March 17

Online overload

Wow… I have been involved for the past 2 hours in two outstanding online learning opportunities.  I was struggling with connection issues tonight, but luckily only lost about 5-10 minutes of the 2 hours.

7pm was the weekly face to virtual face get together of the #AdobeGenPro Photoshop/Digital Imaging course. We started with looking at the work, and students work of Ross Wallis. Focusing on the techniques of traditions and blending digital imaging techniques… makes me miss my photography days! It was a wonderful showcase of images.

Participating in Photo a day groups was suggested to develop creativity and stimulate ideas, and having participated in a couple for a few years now I totally agree. I have even started a local Photo a Day group on Facebook for our local community to celebrate the lovely area we live in.

Ross’s slight scary blips are at : https://www.polaroidblipfoto.com/rosswallis
Pinhole Photography and more
Time exposure app was mentioned but he couldn’t remember the name of it… arghhh will have to search
Ross mentioned “Snapseed” as being a brilliant photo app
Cindy Sherman – takes lots of selfies, using makeup to distort images
Some creative techniques using HDR: High Dynamic Range 
Ian Usher then took us through the practical task for this week, which was to create a meme… I am not a fan of this task, as I know teens will always take it that step too far. If wanting to use layers and text on an image I think a project like a magazine front cover would be far more effective. Again, taking old school assignments and putting them into the 21st Century.
We were also told the final assessment item for this course will be a lesson plan… brilliant as I am already putting them together in my head 🙂 and starting with my year 9s on Creative Commons image searches next week! Then manipulating them in Photoshop Elements.
The second hour was a hangout with other members of the Digital Pedagogy stream who’s abstracts have been selected to present at DigiCon15 the DLTV annual conference. I found out I will have 45 minutes… hmmm guess it won’t be as hands on as I had hoped, will have to flip that around hey! My topic? Getting Ready to Flip Your Classroom, which I am working on in the Adobe EdEx Train the Trainer Elements and eLearning Course!
Connection is getting flaky again… better post this now!

 

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February 21

Can you teach creativity?

Week 5 of Adobe Train the Trainer and eLearning, and I am loving the exploration, focus and resources for creativity.

Can creativity be taught?
hmmmmm good question, I think people can be shown ways to think more creatively and allow them to feel free to be more creative
 
Sir Ken Robinson

Part II: Creativity Workshops

“Take a look at the self-paced professional development workshops on The Adobe Education Exchange that focus on teaching creativity. You can explore these workshops to develop your skills, and direct the educators you work with to these resources for additional professional development.”

The creative process

Jeff speaks about the creative process within his classroom. He mentions exposing students to multiple resources to inspire them, and then letting them explore and play, plan, build, and ultimately refine their projects. He used techniques including:
  • Sketching to generate ideas
  • technique building
  • play
  • planning
  • refining
  • building
  • multiple influences
  • talk, reflect
Creativity is an important part of the learning process
Creativity provides a challenge… and often makes students more willing to put in the extra work, creating products, showcasing to others, presenting to an audience, giving them a voice.

 

  • Which resource from this week’s Creativity in Education resonated most with you? Why?
    • Using the design/creative process to foster creativity in my classroom
  • How can you apply the information from this week’s Creativity in Education section to your professional practice?
    • making sure to continue to use the creative process across all of my presentations as well, to foster creativity regardless of audience.

How will you be using creativity in your classroom? How do you already??

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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 17

I support creativity in the classroom

Adobe is fostering the development of more creative classrooms through some exciting curriculum as well as providing the tools to easily enable creativity. Week 3’s look at creativity and Adobe has inspired me further… getting my juices flowing and looking to create even more exciting and creative classrooms.

Have you been able to foster creativity in your role as an education trainer of Adobe tools? If so, how? If not, why not?

The products allow students to travel at their own pace… over the years I have had many who come in excited about new tutorials they have discovered, and new brushes and techniques… certainly never limited by what is in the box.
  • Research shows that creativity is vital to success in the 21st century economy, but the education system often stifles it rather than fostering and nurturing it.
  • This is why Adobe is investing in education through: their professional software tools and services, curriculum and certification to help students unleash their creativity, and professional learning experiences for educators.

We need to join the movement, #CreateEdu by joining the Adobe education exchange, Learn new skills and get creative tools. Explore creativity in Today’s classroom through online self paced courses.

#CreateEdu

#CreateEdu

 

 

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February 15

Week 2 Adobe T4T part 2 wrap up

The second part of Professional Design Development looked at best practices in Technology training which included:

1. Session Framework:

Making sure in the beginning you outline clear objectives and how you will achieve them.

Middle: referring back to questions asked or looked at in the beginning section

and the End, where you go over how the areas you aimed to cover were in fact covered.

