• Announcements:

    Wednesday 3/25/20: PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP if you need a device to use for school! Email me at kirbysc@gcsnc.com or call the front office of the school and let them know (336) 605-3300!!


    Beginning this week, the Northwest library will offer CURBSIDE BOOK DELIVERY—much like our grab and go lunch project.  Students can follow this link to request books:  Library Curbside Book Delivery    Our librarian, with gloved hands, will pull the books and bag them up for patrons.  Folks can swing by and pick up their bag off a table outside the exterior library door at designated times.  Check out the link for more details!

    Monday 3/23/20: Welcome to Online Learning!! I hope you all can join Canvas with me and we can have some time "together" that I really have missed! Please log in to Canvas each day to check for updates and assignments (and I want to "see" you!) Again, please let me know if you need a device to use or if you have any trouble logging in. kirbysc@gcsnc.com. "See" you soon!!

    Thursday, 3/19/20: NO ONLINE "WORK" WILL BE GRADED AT THIS TIME!! Next week's online "learning" is for navigation and technical purposes; NOT TO EVALUATE STUDENT WORK!! I have one "assignment" posted that is only for letting me know you can get to Canvas. It is NOT for an actual grade. I made it worth 1 point so that it would transfer to my gradebook so I can have a list of students on Canvas that is easier to navigate. ALL classes in EVERY COURSE (English, Math, CTE, etc.) that are on Canvas are there for "Extended Learning": no grading and no attendance! Please email me with any questions you may have.

    Wednesday, 3/18/20: The DDA and ET Canvas is now published. PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO REQUIRED ASSIGNMENTS AT THIS TIME! I just want to make sure students can at least access it for now. Be well! I miss you guys!!

    Tuesday, 3/17/20: Happy St. Patrick's Day! Monday, March 23 will be a "training" day for students in Canvas. Please log in to NcEdcloud and access Canvas by the end of that day. Let me know if you have any issues logging in by sending me an email: kirbysc@gcsnc.com.

    On Monday, the 23rd, students are expected to familiarize themselves with Canvas and learn how to do basic navigation around their courses. There is a HELP GUIDE for Canvas under the STUDENT or PARENT tab on the NWHS website, or you may click HERE to find the guide. Also, please email me as soon as possible if you or a student you know does not have access to a computer or other internet-capable device (I will notify the appropriate school personnel.) ONLINE INSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN TUESDAY, MARCH 24th. (Edit 3/18/20:) Online instruction next week will mostly consist of navigating Canvas. Please do not worry about grades at this time.

    Monday, 3/16/20: All assignments for all my classes will be posted on CANVAS. Digital learning is expected to begin NEXT Monday, March 23, 2020. Please contact the school if you need help accessing a computer/device and/or internet. Please let me know if you need help logging in to NCEdCloud, which is where you can find CANVAS. (Just so you know, if you're not familiar with CANVAS, it's fairly user-friendly! :-) )

    3/15/20 9pm: We've been notified by the county that all online instruction is to be done through CANVAS. If this changes, I will let you know ASAP.  I've been made aware that most middle school students have used Canvas in the past so many of you already know how to use it. We've also been told that online assignments CANNOT be assigned until Monday, MARCH 23. Please know that you can come by the school tomorrow either between 9am-11am or 2pm-4pm to pick up any bookbags, books, items, etc. that you may have left at school last week. I will keep you posted!


    10pm: We have been directed by the district and school to use the workday on Monday to prepare for digital (online) learning. I am still planning on using Schoology for all Digital Design & Animation classes (1st, 2nd, and 6th periods) and CANVAS for all Engineering Technology II and III classes (3rd and 4th periods.) I will most likely add my DDA classes to CANVAS but I need to get more information on Monday before I can make that decision. If you need to know your username for either platform, please let me know by sending me an email to kirbysc@gcsnc.com. Please let me know if you think you may have difficulty in accessing these tools. I will update this page and Schoology and CANVAS once I receive more information. Thank you for your patience!

    7pm: I will not be posting any online assignments until I am given more information from GCS or the school. If I am told to offer online assignments during the school closure, I will update this message here and on Schoology and Canvas.


