Monday, January 28, 2019

Course Profile - Photoshop Lessons

Weird Science... Probably hasn't aged well... but I am going to try to make the connection anyway...

film GIF

Soooo does anyone else remember movies from their childhood, only to go back to them as adults and be like really, parents? That's what I was watching?

Anyway, like the main characters in Weird Science, my students who use Photoshop can conjure up ideas, and create them using the computer.  So far, no one has been able to recreate Lisa, like the movie, but they are usually highly impressed with their results.

For my outline of my course profile, I am going to give you the run down on what I will be attempting to build.

Course ProfileAudience & Course format and tools:

A ROBOT TEACHER... So I can put my feet up.
Okay, kind of... more like, me as a robot, to aid students through their Photoshop journeys.

I will be using/exploring a new program to me, Adobe Animate.  I am hoping to create the character in that program, and then demonstrating steps and lessons in other Adobe programs.
I believe the easiest way for students to access this will be to post it on YouTube.

Course framework & learning objectives with course content:

My first module will be based around introducing Photoshop to new users.  I currently have a lesson, but I am always tweaking and changing things so that students get the most amount of information in the least amount of time.  This allows more time for them to experiment and create.

As I mentioned, I will be now putting that into a video format, hopefully with a character I have created.

The next thing I'd like to explore is Google Classroom. I use the student Google accounts for saving all of the work, but I've never tried the Classroom aspect.  I think that might be a good way for students to hand in their newly created assignments.

This set of videos will be created for grade 8 students, and my grade 11 & 12 when they are first starting out in the Adobe products.

Where does this fit in the Curriculum?

Demonstrate a working understanding of the elements and principles of design as a means of visual communication.
Indicators for this outcome
Investigate, identify, and compare the elements and principles of design.
Critique an existing composition using the elements and principles of design.
Discuss statements regarding design such as, "The elements and principles of design always have been the same, regardless of the medium"; "Design is about making the correct element and principle choices" , or "The principles of design govern how we use the elements".

Demonstrate a basic understanding of layout as an effective aspect of visual communication.
Indicators for this outcome
Investigate and identify the components of layout for a variety of applications such as brochures, posters, business cards, and web pages.
Critique existing applications of layout from commonly found media using the above components.

Develop a basic knowledge of the tools used to create graphic designs.
Indicators for this outcome
Identify traditional and contemporary tools used in graphic design and their purposes.
Explore historic and contemporary artists and how they use(d) various tools.

Compare a variety of design software including file management capability.
Indicators for this outcome
Assess the available software (e.g., purchased, web-based, open source) and its capability to create a graphic design including features and usability.
Create a graphic design to demonstrate both utility of software and effectiveness of communication.
Justify personal software selection through application of agreed upon criteria.
Effectively utilize file management systems of the selected software.

Course modules:

Photoshop Tutorial #1

So students will download the following file from my website, but this time, they will be accompanied by me and the YouTube video.

My Website

(Unfortunately, you can only access with an RBE account.  I post photos of the students, so I try to keep the circle small. There is a quick peek above.)

From there, they launch Photoshop, and will be guided by YouTube as well as myself to learn some of the Photoshop tools & functions.  The lesson usually runs about an hour, or just over.

As far as a finished product, they will submit their "liquified celebrity" to my newly set up Google Classroom.  It's their favourite part of the tutorial and usually ends up looking something like this:

Illustrator Tutorial #2

The next module will be an introduction to Adobe Illustrator.  They are lead through a tutorial where they design a monster.  This will be done by me and the YouTube video I will create. 
Here, they learn the different between raster and vector images, and the importance of a program like this for graphic designers.

Here is an example of a monster they will create in Adobe Illustrator:

Then, the students choose a backdrop for their monster, and will submit that via Google Classroom.

So that is my plan for now! There may need to be some tweaks made and I am interested to see what people think.  I am also hoping that it fits the project... Alec, please let me know if I am way off base!

I am looking forward to trying the new programs and eventually building assignments like these, in them.

Can't wait to hear from you, EC&I 834!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Will It Blend?

Did anyone else watch these videos from almost a decade ago?

Will It Blend?

Well, in case you aren't one of the 18,749,163 views, and you don't have one minute and forty
seconds, the Blendtec gentleman, Tom Dickson blends an iPad.

Yes, a functioning (it seems) iPad.

I know what you're thinking, I could have used that iPad in my classroom.
Or perhaps, you thought, GOOD riddance! Also, what a fantastic blender that must be.

You might be right in either case. We've all had our good technology classroom days, and the days we'd like to put the technology in the Blendtec.

