November 28

Digital Tech in the Prac Classroom

So, yesterday was the HEV conference I gave two presentations, one on using digital tech in the classroom

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and the other on 21st Century sustainable fashion.

21stCenturyFashion-2f700xz

We had two excellent keynote speakers and I went to other sessions on Product Design Tech new course for 2018, Critical and Creative thinking in the Textiles room and 7 – 10 Textiles curriculum development.

I feel very inspired… so back to it.

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November 17

Adobe opportunities

The following three Adobe Education Exchange Live Events being run by APPAC AEC members:

Photoshop and Illustrator for Kids: Grades 3 & 4 (Judy Durkin – Taiwan)

Tue Nov 23, 2015 – 7.00 PM (Sydney/Melb), 6.00 PM (Brisbane), 4.00 PM (Perth/Singapore), 9.00 PM (Auckland)

Student made TV News projects for all KLAs (Tim Creighton – NSW)

Wed Nov 25, 2015 – 7.00 PM (Sydney/Melb), 6.00 PM (Brisbane), 4.00 PM (Perth/Singapore/Taiwan), 9.00 PM(Auckland),

 

Doing simple special effects with After Effects (Maricon Rivera– Philippines)

Wed Dec 2, 2015 – 7.00 PM (Sydney/Melb), 6.00 PM (Brisbane), 4.00 PM (Perth/Singapore/Taiwan), 9.00 PM(Auckland),

with thanks to Tim Kitchen for the heads up 🙂

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February 20

Barriers to creativity in the classroom

I have to say I am spending a lot of time exploring these discussions, and falling further behind… but the information and the resources are sensational.

  • Do you agree with Robinson that schools stifle creativity?
    • yes
  • As you viewed the video, what grabbed your attention about Robinson’s assertions regarding education systems and creativity?

    • if you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original
    • educating people out of their creative capacity
    • we are educated out of creativity
    • hierarchy of subjects across the globe, and within the arts maths -> arts visual arts -> performing arts
    • so agree…. chose year 12 subjects based on what I was told I should have… sciences, should have chosen the arts
    • structure of education is shifting
    • creativity: original ideas which have value
    • different ways to be able to think… kinaesthetic etc
    • we have to rethink education
  • Do you agree with Robinson that creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated as such by school systems?
    • we need to educate their whole being!!
Creativity is vital, I think teachers have to be more able to allow these skills and way of thinking to develop and grow, rather than to be stifled. Those of us who teach in the creative arts areas are often told we need to have professional development which will improve our ability to help students to develop their literacy and numeracy in all subjects, creativity should be treated the same way, with learning opportunities provided for teachers to support them to support the students.

Barriers to creativity

This simple video infographic  details the results of a global survey of educators and parents around the globe as to what is stopping students from becoming more creative thinking. It is interesting to see both the similarities in some countries and the differences…

Key Findings

  • In all of the countries surveyed, respondents identified a lack of resources and educator restriction from straying outside the curriculum as among the top three barriers to education. (barrier)
  • In all of the countries surveyed, respondents stated that providing tools and training to educators to enable creativity as among the top three most important steps to promote and foster creativity in education. (solution)
    The study Barriers to Creativity in Education: Educators and Parents Grade the System  suggests that providing tools and training to educators is key to transforming education systems so that they promote, rather than discourage, creativity. As a professional development leader, you help to provide tools and training to the educators within your schools and campuses.
    Yes, but only because I teach in the creative/visual arts and design technology, which fosters the use of the design process and creative approaches, encouraging students to develop more than one idea…and think about why they choose the idea they do, and how they can make it work.
    In my classes as above… but getting core teachers to think outside the box is difficult, as they have curriculum they have to cover in order to report on learning standards… hmmmm
    Time, focus on results rather than the process to get there, focus of the school… not looking at curriculum restructure as much as they should.
    • What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s Creativity in Education section of the course?
    We need to encourage creative thinking in our teachers, and provide them with the strategies to embed this into their teaching… to encourage students to develop more creative approaches.
    • How can you apply what you learned about barriers to creativity in education to the work you do to train educators?
    In Australia one of the main issues was lack of resources. By encouraging other teachers to explore the tools available in the Adobe Education Exchange which has some excellent resources for the development of fostering creativity in your classroom.
    There are some excellent tools on Creativity in the classroom… how to here at the Adobe Education Exchange:

    Explore Creativity in Today’s Classroom: Learn why creativity is important in today’s classroom, assess your creativity readiness, and grow your creativity level.

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February 13

Teaching Adults… are there different needs?

In the first week of the Adobe Train the trainer course (yes I am playing catch up, and loving it) we explored the needs of adult learners and were introduced to Malcolm Knowles 6 assumptions on adult learner needs

  • need to know
  • self directing
  • wealth of experience
  • relevancy oriented
  • problem centred
  • intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

We were asked to reflect on how we have had successes and challenges in applying these best practices, as well as reflecting on if these assumptions make sense for me personally..

