Although this was a relatively short course, I enjoyed a number of very important breakthroughs as a learner and as a teacher.
In terms of my own learning, I find it most helpful when I see someone demonstrate the procedures on the program. I sometimes have trouble visualizing written instructions in computer applications. This is especially true of Adobe applications where the menus are context sensitive and change depending on what you are doing. As I gain more experience with the programs, I appreciate this feature since it makes users more efficient and reveals tools on an as-needed basis. In the beginning it can be daunting.
This is true for my students as well. I have noticed that most of them are comfortable in the “editing” workspace layout and I do most of my teaching in that view, touching on the other workspace layout as needed. I usually demonstrate a procedure and give them time to practice while I move around the room and provide assistance. Every lesson features a quick refresher, a new technique, and time to practice with footage I provide. I tend to use video I have taken of them in school—usually special events that everyone has been present for—in order to engage them on a content level and make them feel special and valued. Additionally, I try to provide as much scaffolding as possible. To this end, I have been watching a lot of online instructional videos and making a lot of short instructional videos for my students. I put the links to these videos in our learning management system, so they can access them whenever they need them.
When I think about the next steps to take, my focus is on how my student groups function as they make their videos. I am trying to figure out better ways to rotate and monitor my groups of four. Ideally, all of the video groups would be either two people or four people. I learned from the Penn Literacy network that groups are three are not as effective as groups of two and four. And groups above four are too big. This presents a challenge for me since I want to come up with a way to monitor the students as well as rotate them so they each get a chance to be the cameraperson, director, actor, and video editor. In terms of rubrics, I have adapted the state standard rubric for video projects. It examines aspects like focus, content, stylistic techniques, and teamwork. In terms of real-world assessment, my students pretty much publish or broadcast all of the material they create. We have a newspaper we publish monthly and a daily news broadcast where we play all of the videos they make.
In the future, I would like to add more about advanced effects, multi-camera mode, and how to bring in content from other Adobe applications. This is also where I need to expand my knowledge. During the video tutorial sessions, the library feature came up and I thought it was great. The first area I am interested in working with this tool is between Photoshop and Premiere. I am also interested in Illustrator, but I have limited experience with it. I have been working with Photoshop and InDesign for years. We create our school paper with InDesign now and it is just a wonderful application. My ultimate goal would be to develop an extensive library of graphics that could be used with our print and broadcast products. It is a great opportunity for me to try to teach brand identity and to get them to think about what they want that identity to be from year to year. This is something that I never would have thought of had I not taken this class. I am grateful for this discovery.
My own learning journey continues as I try to figure out what I need to learn in order to enable my students to flourish and achieve their own personal goals. As for me, I plan to never stop learning and am very grateful Adobe has created the Education Exchange opportunities for the great many of us who want to learn how to put these applications to their optimum use.