From my guest authors - two 9th grade students showing what they have learned about on-line image editors.
"We made a brochure to promote an online image editing website called Aviary. Our brochure tells readers how useful the website can be by emphasizing it’s features. We learned that Aviary is a very useful tool that can change images and edit them just the way we want. We liked how this website is easy to manage and has various tools.
Their brochure's cover.
In 9th Grade, we learned how to record quick screen cast tutorials using screenr. Their tutorials show how to use an online tool such as pixlr to quickly resize an image. We are exploring a number of on-line tools as they can be used on any platform, whether Windows or Macintosh. Most on-line image editing tools are free and can be useful where one does not have an image editing program installed or they simply don't own a licenced program like Photoshop.
Screen-casts eliminate the need for someone to be present to help do something on the computer. They can easily be shared on websites, blogs or via e-mail. Below is an example of our tutorials, feel free to view on 'HD full screen'.
This week, students have been taking their MAP Tests in the computer lab. I would like to reflect back on our introduction to cloud based storage systems, using dropbox in particular. I introduced dropbox to students in grades 7 and 9 as a way of organizing their work in such a way that it ‘follows’ them. Dropbox synchronizes files between multiple computers and also keeps secure copies in the ‘cloud’. Students were a bit confused when another teacher and I wanted to share different folders with them. They were afraid they would have to open so many drop box accounts.
We watched the official video from the drop box site, I explained how the sharing of folders would work during class and we practiced uploading some documents to a folder I shared with each class. Eventually, students understood the idea that they could access different people’s shared folders from one dropbox account.
During the past few days I was pleased to hear some students say they have installed the dropbox application at home and are using it to access their files at home and at school. We will continue to use dropbox as a place where students will submit their work or assignments into folders shared with them.
If you use multiple computers, ask your 7th or 9th grader about how dropbox can help you or watch the video at www.dropbox.com.
Our current unit is titled 'Publications'. We created 21st Century business cards. We talked about what should and should not be on a business card. Our focus was on using prior knowledge to be creative and learn new skills on our own, manipulating images in Microsoft Publisher and other programs. Some students used Publisher for the first time, some were amazed at the new tools they discovered and began to share with their peers. We want to be able to learn new programs on our own to help us and those around us work and learn better. See our business cards.
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Kahlil Danai Maramba,