Posts in Category "CS5 Design"

June 22, 2012

A Student’s Perspective on Adobe Tools

The following is a guest post by Bedros Kharmandarian, a junior at New Milford High School. Throughout his high school career he has been exposed to many elective courses in the areas of graphics and technology that have allowed him to unleash his creative talents. In this piece he discusses his use of Adobe tools to create our recent Holocaust Study Tour book.  You can view last year’s book created using Adobe Creative Design Suite HERE.

As a student, the use of Adobe programs has been a privilege, as well as, a tool to benefit myself and New Milford High School.  A large amount  of my efforts yearly go into our school yearbook, which is done through a collaboration between our Graphic Arts teacher, Mr. Pevny, and a few students such as myself.  I am proud to say that the yearbook has consistently received many awards over the years.  This, in my opinion, can be attributed to an amazing teacher in Mr. Pevny as well as the schools’ investment in the latest educational technology (iMacs, Adobe tools, digital cameras, etc.).

This year, a project that took a grand amount of effort on my part, as well as, the use of programs such as Photoshop and InDesign, was a booklet on the Holocaust Study Tour.  Every year our school holds an educational trip to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, in which a select group of students are taken to get a first hand education on the Holocaust.   When the trip reaches its end, they are left with multitudes of pictures, as well as, an essay, which is to be written by each student.   A single student is bestowed the task of using the resources at hand, coupled with Adobe programs, to create a 60 page booklet.  This year, I was the student chosen.

So, essentially, Adobe software such as InDesign and Photoshop have been a staple in my artistic student life. They have enriched my experience as a student at New Milford High by providing me the ability to make things ranging from yearbook content, Holocaust booklets, playbills for the school musical, projects for numerous classes, and many more learning artifacts.   I am afforded countless opportunities to learn on my terms with the tools that I am comfortable with at times that are convenient.  This is how school should be and I am thankful for everything that NMHS has done to meet my needs and provided me with unparalleled learning opportunities.

 

5:14 PM Permalink
September 19, 2009

How do I prepare my students for the Adobe Certified Associate Exam?

My students, their parents and our business advisory board are all very excited about earning the Adobe Certified Associate credentials. Of course I want all my students to be successful so I have been searching for resources that will provide my students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Here is a list of what I have found.
Study Guides
Did you know that Adobe has posted detailed study guides for each exam at: http://www.adobe.com/education/instruction/ace/ These are .pdf files with both written tutorials and the sample files for the lessons all wrapped up in one Adobe Acrobat file!
adobe_curriculum.jpg
Adobe Curriculum
Adobe has worked closely with classroom teachers like myself to develop curriculum that is aligned with the ISTE standards and teacher tested.
http://www.adobe.com/education/resources/k12/instructional/
Visual Design is a yearlong, project-based curriculum that develops career and communication skills in print production and graphic design, using Adobe tools.
Digital Design is a yearlong, project-based curriculum that develops IT career skills in web design and production, using Adobe tools.
Adobe TV
It is time that instructors learned about this incredible resource. Adobe has developed hours of fantastic instructional video resources and offers it free through the Adobe Media Player. Check out all that they have to offer at:
http://tv.adobe.com/channel/students-educators
learnbyvideo.jpg
Learn by Video
This is the first resource that I have found that is specifically design to prepare students for the ACA exam. It has a easy to use interface, tutorials that you download to your iPod and well delivered content that will help your students prepare for the exam. I have really appreciated the book that accompanies this because it helps to explain the non-software specific topics covered on the exam. I also appreciate the test at the end of each unit both monitoring my students progress and helping them prepare for the type of exam questions they will face in the real ACA exam.
Classroom in a Book
Of course these books have been around for year providing a great resource for students and teachers. They provide great instruction on the application but you will need to supplement the lessons to fully prepare your students for the exam.
Online Software Training
If you or your students are looking for high quality online training on Adobe software then I strongly recommend the following resources:
Lynda.com: http://www.lynda.com/Member.aspx
Total Training: http://www.totaltraining.com/
Atomic Learning: http://www.atomiclearning.com/
Of course my own software workshops (free): http://www.mountsihighschool.com/directory/_dockeryj/conferences/index.html
Professional Development
Faculty workshops through Knowledge Network Solutions
Master education consultants from Knowledge Network Solutions come to your school to run workshops for faculty on how to use Adobe tools and effectively integrate them into their courses. Workshops are available to higher ed and K-12 institutions.
For more information about the Adobe Certified Associate Exam go to:
http://www.adobe.com/education/instruction/ace/