My initial reaction is that it is a logical approach… it reflected many of my personal observations, and put into words things I have seen done, both good and bad! I think most of these assumptions can be used for any learner, regardless of age… it may be surprising just how much some of our young people do know… and we need to not dismiss this either.
I would like to think I apply them all, but probably need to refresh my approach across the board to create improved learning opportunities. I believe I have been able to present aspects of digital learning as exciting and engaging. Shown them how they can help improve their time management, connections with students, create a more engaging 21stC approach. Relevancy oriented: To try and find out a bit about the target audience… whether they teach a specific area or year level.
Reflecting on how I use these in my training sessions was really interesting.

This has been great to revise some of the things I have done in the past, some of the tools I use without thinking, and adding some new links as to why I should include different areas.

I use need to know, relevancy, experience and problem centred without really thinking about it…. so being able to put a more focused reason as to why I do these is brilliant. Using things like sticky notes or digital discussion boards, IWB, KWL charts has become embedded in my practice over the years to get a snapshot of my audience, whether Year 9 Art or adult training at a conference.

I am definitely looking at improving my intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, even just by having a slide there to remind me. Being able to cater for the individuals by creating more emphasis on self direction will work better for me too. These areas will assist in me having more engaged learners in my professional development sessions.

The final part for the week is the assignment. This week’s was a basic introduction, as well as providing feedback on 3 other participants.

“On a sheet of paper or in your favorite note-taking software, jot down your thoughts on how you’ll complete this week’s assignment. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to submit your Week 1 assignment until you’ve earned a green check mark for each step in this week. Once you do, the “Submit Assignment” button will appear.
  • Where are you from?
  • What is your professional background? (For example, are you a teacher, administrator, current education trainer, etc?)
  • Who is in your typical professional development audience? (For example, university professors, teachers with little to no prior experience with Adobe tools, digital media teachers, etc.)
  • What Adobe tools do you use?
  • What are your personal goals for the Train the Trainer course?”
Well… my fave note taking app/site/thingy is Evernote… keeping all of my notes from the course on this, it is way more organised than me!!
  • I am from beautiful Melbourne in Victoria, Australia… one of the southern states, but still on the mainland. It is definitely worthy of it’s title as one of the world’s most liveable cities, I love it. I live on the south eastern fringe of the city of Melbourne, and have country blocks not too far away, but our small community has a lovely blend of wetlands and the convenience of suburbia.
  • I am a teacher in a secondary college… 11 – 18 years old generally at a 3 campus college near the beach. I trained as an Art/Textiles teacher in the mid 1980s, and fell into teaching Photography. I went to a conference in 1990 called “Still Photography” and I was bitten. I developed my passion for Photoshop, and that rolled into Multimedia, which lead to me developing leadership roles in using a range of these new learning technologies last century and onto today.
  • Apart from my students I train other teachers with a range of skill levels… I have presented at IT conferences (that was scary as an art teacher) and Design and Technology teacher conferences. So skills range from expert to zero.
  • The Adobe tools I use or have used or can use include: Photoshop, InDesign, PSE, PE, Premiere, Acrobat, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash
  • I am passionate about sharing my love of these amazing tools…but things change and my dream leader role disappeared…. I have decided to shake it off… and continue to share my passion in other ways, so hoping this course will give me my mojo back so I can fire up!!

 

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February 5

Adobe Photoshop and PS Elements

  • What challenges do you face when introducing Adobe tools to audiences of educators with no prior experience?What successes have you had?

Adobe tools are so expansive some of the challenges would include the fear factor, particularly with adult learners who may not be confident to jump onto a program and explore, which kids will often do, or at least feel more comfortable with. So much to cover, where do you start?

Successes have included inspiring students to develop their talents, assisting staff to develop skills to edit their own photos etc ready for use in documents.

  • What’s your level of expertise with Photoshop Elements?

I have used Photoshop since the early 1990s on and off, but when I started a range of digital photography classes and then developed VET Multimedia course I was able to become totally immersed in a range of Adobe products including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash (then Macromedia) etc. I am very comfortable with a range of PS areas from basic to creative advanced, and the rest I can muddle through to get things looking like I want them to.

  • If you’re familiar with Photoshop Elements, what best practices can you share with your fellow course members?

Best practice would include not trying to include too much information, or do too much at once, as this can be totally overwhelming. Finding aspects to personalise the task so each learner feels connected to the learning. Have a take home aspect, let students know where they can go for more ideas or information.

 

Adobe Apps for Education

This is a brilliant guide of which Adobe product is best to create specific tasks. Fantastic to have them in an easy to see view, as even those of us who have been long time users of specific products can see a whole other range of options. This is great for a beginner, as they can see which product they need to explore to get the finished work they need.

