I’ve been playing around quite a bit these days with the various programs – both online and on my computer, to learn to manipulate graphics and create enhanced visuals for my teaching.  It has taken both time and effort to figure things out; slowly but surely I’m getting it.  One of the big things I noticed today was that some programs, such as Adobe Photoshop which is a district license and available on my computer, are much more complicated and difficult to use for the novice graphic artist.  I initially didn’t even know I had the program to use and started with SumoPaint – the free online version.  Turns out I got better at using that version (even though today I switched to what I have on my computer) and like the graphics it produces better.  I think it’s more a question of skill though and the possibilities and potential with Adobe Photoshop are likely much more than the free online option.  

I have a sense of the magnitude with which one could alter a photo or an image and think that perhaps an entire university course could be dedicated to learning how to use one program effectively.  For the time being however, I’ve appreciated learning how to size an image, crop it effectively, use text to enhance features of the photo, layer images and import and link graphics.  I have created a series of graphics with a focus on breaking down the components of “Whole Body Listening” for use in my work and look forward to gaining more skills as I go.  I’ve begun playing with Movie Maker too – creating small video snippets of my students modeling the skills they need to learn.  I’ll let you know how they like being the star of the show after I show them tomorrow.  

The extra time spent working with HTML this past week and seeing how it is connected to graphics was interesting and helpful.  I spent some time with Sasha at work discussing how we achieved the goals of the week and what we learned.  I have to say that I’m still a fan of the “blended” learning community – having Sasha nearby to bounce ideas off and share learning is tremendously helpful and motivating.  How do we build more of this in a strictly online sense?  It’s hard because of the asynchronicity of the online learning and the “disconnect” between “virtual” people.  I wish I had more to add to enhance all of your learning – and do greatly appreciate your comments when you have time to give them.  I suppose this is the nature of the beast and I should be happy to have some F2F with Sasha!


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