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September 18, 2009

Adding Buttons to an Adobe InDesign Document

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Adobe InDesign makes it extremely easy to add action buttons to your document. This is great if you intend on publishing your InDesign project to a digital format and want to “spice it up a bit” with some interaction. This tutorial will demonstrate how to add buttons to an InDesign project and publish the project as a Flash (.swf) file.
View Tutorial

8:13 AM Permalink
May 28, 2009

New exam study guides for Adobe Associate Certification (ACA)

Adobe just released free exam study guides to prepare students and educators for the new Adobe Associate Certifications. In addition, Adobe Press has released three new offerings in the Learn by Video series.
The free exam study guides include:
– Web Communication using Adobe Dreamweaver CS4
– Rich Media Communication using Adobe Flash CS4
– Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop CS4
Versions for the older CS3 are also available.
The Learn by Video series includes:
– Learn Adobe Photoshop CS4 by Video: Core Training in Visual Communication
– Learn Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 by Video: Core Training in Web Communication
– Learn Adobe Flash CS4 Professional by Video: Core Training in Rich Media Communication
See details>

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December 12, 2008

Create a Photoshop Turducken

Happy Holidays!
I was browsing my neighborhood grocery store looking for a turkey to fry when I glanced down and discovered a Turducken! Now, I had always thought a turducken was something conjured up in fables and fairytales; but there it sat, like some sort of monster from a Mary Shelley novel, all packaged up and ready for holiday consumption.
The first thought that crossed my mind was “YUCK”, the second thought was, “This would make one heck of a Photoshop project!”
Watch the tutorial. (You may need to resize your browser window to adjust the size of the video)
Source Image Links > Make sure to read the Creative Commons Usage Rights
http://flickr.com/photos/66164549@N00/2653229700/ – duck
http://flickr.com/photos/voght/2441818832/ – turkey
http://flickr.com/photos/66176388@N00/446141165/ – hen
-Scott Trudeau

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October 26, 2008

Using Photoshop for Remembrance Day Posters

poster1.jpgposter2.jpgposter4.jpg

By Peter French
Welcome to the good, old poster project—21st century style. Remember the curled piece of Bristol board? It’s been replaced with state of the art graphics exploring and expressing a cross curricular topic through creative writing and visual design that puts the left and right sides of the brain to work in the best way possible—together.
This is a modern interpretation of the traditional assignment—the poster project. The version I created is called the Remembrance Day poster in honor of Canada’s national day of remembrance of all of the Canadian soldiers killed in battle. But this time there was an additional challenge. The students were to research, write and create posters that honored the Remembrance Day tradition while also being more accessible to anyone without any background knowledge of this special day. The topic is inherently cross curricular requiring research into:

  • Remembrance Day itself

  • the cultural traditions of many of our students
  • the traditions of posters in general and the power they have as vehicles of communications especially in terms of social awareness and change
  • the dynamics of graphic design including an introduction to the elements and principals of design to better understand how to properly design a poster
  • writing for posters, where text must be brief, compelling and, in this particular case, highly accessible.