  • What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s Product Training Activities section?
  • Which of the strategies and resources from this week’s Product Training Activities section will you most likely use in your professional practice? Why?

– Getting a refreshed look at setting up a training video to support learning….not just on the fly.

– As PSE is a part of our school’s software package I will definitely look to supporting other staff members to use the software in their classes.
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February 5

21st Century Learning and Teaching

Stumbled across some brilliant infographics as I was browsing that awesome site “ScoopIt” this morning… and just had to share… and put someplace I wouldn’t lose 🙂

This first one looks at the skills needed by learners in the 21st century. Some of my favourite points include resilience and grit, vision and critical thinking.

Skills needed by 21st C learners

Skills needed by 21st C learners

The second is one which will be usefull for teachers addressing their own skills, and where they may need support. Really simple and easy to understand even for novices…. giving them a place to begin improving.

Teacher skills audit

Teacher skills audit

 

Both images were sourced from Jackie Gerstein‘s blog “User Generated Education” a great read!

And don’t forget my other site where you can get started with the basic skills “The Redback Project

 

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February 1

Adobe Train the Trainer: Elements and eLearning

What a wonderful range of professional development opportunities are available from Adobe at Adobe Education Exchange

I am a long time user and love the creativity the programs allow you to explore. Week 1 asks for reflection on what we know, and how we will use what we learn in the course. We explored Adobe Education Exchange through a fun scavenger hunt, which opened my eyes to the range of great resources and where to find what I need.

How might I use the adobe education exchange as a trainer?
Adobe .edex is a wonderful resource, as well as being able to share my own resources, I can find more tutorials etc. As a trainer it’s good to have all the knowledge at my fingertips, without having to reinvent the wheel.
What do you see as the most valuable component for your work?
As a trainer, sharing this resource with my students will make them better and more engaged learners, being able to find the skill level, or software focus they need.
That is part of the most valuable components of training, creating independent learners, who know where to go for help when I am not there!
Why Creativity Is Important in Education: Sir Ken Robinson

I have watched and read Sir Ken Robinson for the last 6 years or so… he is inspiring and just gets what is needed. I hate the way the focus is on standardised testing, and having seen my own 3 children go through that and get very varied results I can see the angst it creates so unnecessarily.

The most disconnected students find learning more meaningful when it is relevant to them. They ask questions and research at amazing levels when investigating their own ideas, we need to harness this passion and love of learning. We can’t teach by rote, it doesn’t make sense…. so much is changing, our children need to learn how to be creative thinkers and creators in order to bring new and innovative ideas to the table, both in business and in life.

  • What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s Creativity in Education section of the course?
  • How can you use this information in your professional practice?

Its sad to think that people feel they have to be taught to be creative, which was one of the findings from the study Adobe did into creativity, but by using creative ways of teaching we can expose our young people to new and different ways of thinking outside the box, without fear of failure. Making learning real and personal will engage students to buy into the learning process as well.

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January 30

Not all Web 2.0 creation sites are the same

Whether you want to create a blog, a podcast, a website, etc there are a plethora of sites which are free and enable you to create the web content (Web 2.0 makes us all creators as opposed to passive readers of content on the web.) Which site or app you choose to create your content with comes down to a few things:

1. What you want your content to be able to do, simple or all the bells and whistles
2. How much control over the advertising you have, can you ask for no advertising?
3. Is it to promote a school event/class. Will viewers or posts involve people under 13?
4. Is it to promote a school?
5. Will your “brand” be affected by advertising content? Starting to get to the nitty gritty now….

The majority of free options will give you the basics, however, they need to make their money somehow, and so there will be advertising, or watermarks which will appear on your content unless you pay or upgrade to have them removed.
You may be happy with this, after all, they are providing you a great service, you don’t have to worry about the coding and so on, and if you are using the content for personal use, where you and your friends who will view it are all over 13 the ads may be annoying, but not too much of an issue. It does become an issue when you have inappropriate or annoying advertisements when you are trying to sell your brand or service. How do you get around this? AND keep it free?
Many sites will offer education versions, some of these are great, offer all the same functions of the higher end versions, but with added security and level of privacy, really great for primary kids

Website creation:
Wix
Weebly
Google Sites

Blogs
Wordpress
Edublogs (also under the WordPress umbrella, campus edition with an education focus)
Global2 (another campus edition of WordPress, you have to be at a Victorian government school… although they will open up to most schools with discussion)
Blogger (Google)

Wikis
Wikispaces
PBworks
Wetpaint

Podcast
Podomatic
Apple/iTunes
Audacity
YouTube

These are just some of the many content creation sites available…. it is worth your while checking out which will best suit your purpose!

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