2. Sequence of information

  • Demonstrate product’s real world application
  • show model student work or final product
  • orient to the user interface – introduce what the pallettes and toolbars look like
  • explore specific functionalities
3. Allow participants to create meaning from experience
minimise direct instruction less than 1/4 should be direct instruction
show how, then let them go on a larger task. you be the guide on the side, they take ownership of learning
circulate the room, guide and answer questions, work with each other
4. Encourage exploration and creativity
– encourage them to explore
– let them know there are no mistakes
– encourage to be creative
– encourage discussion, sharing of ideas and tips, tools and strategies

eLearning discussion:

I have been using Jing and Explain Everything to create learning tools for my students… and also just using the cameras on their phones or iPads to get them to create videos to show what they know or have learned.Jing is a capture application, which hangs around on the computer and when I see something I want to capture as video or image, I just grab the sun (the icon) and go. It’s always there, so I don’t have to open anything. I screen capture sections and images, which can then be put together to create learning objects to show steps. It can voice record as well.
Explain Everything I use to do just that. Often by screen capturing and then talking and highlighting I can take viewers through how to use a specific tool. Love this app as it uploads straight to YouTube, or you can save to the camera roll and upload to LMS or email to a class. I also get my students to use this to show me what they have learned about a specific topic…

Week 2 Assignment:

This week we downloaded the Acrobat template to fill in for the pre-planning phase of our major assignment task. This outlined who the PD plan would be developed for, the learning objectives and how we would include best practice approaches for adult learners and technology training.

My PD plan is for a session I will be giving (hopefully) at the DATTA Vic conference in May. I am looking at developing a session to help design and technology teachers develop learning tools to assist them to flip their classrooms. I will be using Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, as these are readily available as a part of Department of Ed’s software package for government schools.

Hoping it will all fall into place.

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February 15

Week 2 Round up Adobe train the trainer

What a way to play catch up… a great week, and all making sense, clicking into place.

Beginning with Adobe 101, we looked at a video showcasing exactly what it is Adobe does and what it can do for educators and students.

Adobe and Creativity

My forum reflection:”Loving getting back into my Adobe love…. I feel like I have been a bit disconnected… I am needing to catch up with my tech to get the Creative Cloud installed.Biggest takeaway … the awesome support and FREE and useable/mashable/shareable resources available… it really does make it easy for a trainer to get those not so confident with the products to see it as something they can use.

The resources I think I will find most useful are the tutorial sites… loved the idea of having each participant explore a tutorial or element and bringing it back. The self paced workshops are great for holidays etc… as timing in a global community is always going to be tricky so you do have to be committed to participate in the collaborative journeys… not for the faint hearted!”Creativity in Education began with a look at Sir Ken Robinson, and one of his many discussions on this subjects.

  • How do you define creativity?

Thinking outside the box…trying new approaches, not being limited by the way things have always been done.

  • How do you think creativity affects student learning?

Rote learning or simply learning things to get them to achieve at tests will not help students to develop independent thinking. They will need to be guided. For many it is much easier to just to what has to be done, rather than straining their thinking process to create different ideas… the number of students who have said to me…. but what is the minimum i need to do to pass, what chapter will I find the answer in? rather than exploring thier ideas and allowing themselves to learn and grow

  • How does creativity affect your personal life or professional practice?

Sometimes creativity can be a longer process, so taking time doesn’t always work well in professional life..sadly some bosses don’t like to think creatively, and the whole place begins to stagnate. I like to think creatively… I think it’s because I teach in a creative field that I am not fearful of taking a different and more adventurous route…

 

Sir Ken Robinson: creativity is a process not an event

 

My reflections: Absolutely on the same wavelength… perhaps as I have read and viewed a lot of his works… but I wrote down my reflections before watching the video, and the ability to think outside the box, come up with ideas which develop etc… He articulates it better than me, that some people do develop their creativity more readily than others is so true. I reflected that many people find it easier to just rote learn…. do what has to be done, rather than allow themselves to follow ideas and see how they develop. I teach in a creative field, but still have students asking which chapter will they find the answers in…. rather than actually exploring the question… I hate using textbooks or that reason…

 

Clearly the students who are willing to try new ideas and techniques will be able to come up with more creative output…. the use of creative tools like the Adobe suite also requires skill, knowledge and control. Skill in being able to manipulate the range of tools using a range of techniques, knowledge of what the tools can do and control of knowing when they have done enough…. Imagination is being able to “see” what you want to create.

 

” What a great insight. Yes yes yes…. of course allowing students to be successful by showing you what they know in different ways will begin to foster a much more positive approach to learning, and the student will want to learn more and do more. I agree, students who don’t do well in standardized testing quickly begin to think they are dumb, and not able to learn. When given the opportunity to show what they know in different ways… wow… they can blossom.
It can take a while for students who are used to standardized testing, and lock step learning to engage in the freedom of learning in a more creative way. When they do get it the classroom is buzzing… and my heart sings to see so many “a ha” moments. My classes are often noisy and alive … I love it!!
With adults it can depend on the time of day (end of the working day PD time meetings… argh) and the nature of the task (intrinsic/extrinsic motivation), but generally when they let go of what they are used to doing and ways of learning, they too develop deeper learning. The skills and knowledge they develop when thinking and learning creatively definitely creates memorable learning experiences and deeper learning.
Professional Development Design continued to discuss Knowles 6 assumptions of adult learning, and compared it with constructivist approaches.
Adults bring a whole different set of skills to the PD room. The difference in ability is even wider than for a class of year 9 students. I can see that the key to developing effective PD is to indeed be the guide on the side. This allows the learners to take ownership of their learning, creating and exploring through relevant and guided tasks that inspire them.
Some students will need more structured guidance, others will feel confidant to work independently.
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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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