    For online resources for class assignments, DDA 1 students (1st, 2nd, and 6th periods) will receive announcements and assignments on their Schoology account. Engineering Tech II and III (3rd and 4th periods) will utilize Canvas, which can be accessed through NCEdCloud. Please check these sites for any assignments or announcements during times when we are not in school due to inclement weather or other school closures (unless directed otherwise by NWHS and/or GCS.)

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  • Welcome to Digital Design & Animation (DDA)


    Engineering Technology!

    3D Viking viking image by Jesper Nordstrom



    Digital Design and Animation I

    Introduction to Digital Design & Animation (DDA) introduces students to techniques used in CG effects, animated films and video games. The focus of this course is learning the techniques, tools and workflow used by professionals in the field. This course helps students understand digital design production. Students will learn how to apply different procedures in the production of 2D graphics. Students will understand digital design techniques with emphasis on the design pipeline, the principles of design, color theory, and composition techniques. Students will learn in-depth techniques in Autodesk 3ds Max 2018 and Adobe Illustrator with some targeted work in Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro. Much of the work done in this class is project-based, requiring the student to develop long-term time management skills and self-discipline.

    Topics to be covered in class include:

    • Digital design production.
    • Procedures to produce 2D graphics.
    • Digital design techniques.
    • Procedures to produce digital audio and video.
    • Procedures to edit and produce digital audio and video.
    • Procedures to produce 3D graphics.

    Engineering Technology II (Honors)

    This STEM course is an advanced introduction to engineering for all students.  Students who complete this course will learn the concepts necessary in order to develop their ideas into solutions that will improve our lives. Exciting hands-on learning activities like data comparison of heart rates, rating consumer products, destructive testing and 3D solid modeling apply math, science, history and English content from other courses in a STEM experience. This course makes science and mathematics more engaging, interesting, concrete, and relevant.  The course’s intention and purpose is to educate students in a “main line” method providing STEM education for everyone. While providing a STEM based education for all students, those interested in becoming practicing engineers clearly benefit from this course content.

     Engineering Technology III (Honors)

    This STEM course makes a contribution to the curriculum by providing opportunities for students and teachers to link content together and apply it to solve problems. More and more jobs demand advanced skills, requiring that people be able to learn, reason, think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems. An understanding of science, technology, engineering and math and their methods contribute in an essential way to these skills. Principles of Engineering is a team based advanced course designed for most students. This course's intention and purpose is to educate students in a “main line” method providing STEM education for everyone. While providing a STEM based education for all students, those interested in becoming practicing engineers clearly benefit from this course content.


    Class Info

    Instructor: Cassie Kirby-Smith

    Room: 306 (Technology Center)

    Phone: (336) 605-3300

    Email: kirbysc@gcsnc.com


    Required Materials 2019-2020

    Digital Design & Animation I:

    • Earbuds/Headphones REQUIRED!! (occasionally, students lose them...please don't send expensive headphones)
    • Folder, for handouts
    • Spiral notebook or composition notebook (1-subject) for daily journals
    • Pens and Pencils
    • Optional: 4-8 GB flash drive (This is not required because you will be storing most of your work on a GCS OneDrive account.)

    Engineering Technology II and III:

    • 3-Ring binder, 1-inch or 1.5-inch (product suggestion "Pen + Gear Durable View 3-Ring Binder with 1-inch Slant D Rings" or "Staples Standard 1in 3-Ring View Binder")
    • Paper (college OR wide ruled is okay)
    • Spiral notebook or composition notebook (1-subject) for daily journals
    • Pencils and pens
    • Optional: 5-tab divider (we can make dividers in class as needed)


    Classroom Wish List (NOT required):

    Hand Sanitizer

    Facial Tissue

    Old/unwanted video game posters and magazines

    Ms. Kirby-Smith’s Schedule 2019-2020

    1st Period: Digital Design & Animation I

    2nd Period: Digital Design & Animation I

    3rd Period: Honors Engineering Technology II 

    4th Period: Honors Engineering Technology III

    5th Period: Planning

    6th Period: Digital Design & Animation I


    Tutoring available most days between 3:50pm-5:00pm.

    Please let me know ahead of time if you plan to stay after school. I will NOT be available to those who choose to waste valuable class time.