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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August 15

The digital art room

Once again teaching loads have changed…. back in the art room as well as teaching digital art to my Year 9 groups… a change from last term’s more traditional approach… I am creating some interesting (I hope) approaches with my group of year 8s as well… blending the traditional art forms with some 21st Century stuff thrown in.

While making some connections on Twitter last night I came across this interesting infographic…
The-State-of-Mobile-Learning-Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

As all of my art classes have iPads, the use of mobile tech in the classroom is very topical for me at least 🙂
I have been able to get the students to use their iPads to create a presentation of found “artworks” displaying elements of design. They used “L” shapes to frame their artworks. Students used any app they were comfortable with to present their Elements of Design.

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June 3

New MOOC underway

Tonight I started a new MOOC, deMOOC
This is looking at designing eLearning through tools including my much loved Moodle, and Mahara, which is an online ePortfolio which links neatly with Moodle…I have wanted to explore this for ages.
Also using connected learning by using #deMOOC to tag posts on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook…
So, ok, perhaps I should have been doing reports….but I am certainly the queen of procrastination!

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June 3

New MOOC underway

Tonight I started a new MOOC, deMOOC
This is looking at designing eLearning through tools including my much loved Moodle, and Mahara, which is an online ePortfolio which links neatly with Moodle…I have wanted to explore this for ages.
Also using connected learning by using #deMOOC to tag posts on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook…
So, ok, perhaps I should have been doing reports….but I am certainly the queen of procrastination!

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May 16

Creative Book Builder

A really powerful app to use in any class both as a teacher and a student is creative book builder.
Students love being able to easily include videos and images into their assignments. You can also create exciting “text” or topic booklets for your classes.
This can range from simple to amazingly complex.
The books can be easily shared as well, simply choose the “Share to Device” option when you publish the book, it will create a QR code and the students can scan it, and open it in their iBooks shelf. If they email the book all of the cool interactive features are lost …
My Year 8s at Beaui were very excited when I showed them how simple it was for me to collect their awesome Textiles assignments.
$4.49 from the iTunes store is a worthwhile taxable expense.

20130516-194512.jpg

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May 16

Creative Book Builder

A really powerful app to use in any class both as a teacher and a student is creative book builder.
Students love being able to easily include videos and images into their assignments. You can also create exciting “text” or topic booklets for your classes.
This can range from simple to amazingly complex.
The books can be easily shared as well, simply choose the “Share to Device” option when you publish the book, it will create a QR code and the students can scan it, and open it in their iBooks shelf. If they email the book all of the cool interactive features are lost …
My Year 8s at Beaui were very excited when I showed them how simple it was for me to collect their awesome Textiles assignments.
$4.49 from the iTunes store is a worthwhile taxable expense.

20130516-194512.jpg

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