Outside the Lens

Core Programs

Our adaptable, project-based, K-12 curriculum teaches students photography, filmmaking, digital media skills, media literacy, and critical thinking.

  • San Diego Media Makers was launched in 2019 to inspire and nurture individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to express their place and purpose in the world through media arts. Students receive comprehensive training in 21st-century digital media, filmmaking, and photography as well as pathways to employment via mentorships, paid internships, and shadowing professionals. More than a school, Media Makers is a supportive, creative community of educators, students, and industry professionals. Students are Media Makers for life, invited to return for creative and professional development as well as community. (Join our Media Makers program.)
  • Cameras in the Classroom, our flagship classroom programming, incorporates arts-integration and 21st century learning to prepare students to be fluent communicators in the emerging language of images and digital media art in K-12 schools across San Diego County. The program develops students’ media literacy, leadership, and pro-social skills through visual and digital media arts and technology. Rigorous, project-based curriculum promotes student engagement and collaboration in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM subjects) as well as social science and English Language Arts. The program is aligned with California Common Core, California Visual and Performing Arts standards (VAPA), National Core standards in visual and media arts, and Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways.
  • Cameras in Communities is a digital media arts and literacy after-school program that explores student identity, place within communities, and storytelling while supporting education, communication, and language development. Projects are self-reflective and follow Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Pedagogy (CLRP) approaches and strategies while aligning with visual arts and ELA standards. Community building activities and topics include foundations in digital camera and photography, visual storytelling, film screenings and festivals, digital skill-building workshops, summer camps, and artist residencies.
  • Flash Forward Career Exploration (or Cameras and Careers) connects participants of our Youth Council and Youth Tellers with pathways into San Diego's local creative, tech, and STEAM economies by offering career exploration, portfolio development, skill-building, and real-world experience through internships, workshops, mentorships with industry professionals, and open lab nights. Students explore how their interests, academics, and skills transition into the workforce and help them chart their path through high school and beyond to reach their career goals.
      • Youth Council is digital media arts and college/career readiness program for 8th-12th graders to explore photography, film, video, design, and art. Check out Youth Council's 2020 Documentary Project
      • Youth Tellers is an international community of youth who strive to make their voices heard through media arts content and a monthly podcast, Voice of Youth.
  • Cameras Across Cultures is a virtual exchange curriculum that has connected youth in the U.S. with international peers in twelve countries, on five continents. International and domestic classrooms collaborate on a youth-driven creative online community for cross-cultural learning, sharing, and bridge-building. Youth develop technical skills while encouraging leadership, curiosity, and connection. International locations include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, and Thailand. 

Contact info@outsidethelens.org to join any of these programs!