I feel at this point in my blog I should also mention I am not being sponsored by Blendtec.

Now onto Alec's question:

What are your experiences and perceptions related to your own use of blended learning and/or technology integration in your professional context? What challenges and opportunities have you experienced?

I work in a computer lab style classroom, so I would say my lessons are immersed in technology.

I have both kinds of days…

Most days are the days I love technology! I am so pumped to teach students who have never or rarely use computers and maybe get to see it in a new light. I have students say "this is the BEST CLASS EVER!" on a regular basis and that's not about me and my teaching. That is solely the programs they are learning. I am not sure there are a lot of teachers that get to hear that.

I had a student this semester write a journal entry that was quite moving.  It was about how he loves graphic design but didn't realize he could ACTUALLY be a graphic designer until we went on a field trip and he met REAL people that do the job.  He said he felt like a kid who said they wanted to be an astronaut and people would say "oh, that's nice" but never actually believed he could do it. His life changed on the field trip (his words, not mine) and so those are the days that I am shocked and appalled someone would think to (let alone, actually) blend a functioning piece of technology.

As for the other days… when I wonder if I could charge a Blendtec to my school master-card and if the office would notice…

Are the days when you've done a lesson over and over, but then when you go to present, something has gone wrong and you can't finish the lesson so the kids are just staring at you.

Or, the internet is down.

Or, the programs are crashing.

Or, tech support is not supporting you, and you feel they should change their name to tech sabotage, because it feels more like their mission statement.

So anytime you are using technology, my advice is over-plan. Just as you would normally.

Power's out? Well, onto plan b.

Which makes me think of the readings this week. Tony Bates mentions:
"As with all teaching, distance education can be done well or badly."
As with all teaching! If you aren't planned, or you haven't gone through something a few times, it can be disastrous, whether or not tech is involved.

I also liked that the reading talked about costs. The cost to run a face-to-face class vs. an online or distance style classroom. Now that I think of it, online learning likely has a smaller carbon foot print too. Less printed texts, less cars driving to one building… (but I haven't researched or even Googled that, so please don't hold me to it.)

Lastly, I liked that Bates mentioned blended learning is good for students because if they go onto further their educations, they will likely do some kind of online or distance ed.
We are setting students up for the future.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At the end of my semester, I have the students teach the other students some kind of tutorial

related to our class. It is one of my all time favourite projects. The students get to see what

it's like to be me, they always find cool tutorials, hopefully the other students learn something, and I always learn something.

So I am in the happy tech camp. The non-blending camp. I think technology is here to stay, and we need to adapt. We need to support our students, teachers, and technology in the schools.

Even though, there are days I think about this scene from Office Space and smile…

Saturday, January 12, 2019

New Semester, New Beginning, New Life!

New Semester, New Beginning, New Life!

January is a good month to start a new semester.  People feel optimistic about goal setting, and their lives! Plus, going outside seems like a cold, bad, idea.

I am optimistic for this semester and class! This January also feels new for me because I am in my 5th month of pregnancy.  People tell me this is the good part, when I no longer feel pukey, but not too huge yet. I agree... for the most part.

For those of you who I haven't taken a class with before, my name is Anne, and I'm in my 9th year of teaching with Regina Public Schools.  I teach a five day rotation of grade 8's, and Graphic Art to grade 11 & 12's.

As for life outside of work, I love to read and watch TV.  I have an adorable family, pictured below:

We did a Star Wars themed Halloween this year…

So speaking of a new semester and goal setting… My goals for this class are to try to get as much as I can out of it, use my time wisely, make something I will use in my future, and help out any classmates on the way!

I really enjoy creating new lessons. I realized that this morning while I was getting ready for work.  Lesson creation is one of my favourite parts of teaching.  Third only to summers off, and the pay, obviously.

Amy Ranford and I are still in talks as to if we should partner up for this project, or go it solo, but either way, I am looking forward to creating and really making something useful.

I have been thinking about what online content I want to create.  Something for my classes would be useful, so some kind of Photoshop tutorials, but I also have some other hobbies I wouldn't mind exploring.

Maybe some kind of vegetarian how to's? I often get asked "what do you eat during a day, or week?"  I have wanted to make some kind of cook book or list of meals, for a while.

Amy and I have also talked about creating some kind of employability how-to's... We think that would be really useful for our school.

Lastly, I was thinking something to do with TV/Radio.  I will be teaching a TV/Radio course next semester, so some kind of modules to do with that. I love watching TV so that would be both up my alley, and useful!

The good news is that I have a few more days to mull it over...

Excited to get started!

There's me and the bump: