A Learning Journal Adobe EdEx's Digital Me: Digital Portfolios, Assessment & Employability Spring 2017

PERSONAL BRAND

Our first assignment was to investigate the meaning of personal brand and what it meant to me. I was happy with my answer ... I created an account and uploaded my video to Vimeo. Click HERE to check it out!

A GREAT HEADSHOT

Our next assignment was to create a headshot. I learned a LOT! I have never created a headshot before so it was all new and exciting for me. Here is my post in the assignment: "My son's new passion is learning to play the guitar and Johnny Cash songs. He is 13 years old, 6' 2" tall, and has eyes of blue! This picture was taken in downtown Rock Springs, Wyoming, at sunset outside of our historical downtown museum. The look on Kaden's face is indicative of his Johnny Cash phase and the reflection of the sky and the trees in the guitar add so much to the ambiance of the image. Everyone in my family has requested an 8x10!!"

A KILLER RESUME

Third assignment -- Class 2! This week was the killer resume assignment. I cranked it out but it isn't what I had envisioned when I was excited about the awesome examples on Behance. Here is my reflection for the assignment: What an eye-opener! I’m so excited to show my students the creative resumes/CVs on Behance! I had no idea designers were getting so creative. Geez … I thought I was creative back in the day when I used two colors and rotated text! Speaking of rotated text … after my third page of playing in InDesign, I went back to my roots and used the rotated text. I just love it! And I dig dotted lines. I used two of my favorite fonts – Rave and Garamond – and made my resume match my girlie style. While I absolutely LOVE the infographic style of these creative geniuses, I didn’t want to be a copycat. Plus, finding graphics to use without purchasing or having to add attributes was a pain. In fact, I got sidetracked thinking I would just create my own in Illustrator but that was just going to take more time than I had. I really wanted to incorporate the timeline idea but my design seemed too girlie and I just didn’t feel it. I do know my resume is way too wordy and I will continue to work on that. It is also pretty plain with no color, but I did try to make it match the fun I am having in my headshot. (Originally, my headshot was of my son but he is 13 and I wanted to recreate a resume for ME so I redid the headshot assignment with a fun photo of myself that I actually like!) The look of infographics fascinates me so I really want to investigate more about how I can include the look in every day design. I can’t wait to share the videos and links provided in the lesson in the capstone class I teach for our Digital Design Technologies certificate. The idea to find a palette you like, pull it in and match the colors – brilliant!

PERSONAL BRAND LOGO

Class 3 Reflection: What a fun lesson! I started out wanting to make something completely new. I even tried a few things, downloaded a few fonts. It really was a process to dig deep and think about what this logo should say about me. Ultimately, I went back to what I knew in my heart. I had created a personal sort of logo a LONG time ago. I definitely didn’t want to use the same one because – YUCK! I guess it isn’t so bad, but I am such a better designer now then I was when I created it so it was definitely time to revisit it. My given surname is Angelovic so I did a play on the name and went with “angel” as a representation of me. It has been since I started designing back in 1996 so why change it now! But before, I had just used a text that looked similar to my handwriting and wrote out “Angel Designs” with a halo around the A. This time I took the pen to Illustrator and used MY OWN handwriting – I drew the perfect A in MY handwriting style and drew a halo around the top. I like this new one much better because it is ALL ME! Moving on to the header – I went simple but meaningful. I have to admit – I LOVE TO TYPE. It is true! I take pride in my speedy typing speed and because I am either writing assignments or grading or designing or answering email or wasting time – guess where I spend my time? The keyboard. So it really is indicative of ME as well. I used Adobe capture to take a picture of the keyboard on my laptop, changed a few things in Photoshop, and cropped it up for the three required formats for the week. I am excited about how it turned out. One final note – after watching his video, my new hero is Aaron Draplin. I can’t wait to share his videos, his style, and smarticles with my students! He should be a celebrity! I sure wish I could follow him on Facebook. I tried to friend him but he has reached his friend limit. I did follow him on Twitter though and I will be checking out his FB page often so I can see what he is up to. Thanks SO MUCH for sharing his Lynda.com video!!

ePORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT

I really appreciated the material in Class 5. It made me take a step back and think about how I critique my students’ portfolios and the feedback I give them. I think I do a decent job at both, but there is ALWAYS room for improvement and after this activity, I have new ideas and more purpose to make it even more meaningful.

I know feedback via video is so much more meaningful than typed text. I do know this!! But, I often take the easy (and sometimes lazy) way out and give text feedback because of time. I need to make the time and make it happen. I have been inspired by Greg’s video to give feedback via Adobe Spark and this assignment. I can see how I can use it for so many other classes I teach. AND … it is so much easier than using any other program. I fell in love with Adobe Spark over the past few months and Greg’s example gives me yet one more reason to love Adobe Spark.

