Archive for January, 2009

January 27, 2009

Career Tech Ed In Middle School Using Adobe Photoshop

Teaching eighth grade technology is a special experience. I typically get a range of skill levels in any one of my classes. Some students are computer experts, some are skillful at drawing and some are just curious. Designing and creating a unit on graphic design is no longer out of the reach of these young teens. Using a template driven approach we are able to successfully explore technology as it applies to careers such as graphic designer, project manager, advertising, account executive, clothing and sports wear design.
Starting with the Nike Sneaker templates from PigMag
students immediately experience success with Photoshop. Students are taught to use and understand the selection tool, layers, layer effects, brushes, shape tools, text, transformations and filters.
Pigmag has made it easy by selecting the elements of these six templates, isolating them to unique layers and then locking the negative space.
See some of our samples:
Classes discuss whether all sneaker designs would end up on someone’s feet. In the American culture the sneaker is an icon representing several ideas. In fact we discussed that the sneaker can be found on t-shirts, clothing, in magazine ads and even as artwork.
Once students have accomplished the various Photoshop skills as evidenced in completing multiple sneaker designs we introduce the skateboard template from Vectorss
This template so easily defines the layers and their functions. There is a layer for coloring the board, a layer for the wheels and hardware and a layer for the skateboard art. The template uses masks to enable accurate deck art transfers.
The template can be found here.
See our samples here:
Finally the unit is further enhanced by the fantastic templates created by the folks at GoMedia and their arsenal of professional design weaponry.
These templates of t-shirts and hoodies do cost a fee but they are well worth it considering the opportunity and analysis that spawn from their use.
See the templates here:
View some of our samples here.

PS I have to add a post script.
As part of this unit it is valuable for the students to explore the larger graphic design community that exists on the web and the exchange of ideas and resources that make up that community. In that vein I share with students websites where they can download Photoshop brushes and shapes as well as fonts. This opens many possibilities for their designs.
We do discuss rules on copyright and the difference between education and commercial production. We also expose the artists of the grade to the possibility for them to become advisers and sources of their own custom brush and shape sets created with Photoshop from their original sketches.
Links for custom brushes and shapes
Link for custom fonts
A blog article and collection of resources on t-shirt design and production and manufacturing opportunities.

4:11 PM Permalink
January 26, 2009

Adobe at Bett 2009

A week has now passed since the Bett show at Olympia in London, and I am gradually getting back to the idea of being in school. Catching up and finding my feet again.
But what a show! It was grand to see Adobe folk from San Fran, to talk to them over breakfast, at the top of a tower block on the Thames, and on the stand.
There were a number of us UK AEL’s on the stand, presenting the work that we do in schools and colleges, talking to passers by, answering questions – great to be able to solve problems for people (interesting the number of folk who just want to tell you what they are doing with Adobe software) – and generally being a presence. Lots of coffee to keep it all buzzing. Liz doing a grand job, organising the stand, getting everything together. The stand worked well and looked brilliant.
AEL’s wore black polo shirts, Adobe folk wore purple – so difficult questions could be fielded towards the right coloured shirt! Adobe badges went like candy.
I got some really good feedback from the presentations that I gave:
“Really enjoyed the talk yesterday…Real stuff actually happening in/near a classroom.”
“I really enjoyed your talk on Friday… The time flew by and I really liked the way you came across. I was sat there thinking “my mate who`s head of Creative Arts would love this” I could hear the noises of excitement that she`d make if she`d been there.”
And I got as much from having the opportunity to give the presentations. It was also magic to have time to watch the other presentations, both from AEL’s and from Adobe experts. CS4 is pretty fantastic!
Back in school again today, and having fun with Photoshop, inspired by a demonstration of Greg’s – the ‘Photoshop Ping-Pong’
Determined to do more with Captivate.
It is a privilege to be a part of the Adobe machine, and get a chance to rave over the creative possibilities of the software.
But the greatest privilege is the opportunity to share creative ideas, to be a part of a community – feel a part of a community, and to have the opportunity to take this out to a wider community. All those people sort of things!

9:36 PM Permalink
January 23, 2009

Adobe at FETC 2009

Setting the stage for a great experience at FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) 2009 in Orlando, the Adobe events continue to be well-attended and “where the action is” for attendees. On this second official day of FETC, the Adobe Education Leaders (AELs) have already led many workshops (including pre-conference). On Friday alone, the AELs are conducting nearly half of the hands-on workshops.
The Adobe booth is always busy and buzzing with people clamoring for more information on the creative products they are using with their students. The theater sessions in the booth are presented by Adobe experts while AELs spend their time visiting with educators and answering questions. Attendance is still very good this year, even in bleak economic times.

Continue reading…

8:41 AM Permalink
January 22, 2009

Bibme – One-Stop Citation Shop

Building a bibliography just got a whole lot easier; “Bibme” makes citing sources a breeze. Bibme offers a huge database that auto-fills bibliographic information automatically. The site also offers a “Manual Entry Mode” that provides a template for your citation, but the “Automatic Bibliography Maker” is so darn easy!
I decided to take Bibme for a spin using a book my daughters recently finished reading, Gary Paulsen’s “Hatchet.” I typed in the title of the book and hit the “Find Book” button. In the blink of an eye, Bibme had returned a handful of results to select from. Sure enough, the first result was the one I was looking for. I clicked the “Select” button and “wah-lah,” there sat my results!
But don’t stop there, Bibme allows for multi-source citations! Simply create another search and click the “Add to My Bibliography” button. Bibme adds the sources to the “My Bibliography” area where you can choose to delete or edit the entry. You can also select from various formats, such as APA or MLA and it supports citations for magazines, newspapers, websites, journals, film, and even interviews!
When you are done, save your bibliography to your account (free) and export it to your word processor.

2:09 PM Permalink
January 19, 2009

Not Too Late! National Film Festival for Talented Youth

It is not too late for budding filmmakers (22 and under) to submit their work to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). NFFTY “is the only film festival that provides young filmmakers a “full feature” festival experience with state-of-the-art venues, access to industry professionals, broad public exposure, and an inclusive atmosphere.”
You can still submit under the WAB Extended Deadline – January 30, 2009.
Eligibility Requirements:
•22 years or younger at completion of filming
•Films must fit into one of the seven categories
•All music and other copyrighted material must be original or filmmakers must have obtained permission from the owner
•All films must be in English or subtitled in English
•Music Video
•International (outside US)
For details visit

7:30 AM Permalink
January 15, 2009

Adobe Connect is One Slick Tool

A few days ago I was able to put Adobe Connect “through the ringer.” I had dabbled with Connect a handful of times, but last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to teach a day-long workshop that “connected” educators from various locations across Texas.
In all honesty, I had a few pre-workshop jitters. Would the participants be able to follow my directions? Would the class be engaging? How would the audio sound? Would the participants be able to see what was happening on my computer screen?
To my delight, everything worked out great!
The day before the workshop I logged into my Connect dashboard and set up the meeting. I then announced the host URL (the address of the meeting) by sending an email to the participants. The preparation took about five minutes.
The morning of my workshop, I logged into my Connect meeting a bit early to make sure the audio and screencasting functions were working properly (just a precaution). I then shared my screen, turned on my mic, and the workshop started promptly at 9:00. I spent the next five hours teaching a course on ways to implement Adobe Acrobat 9…and it went without a hitch!
The end-of-workshop feedback was fantastic. Everybody enjoyed learning over Connect and it saved some serious travel dollars. The only complaint from the participants was that they couldn’t see the instructor. That was my fault, as I was using my PC (no webcam) and not my Mac. Connect would have easily allowed me to broadcast a small video if I had used a computer with a web cam. Live and learn…
All-in-all, I feel that Connect is a very viable alternative to face-to-face instruction. It allowed for multi-location synchronic learning (something that face-to-face instruction cannot provide), but also saved some coin. What a bargain!
Scott Trudeau

7:26 AM Permalink
January 6, 2009

Adobe Education Technologies Blog Site

The concept of building online educational communities is a rapidly evolving one. These emerging and new communities are taking on forms like user groups and blogs. I have a strong belief in using technology to build relationships and connect people together. I have to admit I was not too excited about blogging when I first become an Adobe Education Leader. I would rather be using Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional to connect with people and exchange ideas. However, I have turned a new leaf and have started to enjoy the experience of blogging and contributing to my educational community. In the spirit of promoting what I believe, I would like to make everyone aware of another Adobe Education Blog organized by a band of experienced Adobe Systems Professionals. I believe they have been featured in the past on this blog site, however, we have just added to our Adobe Education Leadership program with our Higher Education AEL’s and this site is always available to all K-12 and Higher Education Educators. I have provided a link below to their site and you may want to bookmark it for the future to find new and innovative ways to use technology to help improve our educational system.

Adobe Education Technologies Blog Site

Dave Forrester
My Profile

8:37 PM Permalink