jim's journal WHAT I LEARNED IN "DIGITAL ME"

Project 0: What is Branding

For our welcome assignment, we had to make a quick video (20 seconds or less and not edited) about who we are and what we considered personal branding to be. Below is my submitted video shot with my computer.

Project 1: Headshots

In Project 1, we had to make a headshot that would be used for social networking sites like Linked In, Instagram, Flickr, etc. We wanted the headshots to be professional yet they should also have a bit of character depending on their use.

This is the original Photo

From the original photo (as seen above) I made this headshot of my daughter. She is currently student teaching and needs a professional looking headshot for her linked in and other professional sites. The changes I made from the original included a bit of color correction, some softening using some blur on a smart object, I cropped it, and I used a slight white vignette effect to avoid those sharp edges. Below is the circle version for such things as google who use a circle image.

Square Headshot
Circle Headshot

And then she decided she wanted another one for her coaching sites. So we used the same background, but I made it a bit sharper and added contrast by increasing the clarity using the camera raw filter in Photoshop. We also decided to use a black vignette to bring out the darker colors...it looked more athletic.

Square Headshot for Coaching Sites
Circle Headshot for coaching sites

Here's a photo of my "studio". It's not too impressive, but it did the job for this project, and that's all that mattered to me.

Project 2: My Resume

I've worked for the same school district for the past 28 years; yes, 28 years! So I haven't had much use for a resume except when I've moved jobs within the district and when I started teaching concurrent enrollment classes through the local community college and for those I quickly threw something together because, honestly, they already knew everything about me.

But, now that I'm looking at possibly transitioning to something new in the next few years, I'm going to need to get back in the game. And this assignment has helped me to look at jazzing things up on my old style resume.

I chose a blue color scheme because...I like it. Or maybe because I'm so cool. I don't know, in the end I think it looks good and that's what I was going for.

For my header, I chose a photo that I thought looked professional but not stuffy.

I think a personal statement showing what your philosophy is can be helpful to show the real you. At this point in my life I'm not looking for A job, I'm looking for THE job.

At this point in my career, I'm pretty sure that the extra work experiences and the extra learning experiences will mean more than the formal education I had so many years ago.

Project 3: Personal Branding Logo

I just finished doing a project with my son helping him create his own personal brand logo. He's a journalism/communications major in college who does a lot of photography and a little video work and he was looking to create a brand for his own flickr, instagram, twitter, and facebook accounts. So this project really interested me so I could make my own.

I wanted to keep the same color scheme (in essence) as what I have for my resume. I also wanted to have some color contrast in mine. I used Adobe Capture to make a shape out of my camera and went from there. I use the J and A interconnected on a lot of things I do so I decided to use that as part of the logo. I like the end product--it reflects me pretty well and that's what I wanted. I kept it pretty simple...maybe not as simple as say Nike or something like that but I'll also never be as quickly identified as they will.

Three versions of the logo. Starting from the left: 1) full transparency behind the lettering 2) white behind the lettering for going over busy backgrounds and 3) no lettering, just the logo.

I put the logo on a background for a facebook, twitter, and youtube header with the correct sizes.

Facebook Header
This is sized properly for Twitter
YouTube was a little tricky because of all the different looks as you can see below
I made several adjustments to my image based on what I saw here.
Here it is in action on my YouTube channel that I use for school

So, as you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into designing a brand logo. It's not just coming up with a pretty picture that has a simple design, you also have to make sure you fit it to all the places you may be using it.

I'm looking forward to doing this project with my class. I'm certain I'll be better at teaching this after going through the frustrations of doing it myself.

Project 4: Portfolio

I used Behance to build my portfolio. I included a few photo projects that I've done on my own. I'm a big fan of Behance in that it allows for more than just a bunch of images or videos, but rather it allows you to create a resume right inside the product.

I found it interesting to listen to Jonathan Hills, founder and Executive Creative Director for Domani Studios as he spoke about the importance of portfolios in his industry. He talked about how he continuously scans online portfolios, even when they don't have positions open. I assume that he does this to be ready to recruit potential artists when positions do open. He wants to know who might be out there to make his company better.

That's an important point for me to get across to my students since they will be looking to enter the market but probably don't realize how important it is to keep an online portfolio up to date. They never know when someone might be looking at their portfolio which could give them opportunities that they would otherwise miss out on.

Project 5: Portfolio Assessment

Below is my assessment of a classmates portfolio. (Thank You Drew for allowing me to assess yours.) This was a good project for me to do because I'm going to be requiring portfolios of all my students and coming up with valuable feedback is essential to making this project worthwhile for students. And boy does valuable feedback take time; but that time is well spent if the student has something they can, and will, really use to improve their own portfolio.

I like the idea of using Adobe Spark video to do these assessments. It's a media format that students like and it gives me the opportunity to "speak" to them but on their own time. I also like the ease with which Adobe Spark allows me to make this video assessment. What I wonder, though, is how I'm going to be able to do forty of these types of assessments as well as complete a rubric for each one that will satisfy the gradebook requirements. I guess that's something I'll have to figure out.

Final Stage: Reflection

Let me start by saying that I love taking the Adobe Generation Professional courses through the Education Exchange. The quality of the instruction is second to none, not just in the area of digital media, but simply in the area of teaching and pedagogy. I've took four or five course last year and thoroughly enjoyed them while learning so much about the content, about teaching, and about myself and my own practices. This year I was unable to take any courses until this one due to a schedule that was kicking my rear end. But when I saw this course on Digital Me and how it was going to cover portfolios and employability, as a Career and Technical Education teacher I knew I had to make time

And I'm so glad that I did make time. In the past I've taught the students to make resumes and portfolios without doing the steps myself. I figured I was secure in my job, why would I need to do this? But going through the process has given me a new appreciation for the importance of making sure each step is done right. (I'm also glad I went through the process because now I have an up to date resume, headshot, and a head start on a stronger portfolio...and who know when I might need that, right?)

Something else I realized is how much work goes into taking one class, much less the eight classes that my students are taking. How will that change my approach? I'm sure I won't reduce the rigor of what I teach, but I might be a little more understanding when a student tells me why his/her project will have to be turned in late. I'll also continue to work hard at making sure their time in class is valuable time. I needed every second available to do a good job in this class and if I'm wasting my students time they can't do their best.

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