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Reflections - Digital Graphics, Animation, and Desktop Publishing

Posted by Hope Scott on Monday, December 20, 2010 Under: digital graphics

The assignments for Digital Graphics, Animation, and Desktop Publishing were fun to create though some were challenging. 

The first project was to create my "personal brand."  I was able to work on the logo for my side-business, my travel agency.  I think I liked this project because it forced me to focus on a project I started at least a year ago.  It also forced me to focus on adjectives that describes me.  I learned how to apply the elements of design to creating a logo.  I teach the elements of design in Web Technologies, so I know what they are.  I had never thought of how wide the scope is for design.   My objective was to incorporate the elements of design, namely,  proximity, contrast, alignment, and repetition.  I  also used the following information from David Airey about logos: "Iconic logos are:

• Describable
• Memorable
• Effective without color
• Scalable i.e. work when just an inch in size
• Relevant to the industry in question (Airey, 2007)." [1]

The second project was the animation project.  I created my animation using scratch.   I enjoyed the project even though it was a little taxing.  I created an animation for another class using voki.com which is extremely easy to use.   But, unlike the voki animation which was easy and straight forward, and needed no instruction, the scratch animation required tutorials which seemed to be created by students but were not easy to reproduce.   With voki, I was able to create my character and add background and voice.  The scratch project was a little different.  The scratch software had to be downloaded, unlike voki which is an on-line application.  The scratch project required me to look at many tutorials to create the final product.  The learning curve for scratch seems like it would be simple, because they use kids to teach in the tutorials I watched.  It is not as simple as creating a voki.  I attempted to create two animations.  What I envisioned and what I created were quite different.  The first was a crude attempt I named "Bad Kitty."  The second I simply named "Myles Travel."  Even though there are drawbacks to the program, I feel students will enjoy creating!

The final project was probably the most challenging because I thought it would be simple.  I now have a greater appreciation for the people who must create newsletters for a living.  I again had to consider elements of design in the process of creating my newsletter.  I chose to create a travel related newsletter.  The name is "Myles Travelogue."  I used MS-Publisher to create the newsletter. I started with a blank publication, though I had to refer to the template to get a feel for how to set it up.  I then had to choose topics that would interest my audience, namely, travelers.  I tried to use the same color scheme throughout the newsletter.  I also have a greater appreciation for Publisher.   A friend tried to create her newsletter in Word and had a nightmare of a time.  For some reason Word think it knows what you want to do and will change formats on you.  She tried to move things around and found once she moved one thing the entire newsletter would change.  I am so very glad I purchased Publisher when I purchased MSOffice!

The article that most impacted me is Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. Bloom's has been a mainstay in classrooms for many years. I now understand how to apply it to technology. I like the phrase "LOTS" for lower order thinking skills. Technology classes must operate at the "HOTS" or project driven level.[2] As a technology director, I would help teachers integrate technology as often as possible.  All teachers would be encouraged to allow students to use  technology  to create innovative projects. When it comes to animation, students can create lesson to review what they learned. I can imagine a high school student creating an animation of Beowulf or the Robert Frost poem, "The Road Less Traveled," or of math, science, and social studies concepts. I would also encourage our CTE teachers and our librarians to embrace the revised Bloom's.  Plus, as instructors, we can use Bloom's at the creating level to create wikis or to blog about things that are being covered in our classes. This would be an excellent collaboration tool for teachers.  "Collaboration allows teachers and students to connect with people around the world via wikis, blogs, Google docs, Skype, etc.  Educators do not need to feel disconnected."[3] Most of these tools are available and at our disposal; our students already know how to use them.  Our campus is so spread out that wikis could be a way for the teacher on one wing to collaborate, in real time, with a teacher teaching the same subject on the other wing of the building.  Plus, students can share with each other, from two different classrooms, the same way.  The librarians and teachers can also create wikis for currents events or lessons. Again, collaboration is available, we just need to take advantage of technology.
One issue that we must address as educators is that it is unfortunate that students must dummy-down when they come to school.  According to the Center for Implementing Technology in Education (n.d.): "Students spend copious amounts of their free time socializing, shopping, and even studying on the Internet, where they are flooded with text, images, video, animation, and sound in what is a complex multimedia environment. The younger generation is intimately familiar with multimedia, accustomed to receiving and sharing information in a range of formats. In contrast, students spend most of their time in the classroom viewing printed text and listening to a teacher. This disconnect is troublesome. While students are accustomed to having a range of means to communicate and process information outside of school, they must conform to a more restrictive media environment within school. Printed text is one-size-fits-all, but students' learning strengths, needs, and interests are all over the map. Thus, the traditional print-driven curriculum raises a number of barriers to access and learning."[4]  We need to work with the strengths of our students, which is technology.  Even our special needs students need the cutting edge knowledge they gain from the use of technology.  I try not to dummy-down my classes for our special needs students, I modify for them.  I expect them to produce what everyone else is producing.  They may use a different means to get to that end, but they must get to that end.

[1] What makes a good logo? Airey, D. (2007) Retrieved November 28, 2010 from http://www.davidairey.com/what-makes-a-good-logo/.

[2] Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. (n.d.) Retrieved December 15, 2010 from http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670.

[3] Opening Minds with a New Set of Keys. (n.d.) Retrieved December 19, 2010 from http://technologykeys.wikispaces.com/

[4] Multimedia Applications in the Classroom. (n.d.) Retrieved December 15, 2010 from http://www.cited.org/output_pages/printDefault.aspx?page_id=106.

In : digital graphics 

Tags: "digital graphics" animation "desktop publishing" newsletter scratch.mit.edu voki.com airey blooms collaboration technology 

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About Me

Hope Scott I am a Web Technologies teacher. I created this blog as part of my Master of Education in Educational Technology Leadership for Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

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