Thursday, August 17, 2017

Created an Interactive Web Design activity today! Check it out! #busedu

I love drag and drop activities as they are good bellringers, so I used Google Slides to create a drag and drop activity that students can use to practice their HTML codes. They won't use all of the codes, but I did that so I can use the template over and over to create more bellringers for practice.

If you wish to use it, just give them the URL (they will need to go to File> Save a Copy to be able to edit it and drag around).

The long link--

Here's the "answer key" if you need it.

Or, a simple printer-friendly version is here, too.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Updating my Multimedia Curriculum... Gonna try Adobe Audition! #busedu

As I am starting school Thursday and will need to give a pre-test shortly thereafter, I am trying to nail down exactly what I intend to cover in Multimedia this year. My Multimedia class is a mix of mostly vector graphics, audio editing, video editing, and animation. They also maintain a blog.

Though I try to teach some free programs, with the "1 for 1" initiative (aka Chromebooks for everyone), I am having to move into more industry programs just because many other classes are starting to use the free media programs (such as Powtoon or Prezi) earlier in the game.

Why free? Well, I want students to learn how to "transfer" knowledge. For example, starting with Audacity, they will understand audio files, formats, waveforms, amplitude, etc. And, then when we move to an industry-based software, it will be easier to learn AND they still know a free way to do it at home if they have a computer. I'm not going to be concerned with my free software being Chromebook compatible this year, though. Most free audio and video Chromebook programs are barebones or limited.

So, my plan this year is to try:

  • Audio:  Audacity (free), Soundtrap (online and free, but I am buying a license to use the full version since it's like $250 for a year), and Adobe Audition CC. They will record a podcast with a partner (hopefully).
    **A few good tutorials I found today, since I just started playing with Audition this summer-- PDF Tutorial    YouTube Tutorial
  • Illustration:  I do some logo design work in this class every year and we create some lower thirds graphics to use in Premiere. I will begin with a free online vector program so they get use to a few tools, like Pathfinder and Pen tool. Then, we will use Adobe Illustrator CC. (NOTE: If you don't have Adobe, they have an open source vector program called Inkscape you could use)
  • Graphics: I usually start with something really simple, and will likely stick to that again this semester, such as Canva. I will also do a little bit with infographics using Infogram online. Then, we will do a very basic Photoshop unit (like 5 days; I want them to know how to cut out images so we can bring them into Premiere). We will create some blog and YouTube channel headers and such using Canva. 
  • Animation: I honestly don't have time for this, but I want to at least introduce Adobe Character Animator once they know how to edit characters in Illustrator. I think they will enjoy it. Last year, we did a Powtoon animation, but I will probably skip it with some of the new stuff we are doing. 
  • Video: Not sure if I will start with a free option. I used to do Windows Movie Maker but haven't since it was removed from Windows Essentials. There are some free ones out there, but I haven't downloaded and decided on one yet. Kdenlive is an open source editor I have dabbled with; I don't want "freeware" or anything trial or limited, so open source is the way to go. I'll with do that or use the YouTube built-in video editor. Then, I will move on to Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I plan to do a little bit of Adobe After Effects this year as well. But, I only have a semester, so it's a lot to cram in!
Well, what do you think of my plan? If you have any great ideas, please share! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Got ADOBE CC? Try Character Animator with these FREEBIES! #busedu @graphicmama

A few days ago, I posted a video of my first attempt at Character Animator. Today, I started searching for instructional materials and found a few amazing resources!

Graphic Mama has a great blog where there are numerous puppets for this program that you can download, edit and use! Check out this blog post!  One of her links is Okay, Samarai and he has several ready to use puppets (for whatever reason, my CC didn't want to play nicely and I had to scroll all the way down to the old one).

Here are a few examples of puppets available:

Here is my very short example. Now, let me just say that these are provided as is, but since I teach Illustrator in Multimedia, I will provide them with a starter puppet and ask them to edit the puppet in Illustrator so that all of them begin the same but have to be customized with their Illustrator skills. 

Teaching Multimedia with video? Check out these tips! #busedu

I ran across this 6 minute video from some YouTubers that goes over some tips for making videos more interesting. I think I am going to show this early in my Multimedia class after I ask them to brainstorm some ideas for making videos more interesting! I'm thinking doing an easy edit the second week of class when we go over using the cameras would be good timing.

And, they do a really nice job of showing tons of B-roll on their video. My students tend to not cutaway as much as they should, so I am hoping this explanation that uses the techniques will really help get that message into their brains.

They give these tips--

1-- Go outside
2-- Record during the Golden Hour
3-- Collaborate with people
4-- Find interesting locations or events
5-- Shoot more B-roll

Monday, July 31, 2017

Learning with YouTube Day 31: Vector Portrait in Google Drawings @pomeroyjoshua #busedu #31daysofPD #personalizedPD

I did it! I met my 31 day challenge! Today is July 31 and I have successfully blogged with an educational YouTube lesson review every day this month! I'm pretty proud. Blogging is something that was really hard for me to "get around to" as much as I wanted and I did it! :)

Today, I looked for some sort of activity I might be able to do in one of my graphics classes (Photoshop or Multimedia or maybe even Web Design since you can pick colors using Hex codes) for the first week of school. We have lots of schedule changes, so we don't really start deep content for a few days. And, as a Google school, we have all the Google tools at our disposal. ENTER: Google Drawings!

