I am taking part in an online learning course during the next few weeks. Tilted Digital Creativity in the Classroom. It is an Adobe education course designed for educators as an introduction to the basics of digital media production. It promises to have an emphasis on classroom craft, as well as the core principles of digital image making, animation, video and web design. During it l will cover basics in Photoshop, Flash, Premiere and other Adobe tools. What a fabulous challenge. Oh and did I mention it is free.
The website promises ‘You will learn to manipulate and take control of digital images to create an artistic digital collage in Adobe Photoshop, create a series of simple animations, Produce a short digital video and publish your work on your own web space. All the content you produce will be based upon creating classroom resources to model good practice within your own school or college. The course is based upon classroom practice and designed by teachers. Participants will focus on a new application each week and complete a related task to reinforce and practice the learning before implementing it in the classroom.’
Our first homework task was to follow these video instructions and create our own interpretation of this famous image of Barrack Obama, using an education icon and our own words. Now I know a bit about Photoshop, I have manipulated photographs to create composite images a few times and although I do not use it in my life very much, I do understand Photoshop basics. I also teach my students how to use Photoshop elements, using a series of lessons developed especially for primary students.
This first homework task though, pushed me completely out of my learning comfort zone. This video instructions were eight minutes long but it took me over an hour to create the rather poor image above. Which incidentally is supposed to be Carol Dweck and yes I know her mouth has disappeared! I am not happy with my results and I found it difficult to even achieve that. Part of me is tempted to start completely again and the other part says forget it. Is that laziness or realism? I have many other things I need to finish this weekend, including marking and family time. Will I really need these particular skills in Photoshop, to teach my students better? I think not but as I reflect on my attitude and my learning, I know that I need to remember these feelings whenever I introduce my students to something new and challenging. They need me to help and encourage them not to give up, as I was seriously tempted to do. They need me to help and encourage them to keep persisting when the learning becomes tough. As it is only through solid effort will come results.
Oh and incidentally I plan to start afresh with this tutorial as soon as I have finished this weekends marking!