professional educator at skyview high school
Posted on Apr 23, 2014 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Aug 8, 2014
I have begun a new series called The Creative Teacher. The goal of the series is aimed at teacher education candidates seeking to supplement there technology courses which are required for teacher certification. Also they give the college professor a teaching tool that can be used in class or as projects outside of class for students to complete. If you are not in education they are still useful as a getting started video. The first one can be found here and has a link to the next in the series. Please use it and enjoy learning.
- 3 Ratings
Posted on Jul 30, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Apr 29, 2014
I have a course I'm starting for high school freshman. My goal is to teach them a very new modern way. Here is the plan:
Week 1-2 Mac OS X
Weeks 3-4 Graphic Design
Weeks 5-7 Video in Photoshop
Weeks 8-11 Web Design with Muse
Weeks 12-14 Animation.....
Weeks 15-16 Final Project
This is the big question, week 12-14 animation. I want to use a simple tool just so they can get a taste. It has nothing to do with best practices at this point I just want them to have a successful experience where there is no right or wrong answer. I think Flash may be a little heavy and intricate. So I am leaning to Edge Animate. Has anyone tried Edge Animate with High School Students? Is it right for first timers? What's the learning curve?
- 3 Ratings
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Aug 15, 2014
I just watched a presentation with Joe Dockery about Wacom tablets and drawing in Photoshop. I have a class set of Wacom Tablets and Joe helped me see that there is a need for a conversation about the Wacom Tablet. See his post here on the EdExchange. How is it being used in your classroom? I worry that our tablets are being under used. Some things we have done are:
#1 I took away the mice and have made them use the multi-touch gestures. No MICE in my room. The students do lessons on multi-touch that is built-in to Mac OS and how to use the the touch features including a click and drag gesture, accessing tools buried in the tool box, and launch pad.
#2 They are assigned to change the options in the Wacom settings to meet their needs. Often we turn off the touch when using the pen so that they are not moving the mouse while drawing.
If you need some Wacom Pen Storage Solutions there is a great discussion going on about that.
- 1 Rating
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Nov 8, 2013
I ran a series of DPS courses with students during the beta with the Digital Publishing Suite. We created some different things and I would like to understand how other schools are using it. We created a couple different things:
#1 We created a fire evacuation route map utilizing multi-state objects. It had buttons that you could click based on where you were in the building and it would show you which way to exit the building. The idea was that you are not always in you class when the fire bell goes off. We considered adding the Emergency response manual to it as well but never got that far.
#2 We created a student hand book. It has a button for each section of the hand book and the students could push the button to jump to the section that they wanted to navigate to. It was pretty good but at the time we were only able to use it on the ipad and I knew that if I wanted to get to the students I would have to get it ready for the iPod touch.
Now there is an option to publish to the iPod touch and I am wondering what others are doing with the DPS solution as I have been out of the DPS scene for about a year.
- 2 Ratings
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Dec 18, 2013
I have been learning about Echo Sign and I would like to hear about what others have done with it. Are you using it in your school to assist in the paperless idea? What are some barriers that you see in the implementation of electronics signatures.
- 2 Ratings
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Oct 19, 2013
I need some input, I love attending design conferences. I have been to Adobe MAX in 2010, 2011, and Photoshop World. I have looked at going to the HOW design Conference but It is in June and that's tough to do because the schools fiscal year is ending. I'd love to go to MAX but I got left out because of the dates. Long story short I need a new conference and I am wanting to know what your favorite design conference is.
- No Ratings
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Mar 30, 2014
Recently I was doing some research and I found an article from Cathleen Norris at The University of North Texas and a past ISTE President. In the article she outlines 10 barriers to technology adoption. I have provided insights as to how this issues could be resolved.
Barrier #1 Lack of Vision:
I wonder how many of us have taken the time to create a vision of what our dream classroom looks like. More then just I want this or that, I'm talking about a real concrete plan with details. I have experienced in my classroom that as I have a vision for what I'd like to see it comes into being sooner then I would have believed possible. Also once you have a vision it makes it easier to share you idea and get your administrator to buy in to the idea.
Barrier #2 Lack of Leadership
I have found success in working with my principal by creating solutions with technology that help her look good amongst her peers. Recently I created a walk-through form for her to use on her iPad with Adobe Forms Central. The form has spread across the entire district and she has gained some notoriety and has been very helpful and interested in what technology can do for our school. It did many things to build trust and it took only about an hour.
Barrier #3 Money
We would all love $10,000 for our classroom but how many of us have a plan in place to spend $10,000? If you don't already know what you need next or have a plan for the money why would anyone give it to you? Plan your next move like you are playing a game of chess. As you have a specific need for the money then people and businesses have something tanagable they can invest in.