Cross curricular topics are a personal favorite. As a high school teacher with a background in industry I believe in trying to make assignments authentic—as close as possible to projects in real life within the safe confines of the classroom. Cross curricular topics are inherently more authentic because school “subjects” never exist in isolation in real life. This makes cross curricular topics more realistic which tends to make these assignments more motivating.
We have all heard the discussions about the powers of the textual, sequential left brain and the holistic, visual right brain. This poster project puts both sides to work equally. By utilizing the power of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements you get around many of the restrictions that non-artistic students typically pose—they cannot draw or print and so on. Now they don’t have to. The software does some of that for them and gives them graphic tools which the old cut and paste cannot match. It can be accessed simply, at a beginner level or at a full blown professional level. The choice is yours, and the students. As their skills and comfort level evolve, so too will their desire to push just a little farther.
The structure of the project is flexible enough to allow it to be rewritten for any grade level capable of using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. If a single poster does not offer enough space or opportunity for textual information, then have the students work as small groups, with each student creating a single poster as part of a group series.
As a teacher of digital design I automatically include lessons about the elements and principals of design in my classes. For other teachers this may be a step too far. However, I believe that it would be productive for the teacher to do a brief introduction to the history of posters, complete with samples that are especially compelling. This could quickly cover simple aspects of effective layout and provide the students with an introductory vocabulary of design solutions. The problem I see daily is that students have very limited knowledge of things like graphic design. They see posters and layouts constantly but have no grasp of how to create their own. Samples solve that. Put them up in your room. Discuss how they are designed—where the emphasis goes, and so on. Talk about the text—talk about the different approaches possible. Build a working vocabulary of these things together. Oh—by the way… want a twist on this poster business? Get them to create old fashioned posters. Suddenly there is another perspective to research and the opportunity for a completely different type of fun and challenge.
What is the work flow for all of this? I suggest that the whole project starts by having the teacher create their own poster first. This serves two distinct needs. The teacher must establish their own sense of what an “A” is, versus a “B” or a “C”, and that can only happen, I believe, once the teacher has discovered what the software does easily and what takes a lot more effort and skill. The students need to know what good versus better versus best looks like, before they start, and this allows the teacher to create samples of the different levels, to the best of their ability. It takes a little time and effort but the quantum leap forward in confidence that the teacher experiences by learning more about the software is worth every minute invested. Speaking of teachers—your classroom is full of Photoshop teachers right now. They are your students, many of whom have had some experience with this software and would love the chance to demonstrate their skills. Put them to work—set limitations beforehand, keep the demos simple and focused, but do let them show their stuff. My students have taught me a great deal, as I have taught them. It is a wonderful dynamic—put it to work for you.
In conclusion, I heartily recommend this newer, updated variation on the poster project. Make the topic(s) cross-curricular—this makes the assignment more authentic. Suggest that the posters are for a television station, to offer print information about a news topic. Perhaps they could be for a local charitable group wanting to inform their audience about a specific topic or problem. Get the students involved by exploring posters as powerful vehicles of communication. Do invest the time to build your own posters. And last but not least, put your students to work as teachers / demonstrators. Let them be the real proof that kids can use these digital tools effectively, as beginners or as more skilled practitioners. Oh yes—one final note—best clear your bulletin boards now. You are about to have a lot of wonderful work to display!
Possible resources for you to try – and this is just a small warm-up compared to the full extent available on the internet:
power of posters as teaching tools
http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/literacy/bear.htm
http://www.ursidaeenterprises.com/history.html
the history of posters
http://www.internationalposter.com/about-poster-art/a-brief-history-of.aspx
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Museum/Posters/History/index.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/britain_wwtwo/war_adverts_gallery.shtml
http://www.art.com/asp/display-asp/_/id–11370/Black_History.htm
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wpaposters/wpahome.html
sample posters
http://www.fly.net/~kiki/kruger.html
http://www.gggrafik.de/content/posters/index_ger.html
http://www.state.sc.us/forest/posters.htm
intro to composition / the elements and principals of design
http://makingamark.blogspot.com/2008/01/composition-elements-of-design.html
http://www.nhsdesigns.com/graphic/principles/index.php
http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/skaalid/theory/cgdt/designtheory.htm
http://www.nhsdesigns.com/graphic/principles/index.php
poster6.jpgposter3.jpgposter5.jpg

10:12 PM Permalink
February 21, 2008

2008 Adobe School Innovation Awards Competition

innovation_awards.jpg
Adobe just released information regarding the 2008 Adobe School Innovation Awards. The theme this year is “My Community – My Planet – My 21st Century.” The competition is open to high school students in grades 9-12.
Students can submit entries in three categories:
-Web Design & Development
-Film & Video
-Graphic and Print Design
Prizes include software, cash, a laptop computer, and a trip to NECC being held in San Antonio, Texas.
For more information…

10:52 AM Permalink
February 6, 2008

Don’t You Just Love It When You See Student Work Like This?

We’re ramping things up in our school district for one of the biggest events of our teacher’s year–our annual technology conference held every Spring.
Big?
You betcha. In a district as large as ours we have a vast audience to draw from, and this year we expect to have 2,500 teachers and their principals on hand for the big event.
So, what’s that have to do with student work? It’s the big design competition that happens to be one my favorite part’s of the big event.
Every year we hold an open competition for students to design the cover of the conference program, and this year’s winning entry is a real stunner. Created in Photoshop (big surprise there), the depth and detail of Javon’s design, seen here in a slide show view of the top three finishers, really pops and shows a wonderful sense of balance, scale and proportion. I can’t wait to see this one on paper!
I know Javon is dedicated and passionate about his craft (he finished second last year), and I’m looking forward to handing him an Adobe Master Collection and a small check as his prize for winning this year’s competition.
I don’t have any doubt in my mind which one he’ll be most excited about.

4:49 PM Permalink
November 29, 2007

Create a Flat Pack Toy

This morning I stumbled on a great classroom project that your design and art students are sure to love. The tutorial was produced by the creative team over at Spoon Graphics (which happens to have many great tutorials) and details how to construct a downloadable flat pack toy.
flatpacktoy.jpg
The blog post outlines the design process and Adobe Illustrator techniques that are necessary to build the toy. What I like so much about the tutorial is the problem solving that goes into the design process. Read between the lines and you will even find a math lesson hidden in this gem.
Although the tutorial uses Adobe Illustrator to design and layout the toy, you could easily adapt the instructions to Photoshop and/or InDesign.
Get the directions.

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