I found this guy (who is way better than I am) who did a sped up process of creating a vector illustrated portrait (video below) using drawing tools. He talked about his process, so I thought, why not? I'm not saying mine is great, but I tried! There is my screenshot with my "trace" layer and my drawing. I'm not great with shading... I guess everything should be darker but you live and learn.

And if you really want to be impressed, watch Joshua Pomeroy's 50 minute long walkthrough of him creating a Justin Timberlake drawing. This guy is impressive! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Learning with YouTube Day 30: Simon Says Jigsaw Idea #busedu #31daysofPD #personalizedPD

I've been trying to figure out "new ideas" for this fall. I found this long demonstration (though it was surprisingly an interesting watch) of using Simon Says as a teaching tool. I kept thinking they would incorporate questioning or something into it, but they never did. However, it did get me to thinking of a potential way to try to use Simon Says as a review tool. In particular, I thought about how I can apply a Simon Says game into a Jigsaw activity.  Follow me on this brainstorm...

I was thinking I'd assign the students a Jigsaw activity in my Web Design class.

My steps:

1-- Find an article that isn't a long read that has some "tips" or clearly stated main points. I'm using this one for my relatively simple jigsaw the third day of school in Web Design-- 5 Killer Web Design Tips that Will Make Your Websites Awesome.

2--Print and cut apart so each group has only THEIR PART and only ONE COPY (so they will have to read aloud or be involved).

3--Assign each student a number; if you have "5 tips" then you need to assign them one through five. I'm thinking I will provide each student with a notecard that they can jot ideas on from the article and I'll ask them to each bring a pencil with them. For my activity, I intend to go outside. :)

4--Do a standard jigsaw; all the "1's" will get together and read "Tip 1" and discuss it. They should decide what is important and make notes on the cards. NOTE: My example is very short. They will get 2 minutes to read and discuss.

5--SIMON SAYS BREAK:  We won't do anything fancy here (watch the video below for an idea of the process; I plan to do simple Simon Says with a few fun things thrown in... like "Simon Says if you like Google Chrome better than Internet Explorer, put your hands up."). Just play some Simon Says to get them to relax. No one's out, though. Everyone stays.

6--Then, divide them so you get 1 of each number per group (so 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 will join up). They will "teach" their group about their "tip" and then they can all add additional notes to the notecard. I'm thinking 3 minutes ought to be enough, but maybe more...

7--SIMON SAYS INTEGRATION: Okay, so the fun! Now, we play Simon Says. We'll do a version of the more complicated game but we will include some "topics" from the article so students will be doing some True/False response using Simon Says.  Here's my list to go with the article (and I'll probably put this on a notecard to make it easier)--

  • This game of Simon Says has officially begun. Simon Says, Smile!
  • Simon Says shake out your arms. 
  • Stop shaking; Simon says stop shaking. 
  • Listen carefully..."Body text should be 12 pixels at a minimum." Simon Says cover your ears if this is false. (false--16px)  It should be 16px, which is actually 12 points. 
  • "Headlines should be bold and easy to scan on a website." Simon Says touch your nose if this is false. (true) You got it!
  • "When picking a font-face, stick with something super easy to read and a little bit whimsical." Simon says hands up for false and down for true. (true) Yeah, it's hands-down true!
  • Put your arms out in a T. 
  • Simon says squat. Simon says stand tall. 
  • Touch your head.
  • Simon says hands on your hips.
  • "When picking a color palette for your website, stick to how many colors?"  Simon Says clap the number of colors on go... GO! (clap--3 colors)
  • Hands back on your hips; Simon Says hands on your hips.
  • "Making photos the right size is important. If the image is too small, just resize it." Simon Says right arm up if false. (false)  Actually, if it's too small, don't use it!
  • "Too much text can be overwhelming. Use these as alternative ways to communicate your point." Simon says... left arm up for images, right arm up for icons. (answer--both!). If you have both arms in the air, you're right!
  • Now that your hands are in the air, wave them like you just don't care! 
  • SIMON SAYS wave your hands in the air like you don't care. 
  • Simon Says, shake someone's hand and say your name. 
  • Snap your fingers.
  • Simon Says, let's end this game! The game of Simon Says is officially over. 

Let's hope they like this "low tech" idea for fun in Web Design!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Learning with YouTube Day 29: Google Slides Shortcuts #slidesyearbook #busedu #31daysofPD #personalizedPD

Headed out of town to a wedding today, so watched a short video this morning (after participating in some #ECG2017 sessions) related to Google Slides. The presentation I saw talked about using Slides to create simple yearbooks for cheap. But, what I saw and thought was pretty cool was a slideshow to help learn Google Slides keyboard shortcuts.

This is a very short video that just demonstrates the keystrokes, but you can actually download and allow students to try the shortcuts with you! This is from the SlidesYearbook page where you can download the starter file. BTW, this is a great website if you teach yearbook and includes some other information and links to videos about writing captions and other journalism-related topics.

It gives students a way to learn how to rotate by 1 degree or even paste without pasting the formatting onto a slide. Good tips, especially if you are a Google school!