Barrier 4, 5, 6, Curriculum
Adobe has created the solution for us right here on edexchange:
Visual Design (Design)
Digital Design (Web)
Digital Video (Video)
Also the classroom in a book series for the CC is already available.
I have also discovered in my classroom that sometimes I just have to create the right lesson myself.
Barrier #7 Infrastructure
This was an issue in my school two years ago when there was no wireless. I was able to buy a time capsule for wireless back up. One of the by products is that it has a wireless router which is powering my own classroom. My district was very much against any wireless network that they didn't control. I was very open about the network I had setup and I made a few waves but since it was plugged into an ethernet cable then the internet was still running through the filter and I was not in violation of federal laws. I password protected it so only I can get on it, the district has since warmed up as they have struggled to organize their own wireless. Some times you need to find a few $100 and solve the issue for you and show how it can work. You need to create what you want so that it can be shared with others and they can begin to understand your vision.
Barrier #8 Parents
Parents can be tough to work with and some kids find themselves lucky if they have a home to go to. However I have found in general that my students parents often are seeking ways to assist in their students learning. With changes in technology the teachers have to be trained but so do the parents. Tutorials would help but some parents will still not have access or other obstacles may stand in the way. I think the best things we can do to help with parents is to be available for questions and if they are really struggling we may need to pick up the phone and have a conversation.
Barrier #9 Time to Change
I have always tried to make sure that my computer lab is up-to-date because I believe my students deserve to learn on current technology. I have personal issues with being out of date, you could say I love to live on the bleeding edge and so do my students. Here is what I have done to keep my lab and curriculum current every year. Some may not like my idea at this point because it is going to require you to work during the summer. I stay away from my lab until July first, at that point my budget resets so I go in and place my purchases for the whole year (I have a vision and a plan for purchasing). I order everything in 2 days and makes sure that I will have enough supplies to get through the entire year. In this way I can avoid having to do PO's for paper and ink in the middle of the busy season. After those two days I leave again for another week while my PO's are approved then I order on one day. Following another week of waiting for it all to ship I go in and un box everything and lay it out. I have to image my own lab so that all starts about 3 weeks before school starts. I work on curriculum on and off when I'm not busy in the summer so that when school starts the computers and curriculum are all ready and a plan is in place. Since the technology is already updated and new software is installed with some fresh curriculum I can focus on instruction and Assessment for the entire year.
Barrier #10 Assessment
The solutions for assessment range from large culminating exams such as the ACA to the smaller check for understanding. When preparing for assessment we have to consider first the outcomes we hope to obtain and then we can consider the assessment and what type of assessment is appropriate. By beginning with the end in mind we can focus on what is important, and if you paid close attention to detail then your outcomes will support the vision you have from Barrier #1.
I was once told in my first week as an educator that technology in education will never be up-to-date and I would need to get used to that. Since then she apologized and has become one of my biggest supporters. You have to create the vision before you can hope to have others understand. Good luck and may your vision come to full fruition!
- 4 Ratings
Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Aug 2, 2013
I just wanted to see what success individuals have had in getting the Creative Cloud Enterprise solution in their K-12 Institution. I have been "pestering" my district since the release and I have made a little progress by copying all teachers effected by the purchase on E-mails. I have been unsuccessful in getting the other teachers to help in the efforts to bring the cloud to our classrooms. I had success by offering to train the other teachers in the district.
- No Ratings
Posted on Oct 3, 2012 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Feb 23, 2013
The knee jerk reaction to do you buy books or not is simple. Throw out the books and use a flipped classroom setting. Well I've been trying that and here is what I have discovered, My freshman need individual instruction. I have also discovered that I can't even get them to complete the work in class with a Teachers Aid present. I'm introducing them to the MAC OS, a Wacom Tablet, and Adobe all at the same time .On one hand you have book with great projects and it is aligned to standares for Adobe Certification. On the other you create more class time for working on projects. I can tell I need something concrete for my beginners. I would love to hear what you think about this.
- No Ratings
Posted on Jul 25, 2012 by Dan Armstrong Latest activity: Dec 4, 2012
I am on fire! I have a white hot burning passion that allows me to infuse the students with energy and keeps me current in my trade. I replaced a teacher who retired because "The Fire" was out. He told me that he got out because he was done, the fire had burned white hot for 29 years and he was done. I have nothing but admiration and respect for his decision. The issue we have is there are far too many teachers that have lost the fire. Nothing has changed in there classrooms for years and they are just doing the same old thing. My question is this, what is the best creative tool can we give them to allow them to have a sucessful experience that will rekindle the fire. My insides tell me that perhaps photoshop touch might be the place to start. So any thoughts on how we refuel because I am in a place that needs it very bad!
- No Ratings