As I thought through how to go about my formative assessment video, I first needed to come up with what I feel are my top topics to give feedback in the formative sense. I would start off with organization and navigation as well as the overall feel of the site – does the layout of the container they chose make it easy to navigate, does it look professional/esthetically pleasing, and is it easy to read (contrast of colors between background and text, not too many fonts, not too many colors, clean, not chaotic and scattered). Most of my students use Weebly or Wix to create their portfolios – unfortunately not everyone has access to Adobe Portfolio because they use our computers in the computer lab and haven’t purchased a subscription. They are stuck within the confines of using these templates, but I think that is okay because it is the content and their work that I will be looking at in the portfolio. But … it does need to look professional!! I am stickler for punctuation, spelling, and grammar. This is a direct reflection of you and it all needs to be perfect when it comes to representing yourself. You don’t want to give a client a proof with a misspelled word on it so you definitely don’t’ want a misspelling on a piece of work that is showing you off to perspective clients and employers. Next, I look to make sure that the student is giving the person viewing the portfolio a well-rounded picture of not just design pieces and pictures but also their background and how they got to where they are today. I do make my students create a resume and require them to post their resume as a part of their portfolio. The last thing I make sure the student has is a way to be contacted. You never know who may want to visit with you about design opportunities and if there is no information on how to get in touch with you, you have lost a potential opportunity. I think it is very important to have a contact page as part of a portfolio.

ACHIEVING ACCREDITATION

It has been a while since I took a class. First, I found the personal videos from the instructors the exact personal touch that online courses need. I use videos, but not videos of MYSELF talking about the assignment for the week. While this didn’t specifically relate to Adobe programs and creating an ePortfolio, This is a wake-up call for me – I need to be more “present” in my classes with my face on a video each week. I think the students would appreciate the connection – I know I did. Additionally, it is novel to learn without a textbook and that also what this course presented. I don’t currently use a book in my portfolio capstone course, but what I have found to use on the web is old and outdated. This course has given me the tools as well as the ambition (because I am so excited about what I learned!) to revamp this course and make it up-to-date and more useful to my students then every before.

As far as the content of the course, I took the course because I knew I needed to update my capstone portfolio class in my program and I was looking for new ideas. This course has given me so many ideas that I will be redesigning my entire course. I am grateful for the wonderful learning ideas presented in this course and I can’t wait to share them with my students next spring. I had used Adobe Spark, but I really got a lot out of learning to use it to give students feedback. To me, it was much more meaningful than a text comment in Blackboard and it was so easy to create that I don’t have much of an excuse not to utilize Spark for this purpose.

Of all the activities we did, I was most challenged by the resume assignment. I was SO excited when I saw the sample resumes on Behance and I wanted to create one of those. But then I got started and I kept hitting road blocks. For example, I wanted to do a infographic type of resume but all the images I found required attribution. Then I thought, “Why not make my own?” But I just ran out of time and ended up settling. I got some nice comments from other learners about my resume, but I am not happy with it because it was not what I was excited to create at the beginning. This is something I will work on further – perhaps this summer.

The assessment piece made me really think about how a lot of things. While considering how I critique students’ work, I think I do a decent job but I could do better by providing personalized video feedback as well as providing them with a rubric up front. I have the ideas of what I am looking for in my head and I do talk about them in the written assignment but I fail to put them down in a grid formatted rubric and share them with students. I do have students critique each other’s work, but I don’t really give them much guidance. I provide a few ideas to consider as they give feedback, but I am not really certain the current process is meaningful. I think it would be good for them to learn about HOW to give good feedback before asking them to actually give the feedback. Again, this goes back to me leading by example and providing the personalized feedback via a Spark video. DUH!! This is huge and I have been missing it for so long.

I am excited to say that I have already shared some of the things I have learned in this class with others. For example, all the different uses for Adobe Spark – as a learning journal and to create videos. This little program is a game-changer in so many ways! Before the fall semester begins at my college, we have convocation where instructors share things they have learned. We also have a few sessions every year in the spirit of the Great Teachers Seminar where teachers get together and share cross-discipline what they do in their courses. Both of these events are energizing and invigorating to us as instructors. I fully plan to share the idea of the learning journal along with Adobe Spark because I see them adding real value to many disciplines on my campus.

Overall, a most amazing experience. I enjoyed every single thing about this course – even the challenging parts. The time I spent was very well worth the investment and I am grateful for the opportunity to have taken the course.

THANK YOU!!

Created By
Jennifer Allen
Appreciate

Credits:

The pics you see here are by me, myself, and I!

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