we're taking a good idea and making it better.  Our core subject teachers (Haddock, Kirchner, Rohrbaugh and Baggett) are reflecting on our system with such open minds, common sense and efficiency, and this directly impacts our success.

In fact, we're getting so good at this, we're going on the road!  Mr. Reilly (me) gets to fly to Vegas after Thanksgiving (free trip from student work, thanks kids!) to speak at Autodesk University ( and talk about how their software has a positive impact on non-technology subjects like Language Arts, Social Studies and Science.  Just two weeks later, our 10th grade team will be one of only 4 model STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs presenting to the State Superintendent and most districts in Georgia about how we do things at CDAT.  We have hopes to soon be approved as a formal STEM program from the State DOE.

This past week we also played host:  the film/Video Post Production User Group for Atlanta (film/video editors for movies and TV, ) met in our Commons and Theater for their monthly meeting.  Our kids got to meet with the speakers, including a private session with Mary Poplin about the use of special effects software as well as career and college questions.  Another cool factor was watching a helicopter video camera fly IN THE COMMONS!  That was brought in by Yonder Blue Films for show and tell (show and tell will never be the same).

But the coolest factor of the night was our CDAT 11th grade class official release of their YouTube Channel "Forgot to Study".  This is a combination of their Language Arts, Social Studies and Technology work, to produce a series of US History videos (we're adding more each week!) to demonstrate their Social Studies, while learning how to work as a team (the entire class is ONE team, all year), as well as the demands of project management and interpersonal challenges, and the entrepreneurial side too (ad revenue!!).

We're so very happy with our CDAT progress, and so proud of the work both our teachers and students have accomplished.  We head into Thanksgiving truly thankful, and I can honestly say coming to school is so very different for our CDAT kids, in a very positive way.