Digital Me A Learning Journal by Regan Bensein

challenge 1

Create a short video on your phone (or whatever is easiest for you to create video) to share with the wider community.

My Personal Brand
A Short Reflection:

I created and uploaded this video using my phone. I have performed this task previously and so this was a fairly straightforward process. To me, personal brand seems like a simple concept - who you are and how you present to others. I guess the tricky part is ensuring that you actually do come across to the others the way you would like to. I believe there also different types of personal brand too. In particular, professional versus personal.

class 1 assignment

Take a headshot photograph.

Use Adobe Photoshop to enhance the image, retouch, resize and crop. Your image should be 404 x 404 pixels suitable for social media.

Edited Headshot
Reflection

The photo to the right is the unedited version of my headshot. I would have preferred a plain background but the lighting in front of the plain wall I had picked came in from the side and created shadows across my face. I thought the lighting was more important than background so went with this shot.

As far as editing in Photoshop I used the patch tool to remove some pimples, wrinkles, freckles and bags under my eyes. I decided to leave the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes as I was smiling and looked funny without them.

I removed the flyaway hairs from around my head and also tidied up my eyebrows slightly when I noticed they were looking a little crazy today.

Once I had everything smoothed out the way I wanted I created a very slight vignette and played around with other features such as contrast, clarity, vibrancy and saturation so that I didn't look quite so washed out and the photo popped a little more.

My headshot on Behance can be viewed by clicking the button below.

Class 2 assignment

Create a Killer CV/Resume

My Resume
Reflection

I had fun playing around with this assignment but a lot of trouble getting it just right, to be honest I'm still not sure I'm 100% happy with it. It doesn't really feel like me.

I began by copying the design and layout shown in the lecture video and from there used my creativity to have a play around with different layouts, colours and borders. The biggest issue I had creating the resume was with inserting icons. When I imported them they were showing a cream background. I googled a resolution for getting rid of the background but it was a bit of a long and messy process. In the end I discovered that if I opened the icon in Photoshop and saved it from there the background would disappear. They images were initially opening in Fireworks so I'm not sure if that was causing the issue?

I chose not to fill in all my details so there is a little extra blank space where normally I would have a lot more information.

I found it interesting reading about the difference between a resume and a CV as I had always thought they were interchangeable terms for the same thing (obviously I have never applied for a job outside Australia). I look forward to continuing to tweak my resume to find a template that I am truly happy with.

Class 3 assignment

Create a logo and header for social media

My Logo
My header
Reflection

To start with I had no idea what to do or where to start with my logo but I took advice from the video and started sketching and playing around with the letters of my name. This was how I came up with the idea of using a book for the 'L' in library. I then had a play around in Illustrator but wasn't happy with my initial logo design. I knew I wanted to have a book theme since I work in Library Services so I did a pinterest search for ideas and then used the capture app on the iPad to get a book image to use for my base. I then chose a font that I liked and distorted the lettering so that it looked like it was actually on the book cover.

The Library services logo in my header was part of my original logo design but I decided it would work better as part of my header.

I had fun playing around with different effects and stroke styles. I'm still getting used to working with the different Adobe products which all use lsightly different controls, so it takes a little bit of googling and trial and error to work out how to do things.

Class 4 Assignment

Create an ePortfolio

Reflection

Initially I had planned to use MyPortfolio for this assignment because I wanted to try out a new platform and it seemed to have more flexibility than Behance or Spark. I had started work on my page when a colleague pointed out that someone had been unable to publish theirs and when I checked we didn't have access to publish MyPortfolio pages either. Luckily I hadn't gotten too far in the process.

Since I couldn't use MyPortfolio I decided to use Adobe Spark because I think it looks better aesthetically and and I am more familiar with using it so can adapt it to my preferences more easily. I also don't have a large portfolio of work to display so it works for me. I did find there were a few downsides to using Adobe Spark, mainly that everything has to be included in one page, so there is a lot of scrolling necessary. The way that photos are displayed can also be a little limiting. Overall though, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I think if you had a lot of projects though Behance would definitely be a better option

Class 5 Assignment

Create and Adobe Spark video assessment of an ePortfolio

Having never had to assess someone's work before and not being a teacher I struggled a little with doing the ePortfolio Assessment. I think it's hard to find that balance between too critical and not critical enough. If anyone has any pointers I'd love to hear, though hopefully I did ok. The Adobe Spark video itself was easy to create though as I have made one before. Despite this I know that my audio could have been a little better both in terms of recording quality and my actual speaking.

Overall I have enjoyed this course and found it very useful for practicing using Adobe products that I have previously worked with and learning about and working with new ones such as Illustrator, Capture and Behance.

Learning to create a personal brand and resume and to build a portfolio are valuable skills for anyone to learn and I think this is something that all students no matter what industry they aim to work in or whether they're in high school or tertiary education should be taught to do.

I find it interesting how one project can require the use of several programs and that despite everyone being given the same instruction all the assignments are created so differently.

The project I enjoyed the most was creating a logo and header but the one I think will be most useful is creating a resume. The skills and projects from this course are ones I will continue to work on and develop and apply to my professional profile. Hopefully I will also be able to help and encourage others to create their own digital presence and portfolios.

Final reflection

The Digital Me course has been, fun, interesting, educational and practical. I have felt like I was back in High School or back at University, especially with last minute cram to make sure everything was completed haha.

The course was required a bit of self motivation and effort to ensure that all the readings were completed and classes watched. This is definitely something more appropriate for mature students rather than those in high school who may be less likely to put in the work. I did find a lot of the videos very interesting and helpful with completing the assessments. It's also nice to get a bit of background about what we're learning and why it's important.

Although the videos were great and very helpful I did find some of them raced through the content a little making it hard to keep up. They also sometimes assumed a small level of knowledge with the programs which not everyone undertaking the program would have. Mostly these things weren't an issue for me as there is always the pause button and I have basic knowledge of most of the programs we used.

The skills and knowledge gained through this course are all valuable and I hope to implement them for both professional practice and my own career development.

I have enjoyed the learning process and look forward to working more with Adobe products.

Credits:

Created with images by Pexels - "coffee computer cup"

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