My Learning Journal

Headshot

Headshot

Using Photoshop was new for me. I do all my editing in Lightroom. It seemed different even though many things are the same. First off, it was difficult to do a headshot. Since I didn't have someone to model for me I took a self portrait. While I have a camera remote app on my phone for my Fuji, it was difficult to get just the right shot. Once I thought I had it and completed some edits, I realized that I wasn't able to edit out the background. My skills just haven't evolved that far just yet. I then retook and re-edited. I used liquify to shape my face a bit. I also used the patch and healing tools to touch up the lines on my next and the areas around my eyes. Exporting was a challenge as I wasn't sure how to size my image. There are many skills I need to learn to make my exporting and printing better.

Resume

Another new experience for me is using Illustrator. While watching the tutorials, I was quite overwhelmed. I did learn from the last section to watch them first and them replay them as I worked along in the program. Additionally, I reviewed my course-mates work first to help me plan out my project. Both of these tricks was a tremendous help. I started out mimicking the project in the tutorial. Hopefully I expanded from there by seeing other examples. It was hard to combine my current education and work into this format as I come from the education/business world. This format would not be acceptable even if I was applying to teach in the creative arts.

I am beginning to enjoy using the programs. Honestly, I didn’t thing that would happen but it is slowing coming. I look forward to learning more aspects of the program and more uses. I want to spend some time creating a resume for my son who is majoring in music technology. I think this format would be a good fit for him. What would be even better is to teach him how to do it for himself. I would then be combining what I learned and how to teach it to others.

Logo

Logo

What was your experience of trying to create a logo?: As with previous assignments ocne I watched the videos again and created as I followed along some of the steps were easier. Again, the creativity is the hard part for me. I don't feel very creative and sense that I stay within my comfort zone -- which tends to be repetitive.

What was easy? It was easy to make the shapes.

Hard? It was hard to come up with creative logos.

What surprised you? I guess I was surprised with the fact that I am remembering how to create things. I thought I would still have a difficult time remembering what commands do what and where to find them.

What did you wish you could do that you could not? I wish I could be a bit more creative as I see in others.

Portfolio

This was a good challenge for me. Since I have been focusing on improving my photography skills I have been searching for a platform to share select items. My Google+ site has all my photos but I needed a place to showcase the best ones. I was excited to try this one but it did take me some time as I had to search for the photos I wanted to share. As a student, as then thinking as a teacher, it forces one to focus on what photos to share and why. What makes them the best? Is there still room for improvement? Photos I thought I wanted to share fell by the wayside. I saw them with a different point of view now that I had to narrow down to what I thought were my best photos.

Once I got started I realized how easy it is to build a portfolio through My Portfolio. I had selected a layout I believed would highlight my choices only to discover it really didn't meet my needs. It was nice to see how easy it was to change the layout to find just the right one for my selections.

This is a great tool as it is user friendly. It can be frustrating to work with a tool that is so complicated that you just can't figure out what to do. I believe that it is a good tool to use in the classroom with students because of this feature. They are able to trial and error before the site is ever published. As a special education teacher I especially find it user friendly and believe students of various ability levels would be able to create a place to show their hard work to the world -- which doesn't happen often enough.

Portfolio Assessment

Providing assessment via a video was a new concept for me. When I first saw the examples I wasn't too keen on the idea. I just didn't see how to make the connection to using this as a form of assessment. It grew on me as I reviewed how others in the class completed their assessments. It's now getting me to think about using this as a form of feedback to students with varying degrees of abilities.

Not all students connect with paper and pencil. We, as teachers, need to identify all types of learning styles -- and therefore assessment styles. I started to make the connection to providing information to student's with special needs. This is clever as it can provide visual and auditory information to students. Unfortunately, I haven't seen how to print out the information so they have it tactilly as well.

Listening to other classmates comments I reflected on the vocabulary used -- what we say and how we say it. Somethings come across different in writing (text/e-mail vs. picking up the phone and calling someone). Students can hear the excitment in your voice as you comment on their efforts. It's important to not start sentences with "I" so much. When we teach writing we teach to vary sentence beginnings. We need to do the same as teachers even when we are speaking. Lasty, there were many times when the evaluator continually said "This is great but . . . " A better choice of words might be "however". It provides a better transition between the comments and the areas of concern/room for improvement.

I will think long and hard about when it's the appropriate time to use this form of assessment but will definitely have it in my took kit.

Final Reflection

To say this course was difficult would be an understatement. To say that I learned a great deal would be another understatement. While I am still a novice my skills and knowledge have improved so much I am overwhelmed. I feel the need to find ways to use these products every day so I don't lose what I have learned.

The free Adobe courses are wonderful. It has been a challenge but a good one for me. I have had to step outside my comfort zone for each and every assignment. The other students were more than supportive and their kind comments kept me going so that I could continue my learning.

It was a bit disheartening to be in a course with others who had such experience and expertise. While a bit of a barrier I had to learn to see it as another learning opportunity. I would review their work to help me better understand the assignment and to jump start my ideas for them. For most of the course I wasn't able to make a connection to my current job assignment as I am no longer a teacher. I had a hard time commenting on how I would use these with students when i was so much of a student myself. It wasn't until the last assignment when my "teacher" kicked in and I began to see ways to uses these skills to differentiate learning for students as well as assessments.

I will keep my connections with Adobe and taking the courses provided. I hope to become so proficient that someday I can actually teach others what I have learned. At the same time improve my own brand so that my photography is showcased professionally.

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